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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Peer Relationships: Opposite Gender, Medical Reflections for Today

     It is amazing to me to read medical reports that urge parents to be sure that their daughters have the HPV vaccinations, beginning at age 9 years. The selling point for parents is that it is intended to prevent cervical cancer. What they seldom tell you is that the reason they want your daughter to have the vaccination is because it is a given that she will begin to have sexual relationships soon after that age. The protection is for those who are sexually active. If your child is not sexually active, there is no reason at all for her to have this vaccination. The deal is that if you say your child is not going to have sex until marriage, you will be laughed out of the office. Well, maybe it won’t be that obvious that they don’t believe you; but, let me tell you, they will not believe you. (Even middle aged single missionary ladies who go to their family physicians for the routine physicals are not believed when they say that they are not sexually active! Many medical folks just don’t believe that there is such a species of human, for any reason, regardless of what the Bible teaches.)

     In defense of my pediatric colleagues, let me rush to add that they have been burned a few too many times on this issue so their stand of not believing that any child is going to abstain from sexual activity is understandable. Just last spring a pediatrician was successfully sued in the courts because she believed the mother and child who said she had never had sex. Turns out that the fourteen-year-old was pregnant after all and the mother sued the doctor.

     In this same report, I was equally amazed to read just how few teens are actually having sexual relationships, as compared with how many the media would like you to believe are. The kids think that “everyone is doing it”, when that is actually not accurate. Only one in three are involved in sexual activity of any kind. Which means that a full two-thirds majority are not. Kids need to know that. Those abstaining from sexual activity are in the majority and should not feel “left out.” Additionally, most of the activity that 30% of middle school age children are experimenting with is not going to get anyone pregnant, though it can certainly give them sexually transmitted diseases. Since these diseases can have serious consequences, we should encourage the children to abstain from such experimentation on health issues alone, even if you have no particular belief that sexual activity is wrong outside of marriage. The kids should know that not everyone is doing “it.” It is okay to be a child for a few more years and not skip that important part of growing up! They will never be ten, eleven or twelve again and those teen years rush by, never again to be experienced. Help them to know it is okay to just say “No.” Sex can wait.

****Peer Relationships: Opposite Gender, Answers to Questions… Coming Tomorrow

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