Letter: Safer sex

By The Daily Illini

With all the sex that surrounds young teens today, it is hard to resist it when teens feel like this is Temptation Island. However, what is being done to teach young teens to have safer sex?

Currently, the Congress funds abstinence-only programs in schools, which teaches teens to wait until marriage to have sex. Yeah, right! Abstinence-only programs are ineffective because they are not realistic, as teens are having sex at a younger age.

Abstinence-only education also fails to recognize homosexuality, which has become more socially acceptable. Because homosexuals are not allowed to get married, this approach will not benefit them. Students should be taught about having safer sex. So, instead of Congress contributing $30 million more for an ineffective program, it needs to fund non-abstinence sex-education programs in schools that teach teens about safe sex. This class should be offered as an alternative to students and should teach them about sexually transmitted infections and the different forms of contraception available to protect them. It should also provide the locations of free clinics that provide condoms, birth control, free testing for some STIs and HIV/AIDS.

Having safe sex can be very beneficial to the future health of many young teens. Engaging in risky behavior can lead to many serious outcomes in life – such as acquiring HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS is one of the deadliest diseases around, and it is spreading at an alarming rate for people under the age of 25. Statistics show that, among teens, HIV/AIDS is rising; one teen is being infected every hour of every day (Illinois Department of Health). HIV/AIDS is mostly contracted through heterosexual sex. For example, the “down-low brother” is a gay man who continues to have sex with women while posing as a heterosexual. A tremendous amount of women who have been in relationships or even married for years to these individuals find out years later they are HIV positive.

Parents play a important role in their children’s lives, and the home is the foundation; this is where parents need to find the courage to sit down and discuss sex with their children. As uncomfortable as it may be, this needs to happen, because teens want to know about it. Many teens hear about sex through their friends and through the media; though neither one of these sources is reliable enough, they have the greatest impact. With parents and non-abstinence sex education, how could a teen not make the right decision? Write to Congress and voice your concern about this subject, because we are the generation of today and our children will be the generation of tomorrow. Think about it.

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Mia McCree

sophomore in LAS