Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sex: When the Cost is Hidden

She’d been asked to speak to the students, but she could clearly see their disinterest.

Clicking the remote, the screen in front flashed her first slide about STDs.

She wasn’t all that much older than the students seated before her. Ten years ago she was sitting in a classroom like they were.

She knew what they were feeling and probably doing when their parents weren’t around.

She explained that some STDs were silent—causing damage without noticeable symptoms. When she showed them the pyramid of STDs, their teen bravado manifested—naturally, teens think bad stuff only happens to others. Frustrated with their cavalier attitudes, she flipped off the projector and leaned against the desk. She decided to tell them a story.

There was a girl who went to church with her family on Sundays, and then did whatever else she wanted the rest of the week. She liked her freedom and as long as she got home by curfew, her folks never knew what she was really doing.
At first it was exciting to meet older guys at the theater and then ride around until midnight. Soon they were going to darkened apartments and pairing off. She didn’t intend to have sex, and she kept telling herself she would be more careful next time.

But there were lots of next times. Sex became as routine as church. When her high school years were finally over, she decided that the wild part of her life needed to end too. She went to college and decided not have sex until she found someone who’d stay with her for life. A couple years later, an amazing man made that promise, proposed the old-fashioned way by asking her dad first, and they soon married.

They built a sweet life and anticipated the children they’d have. They waited. And waited. Then she discovered an awful truth—an undiagnosed Chlamydia infection as a teen had severely scarred her fallopian tubes. She was sterile. She couldn’t have a child. She didn’t think that her carefree teenage life would rob her of the family she’d always dreamed about. She cried at the unfairness, but she knew she’d made that choice long ago and would now live with it.

The classroom was silent and waited for her to continue. They watched her as she gathered her presentation materials. Looking at the clock, she nodded to the teacher sitting in the back of the room. As she reached the door, she stopped and turned to the class one last time.

Whatever you think about sex, it does come with a price. I know. Because the girl in the story—the girl who finally found true love, and then discovered she’d never have a child…that girl is me.

For anyone having sex outside of a healthy, monogamous marriage, the odds aren’t in your favor. The Centers for Disease Control says there are nearly 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections annually. By age 25, one in two sexually active persons will have an STD/STI. Each year one in four teens contracts an STD/STI. Do you really know the price tag of sex? Don’t find out the hard way. Save sex for marriage.


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