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Safety in Teen Relationships

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In today’s day and age, teenagers are getting into serious relationships much sooner and that brings up issues with both their health and safety. Are teenagers being safe? Are teenagers being taught how to identify unsafe relationship patterns? Do teenagers know about safe sex? The answer to all of those questions is no. At least not while they’re in school.

 

While our school system does offer a “health” class, it doesn’t cover any sexual health information other than just to abstain from sexual intercourse as a whole. As we all know, when you tell a teenager “no,” they will most likely turn around and do it anyways. Unfortunately, this leads to teen pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Teenagers should be taught the safe ways to have sex, how to protect themselves in these situations, and how to identify red flags in the relationships they are involved in, both sexual and nonsexual.

 

I would like to see something happen to our current Sex Ed program. I was in the health class that is mandatory for students, and the one thing that stuck with me is the way that the teachers (at least mine did) make sexual intercourse scary. I had to learn the hard way that students are getting the wrong information and there are topics that are not touched in the class. Even as the times are changing, there are kids that are not learning the correct and safe way to explore their bodies. I think that Sex Ed should be an offered class that goes into detail on how to protect yourself and on what to do if the time comes and you are given an STD. Although there are times when the classes are talking about the various STDs and how they affect the body, there is still the fear factor that needs to be dealt with. Learning about the “birds and bees” is not always the most fun thing in the world, but it is important for kids that are going through a special change in their life to realise that if they explore their bodies, they won’t die. Dealing with these changes are a necessary part of becoming an adult and with these changes comes the natural sex drive.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that teens aged 15-18 are more likely to contract an STD due to the barriers that are in place that prevent them from getting the prevention that they need. According to a Planned Parenthood article barriers include “inability to pay, lack of transportation, long waiting times, conflict between clinic hours and work and school schedules, embarrassment attached to seeking STD services, and concerns about confidentiality.”

In Cody, Wy I feel that teens are scared to go to an adult for help, but I strongly encourage teens to go to Family Planning for confidential services and to pick up free condoms and contraceptives. Family Planning is also the best place for teens to bring their questions and concerns without the threat of a breach of confidentiality or the worry of money as this nonprofit is 100% confidential and 100% free and parents do not have to go in with the teen. For more information please call (307) 527-5174.

 

Stay safe!

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Safety in Teen Relationships