Students can empower themselves with the facts by talking to their parents, teachers and other professionals.
- Talk with your health care provider about preventing pregnancy.
- Talk with your parents or guardians about sex, pregnancy, relationships, and contraception.
- Take advantage of teen pregnancy prevention and youth development programs in your community.
- Ask your school to provide evidence-based sex education.
Myths and Facts
MYTH: Everyone you know is doing it.
FACT: False. Consider the statistics. More than half of teenagers are virgins until they're at least 17 years old. Don't believe everything you hear. People lie, and exaggerate, and can talk a good game when it comes to sexual antics. In the end, it doesn't matter who's telling the truth or not. The only truth that matters is what's best for you. Yeah, that sounds corny – but it's a fact.
MYTH: Movies and TV portray sex as it really is.
FACT: Uhhh...That would be "NO!". Movies and TV are entertainment, not instructional Sex Ed films. Maybe we'd all like sex to involve hot music, great lighting, and no talk of STDs or birth control, but we can't forget the difference between entertainment and reality. Sex is never what it is on the big or small screen, or even in books or magazines. Whether it's awkward, embarrassing, hysterical, disastrous, mediocre, or earth-shatteringly fabulous, it's different for every two people, every time, with different emotions, experience, and circumstances. It's more complicated than a scented candle and the right CD on the stereo.
MYTH: You can't get pregnant the first time you have sex, or by doing it standing up, or by using douche afterwards, or when you're stoned, or if you're having your period, or you have irregular periods, or if you've recently had a child...
FACT: We're sure you've heard some of these whoppers, or maybe some even weirder ones. Forget who you've heard them from, or how many times you've heard them. The truth is, you can get pregnant any time you have sex. Even if you use a condom or other form of birth control, you can still get pregnant. The only 100% foolproof method of preventing pregnancy is by NOT having sex. So if you choose to have sex, regardless of when and how, know what you might be getting yourself into.
MYTH: The only way you can contract a sexually-transmitted disease is by having unsafe sex with more than one person.
FACT: It's a cliché, but it's true. All it takes is one time, with one person. With some STDs, you don't even have to have intercourse to be infected. Obviously, the more partners you have, the better your chance of getting an STD, but in the end (like getting pregnant), the magic number is One.
MYTH: Condoms keep you from feeling anything during sex.
FACT: Most of us have heard this one. Admittedly, it's true that condoms can reduce sensitivity for the guy, but they don't affect a girl's sensitivity. They definitely don't eliminate feeling completely, and the benefits of using a condom far outweigh any drawbacks. There are many varieties of latex condoms on the market, so it's worth experimenting to see which condom is the most comfortable.
MYTH: If you really loved him or her, you'd want to sleep with them.
FACT: Loving someone and being ready to have sex with them are two different things. If you know you love someone deeply, try to concentrate on other ways to express it until you both know you're ready. If someone you love is pressuring you to take that step, and possibly even threatening to dump you if you don't, it says a lot about how they love you back. Intimacy is about communication, trust, and respect. In the end, if he or she really loves you, they'll be willing to wait.
Myths/Facts from www.pbs.org
Family planning and HIV/AIDS
- Locate a health clinic offering family planning services
- Protect yourself from HIV/AIDS
- Confidential and convenient HIV testing