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September 26th, 2009 by Dr. Phil

Teens and Birth Control, Part Two

bControl1I just want to offer a heartfelt thank you to all of you who wrote comments about Monday’s show with the Dr. Phil Family. I asked you to respond to Katherine’s naïve, but typically teenage, remarks that revealed her ignorance about birth control. I wanted to know if you believed we should make sure our kids get all the facts about birth control, whether they are having sex or not. Or, are we only causing more problems — and perhaps encouraging them to have sex before they are ready — if we push birth control and sex education on them at too early of an age?

What touched me was how much thought you parents have put into this issue. Many of you are obviously anguished, not sure what to do. Others are still admittedly uncomfortable about talking to your children. And there are plenty of heated opinions on both sides. Some of you wrote in to say you are genuinely convinced you can persuade your kids to abstain. “I will be honest with my kids about not having sex until they find the person that they are going to marry,” Lani wrote. “I will also put a fear of God in my daughter’s boyfriends, and my son, about not having sex.” On the other hand, there was this comment from MJ:  “It’s like having a pool. You can tell your kids not to go into the pool. You can build a fence around it. But if you know your kids are still going to figure out a way to get into that pool, don’t you think you ought to teach those kids how to swim?”
So where do I come down on all of this?

bControl2Well, let me say right off that I’ve been very open for a long time about my belief in comprehensive, value-based sex education programs. Studies show that those kids who receive sex education are much less likely to get pregnant than those who don’t — which is very important when you consider that the United States still has the highest rate of teen pregnancy of any developed country. And there is no data that suggests sex education programs increase teenage promiscuity. We can’t be naïve here.  More than ever before, kids are getting bombarded on their own with a smorgasbord of information about sex, which is all the more reason for us to make sure we equip them with the tools to make the proper decisions. We need to make sure they know the very serious risks they face when making the decision to participate in sexual activity.

And what do I think is the parents’ role in all this? When do I believe is the time to have the big talk with your kid? The answer to that question is that there is not simply one “big talk.” Your job is to maintain a constant dialogue with your son or daughter that needs to start pretty early on. If you look on DrPhil.com, you’ll find excellent tips and talking points to get the dialogue started. You don’t have to wait until you are some sort of “sexpert,” full of facts and figures, to begin the dialogue. One of your main jobs is to listen and to be a moral guide — to teach your children that a condom or a pill will not protect their minds, their hearts or their emotions, and the pill or a condom won’t protect them from STDs either.

And as for you and me, our dialogue on this subject is also just getting started. In fact, I want you to tune into Wednesday’s show because we are going to again discuss teens and sex. We’re going to talk about the latest teen sex trend that will no doubt disturb and maybe even disgust you. But it’s happening. It’s a very important issue we simply cannot ignore.

And, as always, I look forward to your comments. Here are a few that came in:

Blog reader Becca says, “Personally, I don’t believe in birth control. I guess it’s safe to say that I do believe that the only safe sex is no sex at all. I’m 18, and it’s worked for me thus far …”

Another reader, AH, believes, “Birth control is only a symptom of the problem. Every teenager should have access to birth control, but girls especially need to take this matter into their own hands. The truth is that birth control pills are extremely detrimental to girls. Artificial hormones damage their health, especially when taken long term. And, it is a false sense of security, because they feel like they don’t need condoms if they are on the pill. This leads to more risk of STDs. Girls need to take their sexual health into their own hands.”

On my Facebook page, Cheryl says: “Lemme see,…. birth control has increased promiscuity and disease, and the one who pays usually is the woman. I think self respect and self control needs to be taught. The guys need to grow up and stop thinking woman are put here on earth to meet their needs. If there is no real commitment, there should be no sex.”

Felicia says, “Being a teen mom, I can say that I never personally talked to my mom about birth control. I feel that our society almost makes it a bad thing to mention that birth control is an option. Adults don’t want to sit down and explain the dirty details of parenting and it’s hardships, because they don’t want to admit that it is HARD!”

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87 Responses to “Teens and Birth Control, Part Two”

  1. Josie Lukovszki says:

    As a Christian, I am doing my best to raise my 5 daughters with a set of values that include abstinance. A family friend was having issues with her young daughter of 10yrs and we took her in to our home on a partime basis. She is now 15yrs old and sexually active. Although I don’t believe she should even be having pre-marital intercourse, the fact of the matter is she is. I brought her into the Doctor and put her on B.C. She recieved the Depo Shot, and it has been a year now, and the doctor says she needs to find another option because she is too young to be doing another year of the shot. I am prepared to take her in to find out what her options are, because I don’t want her to be in a situation of being a teen Mom.

  2. Yvonne says:

    I put my 15 year old daughter on the pill at the urging of her Doctor for the mere reason of controlling acne which made her very self conscious. After her acne cleared about 6-8 months of use, I kept her on the pill – again at the urging of her doctor because she has such horrible premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Do I feel good about doing that? No – I don’t but the medicine has helped with the moodiness 3-5 days before her period. Trust me she was hell on wheels before she began taking it. I’ve sat down with her at different times and told her I know people that have gotten STD’s from having sex and I remind her that some of these sexually transmitted diseases last a lifetime. Trust me she is armed with information and knows that we don’t believe in sexual promiscuity. I’ve told my daughter several times how difficult it is to raise a child in this messed up world and it is THE TOUGHEST job I could ever have.

  3. vince says:

    its always good for kids to know the truth Dr Phil thank you for helping make sure as many as you can reach know the truth, after all the kids are worth that effort i do feel.

  4. Brad says:

    I’m sorry, is there such thing as “safe sex”. The recent studies have shown that if you sleep with more than 4-5 people you are sleeping with the equivalent of more than a million people if the saying “if you sleep with someone, you are sleeping with all of their past partners” is true. Condoms don’t prevent aids and many other sexually transmitted deseases.

    I’m not sure the pool analogy is correct. It’s more like trying to prevent your teen from having a car accident. So should we give them “safe” accident courses so their wreck isn’t as bad? It’s not like a pool where if you know how to swim there are no negative reprocutions. You swim and get out of the pool. Being sexually active with multiple partners is falling off a three story building, even if you tuck and roll, you’re going to come away scarred.

    No, we teach are kids how NOT to have accidents. We teach them NOT to touch hot oven irons, we don’t give them gloves so it doesn’t hurt as bad. We teach them NOT to stick things in electrical outlets, not let them only use rubber forks. And we should teach them NOT to be sexually promiscuous, not give them things to soften the consequences (if soften is even the right word).

    Birth control itself has so many side effects I can’t even list them all, many end with not being able to ever be impregnated ever. Condoms are little more than placebos when it comes to major sexually transmitted diseases and only 60% effective at preventing conception.

    We are doing our children a disservice by accepting all of these side effects and risks just so they can have sex whenever they want. Why can’t we expect our kids to self-regulate? And how can we ever expect them to self-regulate if we teach them that they can dodge the consequences?

  5. Rachel says:

    WOW I’m just gonna add that NONE of you are here to judge anyone!!! and yes I’m a young mother I have two amazing children who I would give my entire world for should i have waited sure but was abortion or adoption an option for ME NO Absolutely not!! I do think PARENTS should be more open and WILLING to have that chat with teens about protected sex hello pretend they aren’t doing it all you want and as someone said it isn’t anything new it has been going on for YEARS so get over and help get girls the education and protection they need !! I’m 24 years old and will not have anymore children I had my tubal done January this year because it was the right choice for me parenting is HARD and does take more than just love!!!

  6. Mitzy Roberts says:

    Ok Brad

    Kids are going to do what they want to do wether we like it or not. Giving a teen b/c or condoms does not mean we are giving them permission to have sex. I say its bette rsafe than sorry. Birth control does not necessarily mean the pill. IUDs have no hormones. A girl needs to know that it won’t pretotect her from stds. You have it wrong when used correctly a condom will most likely protect against aids. However it most likely will not prevent herpies or worts. I say preach abstinence but also talk about all the facts and say if there is nothing I can say to persuade you not to take precautions. Better safe than sorry.

    It wasn’t too long ago that I was a teenager and I know that teens are going to do what they want to despite all our efforts to persuade them to do the right thing. Hormones and rebelion get the better of them. So I think facts and lots of talking by parents is what is best.

    Brad I suggest you get all the facts. Also say what you think parents should do. You made it clear what you think they shouldn’t do. Do you even have kids? Do you know teenagers? I raised a teenage girl and thank God that she waited till she was at least 17 before having sex.

  7. Joyce Long says:

    As I have stated before and I agree totally with Brad, there is no such thing as “Safe Sex”.. And accepting the side affects of birth control just is not an option. Especially when it can cause strokes, heart attacks and many other horrible things, including not being able to get pregnant at all. Parents need to talk to their kids, and definately do more monitoring of them. You should always know where your child is, who they are with and what they are doing. ANd under no circumstances should 12 and 13 yr old girls be allowed to even be dating much less need birth control at that age. I dont care how much you work or anything like that, your child is your responsibility and as parents we should do way more supervising. And way more talking to them about the conquences, not just shove a pill at them and say ” I am giving this to you just in case, but I expect you not to do anything” yeah right, birth control is a license to go out and have sex.

  8. Paradoxis says:

    Dr Phil, I was thinking it might be informative if you got someone like Dr Lisa Masterson on the show to talk about oral contraception and all the side effects of it, short term and long term.

    It really does concern me that people are talking about automatically putting their girls on it when they begin menstruation. It also concerns me how it is used to control periods and other things when it may not be necessary. Fair enough if it’s medically required, but I worry about the somewhat blase attitude about giving young girls such medication almost as a matter of course.

    Having taken bc pills for no better reason than to have the convenience of controling when or if I got my period, I’d hate to think of other girls growing into women and suffering the same long term consequences that I have as a result of that decision.

    It makes me wonder about how women see their bodies and the natural functioning of them.

    Thankyou for doing these shows. These are important conversations.

  9. Ali B. says:

    As a young woman who has used birth control, I know that there are side effects that are unsavory. As with any medication, these should be taken under the supervision of a doctor and their use should be monitored and the issue revisited time to time with their Doctors.

    All I can say is that, looking at my own family tree, just using marriage and birth dates alone, my ancestors were engaging in premarital sex all the way back to the 1500’s.

    If you think simply instilling an abstinence only pre-marital sex policy with your children is enough to keep them safe, think again. Where are the highest rates of teen parenthood…the bible belt. Enough said.

    I agree that self image and empowerment is what it takes to keep young people from engaging in sexual activity before they’re ready and able to accept the consequences good and bad.

    I discuss sexuality with children like this: The penis and vagina are sacred spaces. No one is allowed to touch you there without your consent. Sex is a sacred act between two individuals who share a sacred bond (be that marriage, etc.).

    Using the idea of the ’sacred’ you can address theological standpoints or not, you can modify for a more conservative no sex until marriage approach, or you can simply say that when you’re an adult you are ready to take on the responsibility for your own actions and may make adult decisions.

    As a teacher I am required to report sexual abuse, rape, molestation, etc. I need the kids to feel like they can come to me. The only way to prevent those things from happening to kids is to start the conversation early.

  10. Kristin Abbott says:

    I think sometimes the best offense is a good defense. I don’t want my daughter to have sex but more importantly I don’t want her being a teen mom. So I will continue to try and connect with her on her level. I use TV shows like Secret Life to talk about teenage sex and pregnancy. I know I can’t be her best friend, but I want to be close enough that she trusts me.
    I put up with a home full of teen girls. Running them to and from the mall. I do it all to be the “cool mom” Way? Because my aunt was that “mom” in my group. We went to her with boy problems, school problems, etc. I want to be that for my girls.

    So “think about it”..it’s always in the back of my mind.

  11. Mitzy Roberts says:

    Joyce Long

    I do think that putting young girls on the pill is a bad idea. Their bodies are not mature enough for the pill. I also agree that 12 and 13 year olds should not be dating. Parents can do a lot to watch their kids but fact of the matter is kids find a way if they really want something. Its amazing what a kid can get away with at school, at church or other places. I did a lot of things I shouldn’t have at school and never got caught. Kids also skip school to go people’s houses to have sex or to just do whatever. My mother was very strict I couldn’t do or go hardly anywhere that is why I did it during school. Not just have sex I only did that every once in a while I mostly hung out at the mall. Point is I say again kids are going to do what they want anyway. So what do you do? I say make sure they know to use condoms. consider an IUD if the teen is or wants to be sexually active. Do you want your teen daughter coming to pregnant because all you said was don’t have sex?

  12. Amber says:

    Birth control and having all the facts is very inportant. I am 19 years old and a mother of a 1 month old baby boy, who i absolutly love. I would give him up for the world, But i was not expecting to be a mom so soon. I was hoping to be married, have a good job and a nice home…I am now trying to finish my GED living with my mom and on state assistance trying to rais a baby, Alot harder then I thought it would be. I wish I had the stablity befor i brought another life into the world, but now I am determind to make things work and provide the life my son deserves. Please to all the girls and guy out there, please use birth control…You might think you are ready but make sure you really are!

  13. Deann says:

    This is a topic I feel strongly about!
    I was a teen mom, after being sexually active for 2 years I found myself pregnant the month before I turned 16. I married the guy and 2 months later I gave birth to a 2 month pre-mature daughter, 17 months later I gave birth to a son, and a year and a half later I divorced their dad. They are now 19 and a sophomore in college and 17 a senior in high school and in the National Guard.

    To me, they are in no way a mistake, EVER. I was a good kid that made a lot of bad choices, and if I had not gotten pregnant there is no telling what I would have ended up like.

    My sex education consisted of watching a movie in Health class about two teens that got pregnant and decided to keep it, and after a few months the mom freaked out and took off. (Needless to say their were 17 girls pregnant at my high school when I was).
    My mom, a wonderful mom, waited to late to have the sex talk. It was right around my 15th birthday (which was about a year and a half late) and ‘the talk’ consisted of “Girls (older sister and myself) if you decide you are ready to have sex, go to planned parenthood and get birth control, have them send me the bill, and I won’t ask any questions” I of course was like “yea right, mom will come unglued” so I never went. I can remember telling guys “don’t get me pregnant” like that’s an effective method!
    I know that no matter how much you preach to your kids and tell them don’t do it, if they are in the right place, in the right moment, with the the person they like (or think they are truly in love with)…they will do anything. No matter how much you preach to them not to.
    I gave my kids so much information at a young age (when they asked about body parts, I didn’t give them silly pet names, like wiener or vajayjay, it was penis and vagina) and when my son was in the 2nd grade and he wanted more info on sex, I asked him to tell me what he knew…and in the 2nd grade he had heard from friends what sex was. So I made sure he (and my daughter who was in the car with us when the discussion took place) had the correct information. Not more than they asked for, but just making sure the information they had was the right information.

    As careful as I was making sure that I gave them all the info that I could, it did not stop them from having sex, to fit it with their friends who were ‘doing it’ (that’s why my daughter did it and she came and told me about it and said that it was not what she thought it would be and that she really had no interest in trying it again for awhile, and she didn’t). My son also talks openly to me about these issues and when his girlfriend got a yeast infection, they came to me rather than her mom. Do I wish they would not have sex? Oh yea, but I am realistic enough to know that I can’t stop them (my son lives with his dad a few states away) and that the best thing I can do is to have an open enough mind to allow them to talk to me and not feel like they will be judged and to provide them with the information that they need to be cautious and careful!

    When I was 19 and freshly divorced I moved to a new town and state, and I was the co-founder for a group called Y.A.A.P (Young Adults Against Promiscuity) we were invited to churches and schools to talk about being what it was like to be teen parents and we had a small group of teens that gave their perspective on what it was like to choose abstinence and why that choice was right for them.
    It was amazing the number of kids that would come up to us after a meeting and talk openly about their decisions.

    I do not feel that putting your child on birth control is telling them it is OK to go have sex, as long as you give them plenty of information and an open door policy on conversations with them.
    My daughter was mortified when I told her that her dates had to come and meet me and have a sit down talk with me that consisted of me telling them that “my daughter means the world to me, and by you taking her out it means that she must mean something to you, I want my daughter to go to college and make something of herself and if you like her and respect her you will want the same things for her that I do. You need to remember that while you are out with her.” There were only a few guys that did not come back around and some would come to me for advice because they could not talk to their own parents. (I was always very careful about what information I shared with other peoples teens – not my place and I tried to persuade them to go talk to their parents or a trusted adult at school.)

  14. Sherry says:

    Well My mom never talked to me about sex but that was about 50 something years ago. But I was in church and i knew it was wrong to do it before you got married.
    But when we had kids I made sure we talked to them . My daughters girl scouts one time offer to show a film about it and My husband and my daughter and I went to it. So that got the ball rolling.
    I have to admit though when i met my husband we did have sex before marriage. We did not live together before I remembering sleeping the last night at my house and then the next night i was married and sleeping in our new apartment. But we did get married and started our family 6 years later. We now have been married for 36 years this december. He was the only one for me. People now a days live together then get married. They say they are wanting to that to make sure it will work out after they are married. I don’t get that part. But that’s the generation I guess.

  15. Jill Dotter says:

    Dr. Phil,
    I’m sure you’re too busy to watch much Oprah lately (LOL!) but she did a couple of shows on sex ed and talking to kids about sex last season that I thought were beyond PHENOMENAL!! Dr. Laura Berman helped some parents have frank, but honest conversations about the facts, and about the parents’ own values… and there was an especially moving show with two 14-year olds who seemed very mature, but who came on the show saying they were ready to have sex… and who, by the end, said, (and seemed to mean) that they’d decided after learning even more that the right answer for them was to WAIT a bit longer…

    I’m all for teaching the facts about sex and about birth control, and have already had significant conversations about these topics with my oldest three children, ages 11, 11, and 10. But just as important, I think we need to talk to our children about the emotions of sex, the feelings of wondering if your partner will tell about you, of being disappointed when you break up and your first love(r) moves on to another girl or boy, etc… During these teenage years, it’s funny because everything seems so serious and so permanent, yet these kids also feel no sense of mortality or of consequences… I intend to help my children talk through, and think through every single decision they make, as long as they are willing to include me in their thought processes. And I believe that as long as they feel I respect their ability to process these thoughts, they will continue to share with me, as my kids already do more than most of their friends seem to do with their parents.

    I have not yet watched your most recent shows on this subject, but have them Tivo’d, and will watch alone… then decide if I should share them with my kids. No matter what, thank you for helping me to continue this dialogue with my children and my family.

    Best,
    Jill Milford Dotter

  16. Joyce Long says:

    Mitzy,
    While I agree that kids are going to do what they want to, birth control at such a young age is not the answer. I am more concerned that she be protected against sexually transmitted diseases than an unwanted pregnancy. Getting pregnant is not the end of the world, the baby can be put up for adoption. Getting a disease however is much worse than going through nine months of being pregnant. I do want her to be protected against sexually transmitted diseases but will not put her on birth control to prevent something she can prevent herself. We do talk a lot, she knows what she wants and right now sex is not it. Will it stay that way, I dont know no one can know. What I do know is that preventing sexually transmitted disease is much more important than just handing out birth control. She is 13, and not old enough to be put on it. And if you are able to do this stuff at school or church then enough is not being done to monitor our children.

  17. Paradoxis says:

    Joyce, I understand where you’re coming from, but going through a pregnancy and giving the child up for adoption is very much the end of the world for the woman going through it, no matter what her age. Pregnancy is traumatic on a woman’s body (at least, I found it to be so), let alone a girl who’s body hasn’t even matured yet. There are a lot of dangers.

    The emotional, physical, and psychological effects of giving up a child are unbelievably enormous and last a lifetime.

    I just want you to know that it’s not an easy thing to do. Preventing pregnancy is a lot easier. Even with the side effects of oral contraception, they don’t affect *everyone*. All drugs have risks. I think it’s a matter of weighing up the pros and cons of taking such risks or not.

  18. Paradoxis says:

    I just wanted to add that getting herpes (which is for life) from an abusive boyfriend wasn’t even comparable to the pain and price of loving and carrying a child to term and then handing him over to people that to this day, I’ve never met.

  19. Susan says:

    Personally, I think that abstinence from sex during all teens’ school years is a practical advantage, rather than a religious or moral mandate (I have no religious leanings). To me, it simply makes sense. Teens have enough on their minds with studies, homework, sports, school events and numerous other concerns without having to deal with the very serious consequences of engaging in any kind of sexual activity. I often tell my son, “you could have sex, but why would you WANT to?”

    There’s an excellent program on the ABC Family Channel called THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER, created by Brenda Hampton. To me, it is an excellent program, which focuses on teen issues, and in the first season, a young 15-year-old girl discovers she is pregnant as the result of just one sexual encounter at an away camp. It also dramatizes other issues, but the main one is the issue of teen pregnancy, and the many ways it affects not only the girl’s life, but everyone around her. I began watching the program with my son when he was 16, and it has been a terrific way for me to talk with him about WHY it is so important to avoid sexual activity, especially when he’s in school.

    The program is on DVD now, and I would encourage any parent to get the DVD of Season 1 (where “Amy” discovers she’s pregnant) and preview it themselves before deciding whether it’s appropriate for your teenager. I’ll warn everyone, it’s a bit goofy at times, but it IS a program about teenagers, and I think teens will relate to it. The important thing, for me anyway, is to watch the program WITH them, and be ready to talk about the things that went on in each episode. If your teen has questions, answer them as honestly as you can, and if you don’t know, help your teen find the answer. That’s what I have been doing with my son, and it has worked quite well. :)

  20. Sue Brown says:

    As a parent of a teenager and a preteen (both boys) I set aside my “eww” feelings and talk to them frankly about sex.I often get the overshare (TMI!) but I’d rather have that than nothing-or worse.I’m also a healthcare provider and encourage them to think about self protection; there are worse things out there than accidental pregnancy.
    I think parents all want the best for their children and maybe we didn’t get the “talk”,or we were just told not to do it,or else!,but biologically hormones rage and peer pressure is still very prevalent. I’m not going to stick my head in the sand and say ‘not my sons!’ I let them know what I think,what I believe,and what the risks are.
    I was a parent at barely 21-it’s not what I want for my kids; I’ve gone back to college in my 30’s when my peers have since eked out their own careers following their own degrees.I hope and pray they see the struggles and sacrifices I’ve made from my own mistakes and learn from it.

  21. Peggy says:

    Dr Phil,

    -I’d like to see the emphasis of WHEN teens want to have sex, be shared with WHO they are deciding to have sex with!! Then “when”, or which age is the correct age is a part of the puzzle, but I think the “who” is just as vitally important. I’d love to hear you give that lecture to all the families out there.
    -Also, I’m with you on raising adults! My kids are kids now, but my goal is to get them to the adult stage happy, healthy and secure in themselves. Thinking that they will not mature emotionlly enough to be in a sexual relationship someday is unrealistic. My moto is “One day at a time.”

  22. Mitzy Roberts says:

    Joyce

    I agree that 13 is way too young to ve on the pill. You do make some other really good points. Kids and parents need to be more concerned with preventing stds. Its hard to get teens concerned about it though because they think they are invincable.

    I dont know if enough is being done to monitor our kids or not. My high school had cameras and security guards and I still managed to do it. I never did at church though I had more respect than that. I do know some that have.

  23. FosterBoys says:

    The problem with “value-based” education is obvious enough. I want my children to learn my values, not someone else’s. Sure, I want them to be well-rounded enough to know that there are more points of view than my own. But limit the state-run sex education to just the facts. Leave the morality of it to me.

  24. Kelly says:

    Dr. Phil,

    What happen to dating? A normal relationship is going out to dinner and a movie. Today it seems like the roles are reversed. Most guys want to fool around or have some fun at first, than ah let’s see where it goes….

    I think sex complicates things. For women, it’s more of a bonding thing. For men, it doesn’t matter who they fool around with, they will gladly tell you they slept with close to thirty women.

    As for birth control, I rather have teens practice safe sex! It horrifies me that as we become more of an advanced society, that birth control is been handed out to people as young as eleven! They don’t even know what sex is!

    In the morality of the situation, I don’t think anything will help. Yes sure, we have protection, such as birth control and condoms, but we also have the omg I think I maybe pregnant pill! All a young girl has to is go into her local pharmacy, and pick up this pill, to prevent what may be a pregnancy.

    Arghh! It’s crazy!

  25. Lauren says:

    Teen sexual activity is only a symptom of a far bigger problem in society. The way we train our girls to think that they need to be dating or having relationships at such a young age. Why do we do this????

    I remember being in high school and having aunts asking me if I had a boyfriend. And I would answer “no I am going to college instead”. Rather than commending me for my focus I was instead questioned about this at every family gathering. I remember wishing I had a father, like the Saudi girls I knew, that said no dating. It would have taken the pressure off finding relationships. Teens are known for pressuring eachother to do things that make them ‘grown up’. But why are adults pressuring teens. What if being a grown up were instead values such as finding a career, saving money, going to college, buying a home? What if being grown up waiting for a worthy guy to spend time with.

    What if Katherine weren’t so focused on having a relationship with Sean and instead focused on who she wants to be? What if she got herself healthy (physically and emotionally) ? What if she spent her time repairing her relationship with her sister and her mom? What if she waited a few years, and gave Sean some time and space to grow up and prove he is worthy and then revisit whether she wants to have a relationship with him? Why is she acting so DESPERATE to have this boy in her life? Love is not supposed to hurt. If you are having tears over a boyfriend of 4 months he is NOT worth it. Take a break from dating. Focus on yourself and everything you want to be and do before you are in a relationship. It’s like she is terrifed to be alone.

  26. Chris says:

    I feel that the best way to prevent teen pregnancy is to have PARENTS step up and TEACH kids what is right and what is wrong! I was raised that sex is for marriage, and that is the greatist gift a husband and wife can give each other. I am soo sick of hearing things like society is to sexed up or how can we teach our kids what is right when TV and everything else they see promotes whats wrong! Well I say turn off the tv, no rap music and start teaching them the family values my family tought me and my father was tought and you’ll see a decrease in teen moms and dads! And just in case teach your sons to have respect for women! IF they are man enough to have sex and get a girl pregnant there man enough to help raise that kid!

  27. Deann says:

    Turning off the TV and rap music really has nothing to do with it.
    Think about it, there were teen pregnancies in the 50’s and 60’s and all that was on TV was shows like Father Knows best, Leave it to Beaver, I love Lucy, etc.
    I promise that while yes TV does kind of promote sex, it is not the problem. If you are open and honest with your kids and allow the conversation to happen you will have a better chance of helping them make the better choices.

  28. Ali B. says:

    I’d just like to throw in here a heart felt thank you to all the teen mom for keeping their babies.

    It’s a tough decision to make, and pregnancies are not easy, even in the best of financial/emotional circumstances. My mom chose to keep my brother, and if she didn’t marry my father, I would have never come into the world.

    I am a hard core pro-choicer, and I believe in the wisdom of women to make their own decisions. In Spanish, “to give birth” is expressed as “dar la luz” which means to “give the light.” I often think about those young women who choose to give the light of life to their babies. Even when their world seems to be tumbling down around them; that is an awesome love. They’re not perfect people, but their little babies often grow into wonderful people.

  29. BlondeSwtP says:

    *Sigh*

    I’m actually in a step-mom role with three teenagers. Ironically, my step-daughter just had her first baby girl yesterday at the age of 18 years old. While her brother at 19 years old, has a 1 1/2 year old daughter & another on the way. Honestly, it makes me angry because their “mom” chooses to be a friend rather than a parent. My husband stepped up to be their father, because he dated their mom for so many years. Their birth father passed away when they were toddlers & they have only know my husband as dad. He cares about the kids & I support him because our future is with the children. It’s unfortunate that my husband did not stay with their mom, but it was evident they were not suitable for each other. They had opposite parenting styles & personalities.

    When the kids come to our house, we are a parenting team with boundaries & rules. We also include them in any activity or event we have going on around us and we try to discuss the harder life topics. They feel loved & we have very minimal issues when they are with us. 2 out of the 3 have lived with us for a few months over the past couple of years. Although, the neglect they received in their formidable years transferred over to their poor choices today since “mom” pulls them in with negativity and guilt. Plus, when the kids stayed with us, we tried hard to have joint guardianship to assist them but “mom” refused for her own reasons which is why they had to go back when “mom” was actually the one asking if we would take them in.

    Since my husband & I are gluten for punishments :) We continually choose to take the higher road with morals, values, faith, belief, positivity, etc. This is where I believe it needs to start with kids, because if the open dialogue & trust is there, then we can only hope kids will choose more wisely and parents will be able to guild them through their good & poor choices together.

    Lastly, since sex leads to babies, why don’t more teenagers look into adoption? It seems our society has lost their foundation; morals are becoming a minority choice. Teenagers have babies, their parents try to help raise them & become frustrated while also caring, OR society pays for teenagers poor choices by government programs. Adoption is such a blessing for loving couples who are able to emotionally and financially provide for a baby. And there are many more open adoptions now a days. I must say, I am advocate for abstinence & choosing sex with the one you love, adoption as a choice, and continuing on with high values. On a side note, my husband and I are actually both adopted at birth because our parents were young. I’m fortunate to have found my birth family & am grateful they are in my life. I’m also grateful for my adoptive family & the opportunities I have had. There is sooooo much to think about & realize when sex is involved.

  30. AH says:

    I completely agree with Ali B.

    The problem is that parents want to control their young adults (yes, I REFUSE to call anyone over the age of 13 a child). We as parents have these ideas that certain behavior is “right” and certain behavior is “wrong”. Our young adults have their own ideas about what is right and wrong, and if they have decided sex is okay, they are not going to magically come over to your way of thinking because you scare them.

    This is why Ali B.’s comments are so correct. Even if it were possible to scare YA’s into thinking sex is wrong, you are taking something away from them by doing this. You cannot threaten them, and you cannot keep them locked up in hopes that maybe if they never leave the house they will never make a mistake. Our YA’s are not empowered. It’s a problem because they feel entitled, but are not empowered. We baby them and then wonder why they make stupid decisions, give them everything and wonder why they have no responsibility for it.

    By telling YA women especially that their body is sacred, their emotions are sacred, THEY are sacred, it’s putting the power in their hands. You can take any religious slant with it you want, but it’s a far cry from saying “because our religion dictates ‘x’, and that is what you should do”. Women, like the one on the show today that lost their virginity at a young age and proceeded to sleep with other men, are more than typical. I believe what would have helped her would have been someone sitting down and saying you are worth more than the first guy that says you are beautiful. YA women need to know that guys will say anything to get them into bed, need to hear examples of what those things might be, and need to know a natural sexual progression, other than you will have no sexual anything until you are married.

    Relationships, love, and sex are beautiful things that many young adults are capable of responsibly handling. The fact that some cannot be responsible does not speak to an entire age range. After all, many of the worst mistakes, both sexually and otherwise, are made by people much older than 25, which Dr. Phil loves to state is when your brain is fully developed (and stating that the implication of this is that no one under the age of 25 can make a rational decision is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard).

    Where Dr. Phil and others have it right is that if young people are working towards something, they are much more likely to make good decisions. This goes hand in hand with the idea of empowering them. If they need a scholarship to go to college and it’s up to them to get it, they have responsibility and power. If they want a car, but have to work to pay for it or the insurance, they will be much less likely to drive fast and get in a wreck.

  31. Brad says:

    I do not have kids of my own, blast me all you want, but I’ve been working with foster kids for nearly 10 years now and have been involved with several programs, both secular and christian to work with “underpriviledged” teens.

    I’ve met and gotten to know more kids than many will ever bother to get to know in their life time. I can tell you the worst part about some of these teens is that no one holds them to any standards at all.

    You can’t tell me that handing them condoms isn’t giving them permission. You can’t give a teen your car keys and tell him not to drive. And yes, kids have been and will continue to have sex, but has it gotten better or worse since the introduction of condoms and birth control?

    When my mother was growing up she only knew one girl in her whole school that ever got pregnant before graduating. So what was being taught then that isn’t being taught now? Will we ever stop teen pregnancy? No, but giving teens a false sense of security in condoms and birth control is only making things worse, not better.

    My mothers generation didn’t have any birth control or condoms, their only way of protecting themselves was abstinence and when that was the case the teen pregnancy rate was much smaller. Condoms and birth control are only a false sense of security. Their effectiveness is highly overstated.

  32. Kyra says:

    I myself was a 16 yr old that became pregnant. Now 11 Years later I have a son. Now a college student i was asked to write a paper on this topic, and with my personal experience i took full advantage. Kids now a days are getting pregnant at 12 and dont seem to care. Kids are having sex even after they are educated. Its a pandemic and we need to act before it gets worse. I remember being told about sex and thought what could happen, I remember also the thrill, but never did i begin to think about how hard life would be. I lost everything I lost friends and even some family. I was given the baby machine that cries, the flour sack and even talked to teachers parents and people. I know now years later that i was in the wrong but i cant do the “coulda woulda shoulda’s” I speak to every child out there PLEASE YOUR PARENTS DO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!!!

  33. Joyce Long says:

    After watching todays show, yes I was shocked at some of what I saw but it did not make me change my views on birth control. However I did talk to my 13 yr old again because like the mother on the show, I have talked to her about sex, the results of unprotected sex, and that she could get pregnant when she didnt want to, however I never mentioned oral sex. Come to find out she has been talking in length to my older daughter (age 26) about that very subject, so when I talked to her today she knew all about the dangers of oral sex as well. Like Dr Phil said those with a goal are less likely to be doing these things and she has her heart set on getting a scholarship and going to college. We talk frequently about how one mistake could mess all that up.
    The answer is not to just throw some birth control at them and say it is ok.
    I also talked to her about what was going on in the schools and at the dances and she told me (and I found out) that the kids here at her Middle School are not even allowed to dance close together. When she comes to me and says that she is thinking of having sex, then will be the time for looking into protection and birth control, but I am not putting her on it just because she might do it. That is not a good enough reason for all the side effects of birth control. The key is to talk to them often and be totally open and honest and know what they are doing, who they are hanging out with and where they are. There is no reason under any circumstances that a 12, 13 or 14 yr old girl should be allowed to be out at all hrs and be dating.

  34. Mitzy Roberts says:

    Brad

    You do a great thing by working with these kids.

    As a teen I was never given condoms or birth control and many teens are not given these things and they have sex. Do you think most young girls at 12 and 13 are given birth control and condoms? They aren’t and they are still having sex. So what does a parent do? When my teen sister lived with me I didn’t give her condoms she tried birth control for a month to help her really bad periods but it made her fat she quit. I didn’t give her condoms until after I found out she was having sex. There was nothing I could do to preven her from doing it so I say better safe than sorry. What do you think I should have done differently? Oh btw she didn’t start having sex till she was 17 still too young in my opinion. She thought she was an adult and could do whatever she wanted. So really tell me what I and other parents can do to prevent teens from having sex?

  35. Stef says:

    Deann: I really enjoyed reading your comment. So much good info. Good for you.

  36. KC says:

    Bottom line is it doesn’t matter what the parents want to tell their kids because when they get into middle school the entire spectrum of this topic will be covered in their sex education classes. My husband and I wondered how this would impact our daughters life at the time and for sure it made her very curious. We found that she and her friends were going on the internet to find out what age girls loose their virginity. Along with that the classes were co-ed so kids had the embarassment of the opposite sex in the room with them during the talks, videos and power point presentations. It started a chain reaction of curiosity on both sides. Part of me wants them to know and the other part wants them to stay children a bit longer but with the internet and all the shows on TV that always reference sex, what are we going to do? You can’t lock up your kid to prevent them from finding out the facts. They have a right to know and I feel this is why much of it is dealt with in school now.

    We as parents have to trust that we give our kids good morals and human values so that they make the right decisions when it comes to sex. We allowed our daughter to start taking the pill at age 15 because it was too risky to predict what her behavior might be given peer pressure. However, we did keep the dialogue going with her so that she felt comfortable speaking to us about it. They will only talk to the parent so much though, for the nitty gritty stuff, they are going to go on the net or talk to their friends. That’s just the way it is these days. Parental communication is very important for a successful outcome.

  37. Mitzy Roberts says:

    KC

    I remember sex ed in middle school and it wasn’ that bad. The teacher even had us taste flavored condoms. We thought it was funny but most of my friends had been talking about sex since the fith grade. Keeping them ignorant isnt going to stop them. Yes talking to them a lot may help. You might want to make sure your daughter has condoms and knows hot to use them to prevent stds.

  38. Mary M. says:

    First off, since I am a first time “blogger” I would like to thank you, Dr. Phil, for often being the one, whom although I’ve never met, are often the one I look to when I am in need of help or questioning the direction of my “moral compass”.

    I am a single mother of 2, a son 23 yrs old whom I have single handedly (she says proudly) put through college and who will graduate this year, as well as a 15 yr old daughter who is a Freshman in High School. I have been unemployed for 1 year, am 3 mos. behind w/my mortgage so when I say recent events where not needed to increase my stress and blood pressure levels you can believe it.

    What I mean by recent events is my daughter came to me about 2 weeks ago and through a conversation that began with “what would you recommend a “friend” do if she and her boyfriend had sex for the first time and the condom broke”?. After pointedly asking is she where the “friend” she was speaking of her tears answered for me. I just held her as we both cried. She had been allowed to have a boyfriend who is 16 almost 17 yrs old as he is a boy who lives in our subdivision, comes from a good family with similar morals and beliefs as ours, is in all honor classes and on the varisty basketball team. I even checked him out with the police officer who patrols our neighborhood for our neighborhood watch and he even said what a fine, respectable, young man he was, and still is.

    They have never been left alone at home whether it be at my house or his, he even asked my daughter if she where a virgin before they began dating (which she was) because he was (which I felt was a good sign as it indicated he did not want to feel pressured). The lesson is that as a parent one should never let their guard down no matter the circumstances.

    Hopefully, long story shorter, my relationship with both my children are such that they are able to come and speak to me on any subject because our dialogue about anything and everything began when they where old enough to say Momma. It is because of this that I am so thankful that it worked..that my parenting from “the gut” worked. So after the 3 of us (my daughter, her boyfriend and myself) sat down, talked it all out, and when after alot of prayer and proactive doings we where blessed to have “dodged the bullet” and she was not pregnant. Needless to say I was MORE then shocked when only 2 wks after that the boyfriend begins a discussion with me about the possibility of birth controll pills for my daughter JUST IN CASE anything where to ever happen again…JIC!!! Because they where supposedly so scared out of their wits it surely would not happen again and yet 2 wks later I can’t believe my ears! I pride myself on not freaking out initially (on the outside!) because the minute you do you loose them, so I kept things cool and continued the conversation. He said she felt bad even bringing it up because of how hurt I was the last time but he thought it important enough that we should talk. After a lengthy discussion I assured him I would give it some thought and we would talk the next day. Needless to say, I wanted to curl up in a ball and wish it all away. She is my baby girl, at 15 yrs old has lost her innocence and it’s killing me..but what do I do? Do I take a chance and just say NO! No more sex, no birth control, and run the risk that they go ahead anyway?? Or do I try and protect her as best I can and get them…but will that be giving them “permission” to act out?? God help me…so after praying I came to Dr. Phil’s site :)

    After little sleep and alot of soul searching and prayer, I went yet again with my gut. I sat my daughter down and asked her in all honestly, if I had anything to worry about with the two of them experimenting with sex again in the future? She said no. And after a long conversation of my explaining why it is important I know the thruth, that although I do not want to put her on birth control pills that I further do not want her having unprotected sex, I realized….she WANTED me to say NO! SHE WANTED MY SUPPORT and I was giving it to her and it made her feel SAFE. She did not want to have sex anymore, she knew she was not ready for it physically, emotionally or spiritually and was mature enough to recognize it and tell me. She texted her boyfriend right then and there and told him that I decided against birth control pills and that there will be NO sex in the future and that if he would not respect that then they could no longer be together. MY heart wanted to explode with love and pride. He replied that he loved her too much to risk loosing her and that he would respect both of our decisions and that honestly the first experience was so scarey he was not so anxious to try it again either. PHEW!

    Now had I been the type of mother who allowed myself to be bullied out of fear heaven knows what the future would hold for my darling sweet daughter. I stood true to my morals, my heart, my head and most of all my gut! What I have learned amongst so many other things is that our children truely want us to step up and be their parent, make the hard decisions for them because they are not equipped to do it themselves. She needed me to be strong, and I was, and I thank God for the inner strength, wherever it came from cause I’m running on fumes lately. Lesson learned: BE your childs PARENT and make the TOUGH decisions FOR THEM…they NEED us to.

    Thank you for being there with all your wisdom Dr. Phil.

    Gratefully Yours,
    Mary M.
    Lawrenceville, GA.

  39. Kristin says:

    The use of birth control by young girls and teens is an ongoing debate. I am a true believer that the safest sex is no sex at all. However, in today’s society we live in an ongoing circle of peer pressure, a need to fit in, and a desire to be liked. This circle of events seems to urge girls to have sex at such a young and innocent age. While abstinence would be the more prefered option, reality is that many young girls ARE having sex. I feel that we need to have educational programs that inform young teens about sex and ways to protect themselves. The truth is many parents struggle at home to find the “right” way to talk to their children about sex. Many people are under the impression that if condoms and birth control are made available to young girls…they will be more likely to have sex. With peer pressure on the rise, chances are many girls are going to be placed in the situation of whether to have sex or not regardless of whether they were given access to birth control and condoms. The most important thing is to keep our youth and future leaders of America safe and protected. We have to trust that they will make the right decisions and we must be certain that we have provided them with the knowledge and products to be safe. It is my hopes that the young teens will realized the dangers and responsibilities that come with having sex, oral and regular. Safety and protection should be provided….and I think birth control can be a good thing. Unfortunately, times are changing…. and we must do something to protect the lives of our children, friends, and loved ones.

  40. Paradoxis says:

    Mary M, thankyou so much for your wonderful post! I really appreciated reading your story and how you handled the situation. I think it was marvellous what you said about realising that your daughter *wanted* you to say no, to protect her. Maybe that’s why it was the boy that came and talked to you about putting her on the pill instead of her coming to you with it? You’re obviously very clued in to your kids and “read” your daughter spot on. That was really an inspiration for me to read. Thankyou. :D

  41. Chuck says:

    I think to not have your teen on birth control is the most stupidist thing a parent can do. No matter if you’re religious or not, teens are not equiped to make decisions for themselves in many instances. And, when you’re coming into puberty and your adult parts start to develop, you’re tempted to test drives them. In the heat of necking and loss of sexual control, things can happen that could ruin a teens life.

  42. Anna says:

    I am 18 years old and i lost my viginity at 15. since then i have only been with one other guy and not because those relationships were both long term. I was taught growing up to respect myself enough not to sleep with every guy that looks my way. I am worth more than that and if a guy appriciates me and really cares he will wait. I was put on birthcontrol after my mom found out i was having sex and have been on it ever since. birth control doesn’t make teens have sex, lets face it, its gonna happen, i think parents need to open their eyes teens have sex! so talk to you kids regardless of how “awkward” it might be for you or them. i promise you i will sink in. i have to thank my parents for everything they have done for me. they have helped me to make the decisions i have made.

  43. Missy says:

    I firmly believe that talking to your children about sex is NOT just a one conversation meeting. It starts when they are young and it as far as my kids, its a conversation they know they can come to me anytime and ask me anything at all. I have 5 children ages 17, 13,11,6 and 4. My 17 yr old was old enough when I had the two youngest girls that she remembers how hard work it was in getting up 2,3 times a night, the days I didn’t get a shower till dad came home, etc. I have overheard her telling people, “Come stay at my house for a weekend, its birth control at its finest.” No we don’t just sit around talking sex but as a woman who grew up NEVER EVER hearing a word about sex from my father I knew that I wouldn’t allow history to repeat itself. My bio mom left at birth leaving my dad to raise my brother and I. Sex was NOT something we ever talked about. I will never forget my daughter, the now 17 year old coming to me and saying “Mom there really is no santa claus, is their?” Broke my heart that my daughter was growing up, etc. The very next day she comes to me and says, “Mom is oral sex when a woman sucks on a man’s $#$%$?” Whoaaaa Nellie, how did we go from Santa to oral sex all in a days time???? It was hard not to freak and go ballistic but after asking her where she got that, heard it, etc I explained it to her. Neither she nor my two boys that are 11 and 13 have ever felt uncomfortable coming to me asking questions about sex. We have discussed diseases, and if you have sex with someone you are essentially sleeping with every person that person has, and so on. I believe it starts young…you teach your children about respecting their body, its theirs and what is appropriate and what is not.Now many of my daughters friends come to me and ask ?’s, they say they are not able to talk to thier parents or their parents won’t discuss anything iwth them.
    Too many girls now days want to fit in and in order to fit in they have sex, and gloat about it. As a mother I have to make sure my kids know I believe in them, and that they own that body and it is to be respected at all times. I believe its all in the communication the parents have with their children. Do you know where they are, who they are hanging out with, etc. My kids know I check up on them if I feel the need to. My daughter is dating a young boy and we have discussed sex. I have told her I have NO problem putting her on bc if she needs it because I would much rather her protect herself than to have a baby and lose out on college and life. Just keep those communication lines open moms and dads. You will be amazed at how much you learn about your kids if you do!

  44. Cassandra says:

    It’s true, this whole thing about teens and birth control, sex and pregnancy is a very complicated issue. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what works best. I do think we should educate teenagers about sex and all the harmful consequences, so that although they do jump into it thinking it’s a big game (which happens 90% of the time with teens), at least they’ll know if anything happens, when it comes to STD’s and such.

    As for the talk given by the parents, it can work if done right. I was 9 years old when I first learned about sex, while also learning it was where babies came from. My entire childhood, where babies came from had never crossed my mind, at least not to my knowledge as of now, at least until my brother and I had the incorrect assumption as to how it was done! Funny times, I must say.

    So then my mom showed and read to us this book called “Where Did I Come From?”. It talks about the male and female anatomy and private parts. The book explained sex, how it felt, how the baby grew inside, how it was born, breast-feeding and whatnot. But it explained it in a child-oriented manner, since it was a children’s book, but it gave you a clear description on how it all worked. I truly recommend every parent to find this book (or one similar) and show it to their kids at a decent age. It was quite helpful!

    In high school, when I was in 9th grade, we did actually have a nurse from the nearby CLSC come and explain Sex Education to us in Biology class. I’ll admit I knew a thing or two at the time, but I did learn things I didn’t previously know.

    Honestly though, I learned more about sex through reading fan fiction stories. I was twelve when I read that one story that had sex content in it. It wasn’t graphic or anything hardcore, it was mildly descriptive and it featured two people truly in love. It wasn’t a “porn without plot”. But still, it was surprising that stories like that existed. I had no idea.

    So, we all have different ways about learning sex. How we act on it, whether or not we choose to, is up to us. It’s not just about what we learn or don’t learn, it’s about whether or not we go through with it.

    I am 19 years old, and I still am a virgin. And I must say I’m very proud of that. This is also to say I have never even dated, but that does not bother me in the least.

    In my opinion, 9 times out of 10, teenagers are just not ready for it. I think that if they are in a good relationship, have talked about it and know what to expect, then yes, why not? I’m not trying to control lives here, it’s only my thoughts.

    Me, however, I’m going to wait until I am least in a committed relationship before I take this step. If of course the first person I have sex with and I split up some time the road, all right, fine, no problem. But above all, sex is a truly wonderful and beautiful experience shared between two people in love, and it should be as such.

  45. Linette says:

    Birth Control Pills are not 100 percent effective!!!! My now pregnant dtr can testify to that!…

  46. Carol says:

    You know what makes really ill about these young girls giving up the one thing that God gave them for free they don’t take good care of them as they should if a boy says they love them they jump into any bed to show them they love them back.
    Where did they learn that from? It as though they feel that if they don’t give their body to these boys or girls that they won’t be able to keep them if that being the case go on your merry way and keep your body as it is your’s and nobody else’s.
    I wish I had that choice but I didn’t I was raped for nine (9) years by my brother-in-law from the age of twelve (12) through the age of twenty-one (21) for four days a week. I couldn’t say anything because he told me that if I spoke about what was happening to me he would kill my family starting with my mother and let me watch.
    I would wish everyday that I could die so I wouldn’t have to do what he wanted me to but I had no choice in the matter because I was always afraid that he would hurt my family. I never got with child because he knew what to do to make sure that would not happen and yet these boys and girls do it willing and don’t even think what might happen.
    When they do get with child the parents end up with all of expense knowing the girl or boy couldn’t afford to support the child and that is just not fair and that is the truth.
    I wish the girls would read this post and understand how important it is to keep their body for themselves until the are married and your husband will be there for them hopefully for a livetime.

  47. Carol says:

    I know that this might not have to do with what is being discussed here but I couldn’t find a place to put this so here I go.

    When I was having serious female problems when I was younger like extreme bleeding and being told that I would have to have all female organs removed I went to Health Food Store.

    And they recommended Utrophin from Standard Process Labs and by taking it I kept all of my organs for another ten (10) years before I had to have them removed but it made such a difference in my life. MY cycle would last me twenty-five days a month and it went back to normal five (5) days a week and it didn’t take to long at all. My doctor demanded to know what I was doing and I told him and his question to me “Who told me about that and told him it was none of his business. The next thing he told me was make sure I don’t tell to many women because he will lose to many surgical patients and I told him you had better be glad that I am not a man because his face would be through the wall.
    I hope that a lot of women read this post because I want to help as many women as possible.

  48. Carol says:

    I just want to correct something I said I meant to say five (5) days a month not what I said five (5) days a week.

  49. Tara says:

    I would like to make something clear.

    Being on Birth Control (I.E. the pill, or any other hormonal contraceptive), will NOT ruin your chances of having children.

    If you’ve stopped hormonal contraceptives and cannot have children, chances are, there is some other underlying medical issue that has always been present, but has never come to surface until you’ve tried to conceive.

    Yes, hormonal contraceptives CAN (and not necessarily will) cause problems, such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, etc., which is why it is important to visit your doctor regularly for check ups, and to know the signs of each. Nothing is fool-proof in this world.

    I know all of this, because I’ve worked in pharmacy for quite some time now, and I’ve done all the research. It alarms me that not very many people do the research before spouting opinions.

    On a lighter note, it is important to keep the channels of communication open between both parents (if available) and children about sex, and other adult situations. I’ve always had “the talk” with my mom, ever since I was a small child, and it has helped me make the right decisions for ME.

    Parents really cannot stop their children from having sex, but they can equip them with the pros and cons, real life situations, to help them make the right decision for them.

    All of you have very valid points, by the way. That’s just my take.

  50. Sue says:

    I can remember as a really little girl my mother telling me a story of a beautiful white dress hanging on a rack in a store. She said everyone who looked in the window of the store wanted this white dress, but as people came into the store and started to handle the dress or tried the dress on it got dirty and worn. She told me that I was like that white dress new and pretty now, but if I let people handle me like that white dress I would become as worn and unwanted as that dress. This story haunted me until my wedding day and on that day I knew exactly what she was telling me. I was that clean beautiful white dress! There were times when I wanted someone to touch that white dress, but everytime I thought about it, that DAMNED white dress popped into my head. I really love my mother for this story. It help a very young girl stay clean and untouched.

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