Psychological Self-Help

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of 10 use protection. The most used methods with teenaged women
are the pill (44%) and condoms (38%). Please note: Condom use is
strongly influenced by talking openly about it. If you don't talk to your
partner about using a condom or contraceptive, you are 50% less
likely to actually use one. Likewise, in turn, the teens who never or
only rarely talk to their parents about sexual issues are four times less
likely to talk to their sexual partners about condom use (study done by
Richard A. Crosby ( in the March issue of
Health Education and Behavior). This underscores the importance of
parents talking frankly and in some detail with their teenager,
especially daughters--teens need practice talking about sex, condoms,
the pill, and such. Only 1 in 6 teenaged women used two methods,
such as both the pill and a condom; even that doesn't provide certain
protection against STD. Every year 15%-20% of sexually active teens
get pregnant (85% unintended). When they get pregnant, about 14%
miscarriage (1/3 do not get adequate care), 30% to 35% have an
abortion, and 55% have a baby. 
It is really tough to have a baby as a teenager (much harder than
many of them believe). Most drop out of school; 90% will be
abandoned by the teenaged father of the child. It is almost impossible
to hold a full-time job and care for a new baby too, even if the father
and the family help out. If these teenagers get married (only 10%
marry the real father), it often doesn't last. Many are miserable; they
wanted love but a baby takes love, not gives it. The suicide rate is
high among teenage mothers (Masters, Johnson & Kolodny, 1985).
The U.S. Center of Disease Control recently (2002) disclosed an
appalling fact: your chance of being murdered on the first day of your
life is 10 times greater than on any other day! And on that day, your
murderer is likely to be your mother! The risk of infanticide on day 1
goes up if Mom is a teenager, has had mental illness, and delivers you
outside of a hospital. Teenage pregnancy is a horrendous social and
personal problem, in contrast to the sentimental anti-abortion TV ads
that explicitly say unplanned pregnancies are wonderful. Get real! 
About 25% to 30% of all adult women in this country--single,
married or divorced--have had an abortion (Janus & Janus, 1993). It is
a preventable trauma. But, did you know that both the anti-abortion
movement and the pro-choice movement have avoided encouraging
birth control? Wouldn't birth control solve the abortion problem? Of
course, but the two major movements have gotten so absorbed in a
futile argument over whether abortion is murder or a woman's right,
the run-away accidental production of unwanted children is neglected.
Why do I say it is a futile argument? Because it is based entirely on
religious definitions and beliefs--on ideas that can not be proven right
or wrong, just opinions. (It is good to have your own beliefs and to live
by them, but don't try to force others to follow your arbitrary beliefs.)
While closed-minded zealots preach their self-righteous religious
doctrine, elected government, health, and school officials timidly
placate the over-emotional religious pontificators. People are politically
afraid to advocate birth control. The result: millions of American
women have unwanted pregnancies. It may surprise you but about
30% of all Protestant and Catholic women have had at least one
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