Psychological Self-Help

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1036
alone touch panties. There are so many reliable and convenient
contraceptives available for about $30 a month that there should be
very few unwanted pregnancies. If you have trouble remembering to
use a contraceptive every time, consider Norplant ("the implants") or
Depo-Provera ("the shot"--there are some reports of bad side-effects).
Both deliver hormones that effectively prevent pregnancy for a few or
several weeks. Or, consider a reliable IUD. See Web sites below for
information about the risks of failure with each method. 
As stated above, a good rule would be for both sexual partners to
each assume responsibility for one contraceptive, so that two birth
control methods are always used, say a condom (with spermicide) and
the pill. I recognize this advice will not be taken by many but it should
be. About 60% of sexually active college students do not use birth
control at all or only occasionally. How stupid and inconsiderate!
Remember, college students with negative attitudes towards sex (and
the opposite sex?) use birth control even less than those with positive
attitudes. Conversely, a sexually responsible partner is more likely to
have a healthy, positive, thoughtful attitude towards sex. The failure
to use condoms is not due to intellectual ignorance, it is due to
psychological and sexual hang-ups (guilt and denial of reality and/or
responsibility) and a lack of consideration for others. Having
unprotected sex is very mean to the person with whom you are
gratifying yourself. 
Several Web sites provide information about birth control methods. See
(
information about birth control go to Planned Parenthood
(
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/bc/) or to National Women’s Health
Women assume men's sexual response is much greater than it is
and they minimize their own response. In women, sexual guilt
(resulting from taboos and religion), inhibitions, and morals seem to
be associated with a denial of one's own sexual arousal, e.g. when
watching erotic films or when petting. For guilt prone people, their
erotic arousal is greater than they realize. Thus, there may be some
truth in the old joke, "Religion doesn't stop you from sinning, but it
sure keeps you from enjoying it!" Guilt may also keep you from being
safe too. Don't let fear and shame (or uncontrolled horniness)
dominate your good sense about birth control. 
We are uninformed about sex
Beyond guilt, denial of sexual intentions, and avoidance of
contraceptives, we are astonishingly misinformed about sex as well.
Only one third of young mothers knew when during their menstrual
cycle they could get pregnant. Almost 10% of 15 to 19-year-old
women think they are too young or have sex too infrequently to get
pregnant. Wow! Some people believe they can't get pregnant if the
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