Psychological Self-Help

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control clinic, being unable to talk with our partner about sex and birth
control, having little interaction with our parents about sex, assuming
wrongly that you aren't going to have sex so there is no need to
prepare, having low self-esteem and low self-control, overlooking the
pleasures and gratitude of your partner when you use contraceptives,
Another crazy aspect of the sex scene is the single-minded focus
on intercourse, even when birth control is not available. Our anti-
masturbation attitudes seem to permeate all our sexual behavior. If a
wonderful sexual opportunity unexpectedly occurs and no
contraceptive is available, why not have "outercourse" (mutual
masturbation) rather than intercourse? It would be much more
considerate and loving (and even more likely to produce intense
pleasure for both). Outercourse doesn't produce babies but certain
STD's are still possible, especially if one has oral sex. Can you imagine
our supposedly sexually liberated society discussing these matters
Beyond changing our attitudes towards birth control, every young
person must learn to do very specific acts: (1) read at length about
contraceptives, (2) visit a drug store and look carefully at the birth
control methods and supplies, (3) role-play important situations
(should we have sex? how will we prevent pregnancy? what if a
pregnancy occurs? what will I say to Mom and Dad if I get pregnant?)
with a friend before the actual problem arises (see method #1 in
chapter 14), (4) learn about and actually practice, when appropriate,
using several birth control devices, such as condoms, diaphragms,
cervical caps, vaginal suppositories, sponges, Norplant, and an IUD,
and (5) discuss with a counselor which birth control methods you think
you would prefer for both preventing pregnancy and STD, and why.
Preventing unwanted pregnancies is one of our major responsibilities
in life. Don't sell it short; don't laugh it off. 
If we don't change, we will keep on having millions of unwanted pregnancies and
abortions, and we will continue the cycle of poverty and "poor babies having babies."
We need to improve our sex education in schools, in the home, and
in the media. An excellent reference for this is Byrne, Kelley, & Fisher
(1993). Research shows that the right kind of practical, realistic sex
education course can reduce unwanted pregnancies and does not
promote sexual activity (Fisher, 1990). It is foolish to believe that
realistically planning how to prevent babies and disease causes you to
have sexual intercourse. Rather, it is love, needs, and sexual attraction
that lead to sex (with or without protection). Hopefully, you will have
enough common sense to plan your sexual activities when your needs
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