Saturday, March 8, 2008

basic question about sex

During my undergrad years I had the pleasure to instruct college peers on topics involving sexual health. The instructional sessions were very basic. Much of what I would teach was information that could be found easily on the internet – things like birth control, sexually transmitted infection (STI’s), testicular cancer and pap exams. In one occasion, however, I was asked to define what a “healthy sexually active adult” means, and identify obstacles to achieving such status. To my surprise I had a difficult time in giving an adequate answer. So I took some time to ponder the question, and here is my two cents:

in Africa and Indonesia the mutilation and closing of vaginas in female youth to ensure virginity at marriage).
3. Religious taboos (i.e. the catholic church’s stance on birth control)
4. Peer pressure to loose virginity
5. Inadequate resources to obtain proper contraceptives.
6. Psychologically unstable sexual partner(s), or abusive relationships
7. Lack of awareness of STI’s, and lack of knowledge about existing FDA approved contraceptives
8. Social and/or civil conflict (i.e. sex trade)

Someone who is socially, emotionally and physically healthy is likely to be a sexually healthy individual. More specifically, a healthy sexually active adult ought to embody the following characteristics:

1. Practice safe, requited sex with the mutual consent of a partner
2. Practice proper, daily hygiene
3. Abstain from harmful sexual activities…
4. Hold an awareness of different sexual practices and alternatives along with a heightened awareness of available legal contraceptives
5. Maintain and uphold their values concerning sexuality by establishing guidelines or ground rules with partner(s), regarding sexual activities
6. HAVE FUN! Well, this in not a requirement per se…

Individuals can experience obstacles to a sexually healthy lifestyle. These obstacles may be complex in nature, and are important to identify -

1. Forced sexual activity; AKA “rape”
2. Cultural taboos (i.e.

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