Is there any connection between pornography, STDs and unplanned pregnancy?

Last month was Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (among other designations).  Efforts were focused on reducing the number of teens facing unplanned pregnancies – a number that has declined significantly in recent years.  This is a good thing, but focusing solely on pregnancy prevention, while overlooking other painful consequences of the misuse or too-early use of sex hurts young adults in the long run.

Typically pregnancy is only a possibility three to six days a month for the average female. But STDs – sexually transmitted diseases or infections (STIs) – can be acquired any day of any month that a guy or girl is sexually active.  And the effects of STDs can be as life-altering as pregnancy, with no upside at all – unlike pregnancy, which results in people like you and me! Lighthouse offers free testing for the two bacterial STDs most commonly found in young adults.

Another often overlooked negative consequence is addiction to pornography.  At first glance, pornography use might seem to offer a way to avoid both unwanted pregnancy and STDs.  But that first glance leads to another, and another . . . and eventually your ability to connect with real people in healthy ways is crippled.

When we ask teens in high school classes to name some good things about sex, one common answer is, “It brings you closer to your partner.”  Yes, it does – physically speaking, anyway.  But the physical act of sex may not bring you closer emotionally, especially if you haven’t done the hard work of getting to know your partner, and being vulnerable so she or he knows you.  Pornography never brings you closer to a real person. It actually puts distance – literally and figuratively – between you and your partner or future spouse.  It may even create distance between you and your friends.

These negative consequences of pornography are connected to how our brains are wired for oneness.  Neurochemicals like dopamine and vasopressin released in men during sex help bond them to their partners, and in particular, to who they are looking at during sex.  If the “who” happens to be a fake image, and not a flesh and blood person, bonding still takes place – but not to a “real” partner.  And the bonding and arousal processes at work are addictive – drawing the participant further away from real-life relationships, while creating unrealistic expectations for future partners.

New studies report that one out of every three men ages 18 to 25 are now experiencing some form of sexual dysfunction, due to porn consumption.  Some of these young men may even lose interest in real life sexual relationships all together. 1

Of course, avoiding relationships with real people does prevent unplanned pregnancy. But fortunately, there are healthier and wiser ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies and STDS than pornography use.  The plan that protects your body, your heart and your relationships with others, involves saving sex for the one partner you commit to for life.


1 Sexual dysfunctions among young men:  prevalence and associated factors (2012). J z Health

Christmas Center Hours

Please take note of  our special center hours for the upcoming 2015 holiday season.

For Christmas, Lighthouse will be closed on Thursday Dec 24, Friday Dec 25 and Saturday Dec 26. The Prep Shoppe (formerly the Exchange Room) will also be closed on Saturday Dec 26.

For New Years, Lighthouse will be closed on Thursday Dec 31, Friday Jan 1 and Saturday Jan 2. The Prep Shoppe (formerly the Exchange Room) will also be closed on Saturday Jan 2.

Have a blessed Christmas season!

Modified Hours for Week of September 7th

Lighthouse staff will be attending the national CareNet Conference next week and our centers will be operating on a slightly modified schedule.  Appointments are still available during the week and we look forward to serving you.  All 3 Lighthouse locations will be closed on Monday, September 7th, in observance of Labor Day.  Below please find the hours each center will be open for the week of September 7th – 12th.  Center hours will return to normal beginning September 14th.

Hawthorne:
Monday: Closed, Labor Day
Wednesday: 10am-4pm
Thursday: 10am-6pm

Hackensack:
Monday: Closed, Labor Day
Tuesday: 8:30am-2pm
Wednesday: 8:30am-12:30pm
Thursday: 2pm-8pm
Friday: 8:30am-12:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am-12:30pm

Paterson:
Monday: Closed, Labor Day
Tuesday: 12pm-2pm
Friday: 8:30am-1pm

Please note that there are limited ultrasound appointments available as two of our sonographers will be at the training.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

Centers Closed – Tuesday Jan 27, 2015

Due to the anticipated storm and wintry weather, Lighthouse centers in Hawthorne and Hackensack are closed today.  We will reopen on Wednesday, January 28.  If you would like to schedule an appointment for either center, you may email help@lighthouseprc.org or text us at: 201-677-2394.  We look forward to providing free, confidential services to assist you at this challenging time in your life.