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.
While most television shows and movies include casual sexual encounters, rarely are the lovers (and I use that term loosely) shown getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs, for short).
Some consequences of uncommitted sex make it to the big screen. Unexpected pregnancies have become an expected plot twist, thanks to movies like Juno and Knocked Up that center on the concept of an ill-timed conception. The emotional drama after a relationship turns sexual or a sexual relationship ends makes for interesting viewing (think 500 Days of Summer, Friends with Benefits, or Vanilla Sky). But STDs seem to be the unspoken, unexpected consequence.
There is little left to the imagination in most movies or television shows when it comes to sex. But STDs get little or no airtime. Sexually transmitted diseases are like the “he-who-must-not-be-named” character who never appears on screen.
This isn’t surprising. STDs don’t have any positive...