Monday, December 10, 2007

Sexual Abstinence

Sexual Abstinence

Does abstinence plus interventions reduce sexual risk behavior among youth? While few could argue with abstinence as a personal choice, there are serious questions about whether government promotion of abstinence should be a public health goal. Sexual intercourse is almost universally initiated during adolescence worldwide. I believe that programs that teach people how to have safe sex is better than abstinence.
According to data reported in a recent study of adolescents risk behavior, in 2003, 33% of ninth graders reported that they had experienced sexual intercourse, while the proportion of sexually active adolescents in the older grades increased by grade level: 44% of tenth graders, 53% of eleventh graders and 62% of twelfth graders (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003).

Everyday we see commercials about sexual abstinence programs. The question we should ask ourselves is “Are these programs really working among our adolescents?” I believe that most of us will answer a big NO to this question. Society is spending big sums of money in these programs but sadly it doesn’t work. The society is the first responsible of this failure because of the television, music, and internet that have strong sexual content and encourage kids and adolescents to practice sex. So, how can we expect sexual abstinence among our adolescents if we are the ones encouraging them to experiment sex?

To teach about sexual abstinence it is important to familiarize the adolescents with these terms. The term abstinence is referred to voluntarily choosing not to engage in sexual activity until marriage. Sexual activity refers to any type of genital contact or sexual stimulation with another person, but not limited to, sexual intercourse. Many adolescents suggest that having oral or anal sex maintain their abstinence status. A magazine survey of 15-19 year olds reported that 40% of respondents felt that oral sex was not “sex” (Seventeen Magazine, 2000).
Research has prooved the effectiveness of sexual abstinence programs. By age 20, 77% of young people in the U.S. have initiated sex. In Puerto Rico 17,000 of 60,000 of births annually are from mothers younger than 20 years old (Health Department of Puerto Rico, 2002).
As of this date United State has spent $1.5 billion promoting abstinence programs while no federal program regularly funds comprehensive sexuality education. This is about as good an example of theologically driven misappropriation of public funding as one could hope to find. Funding abstinence programs with public taxpayer money is wasteful simply because these programs don’t work a fact now confirmed by a number of studies.

The result of a research presented below demonstrates how programs of sexual abstinence are functioning among our adolescents.
The Table 1 demonstrates the results of a study collected from undergraduate students enrolled in three large survey courses offered by the Department of Public and Community Health at a large Mid-Atlantic University. Two courses were sections of a Human Sexuality course while the other was a Personal and Community Health course (Sawyer, Howard, Brewster-Jordan, 2007)
In the study a total of 282 undergraduate students participated. They were 161 females and 121 males in the study.
The Table 1 demonstrates that even undergraduate student at this date doesn’t know the real definition of abstinence. The problem is that they define sexual abstinence as everything that is not intercourse.

Table 1
College Students’ Perceptions of Sexual Behaviors That Could Be Practiced While Considering Oneself Abstinent.
Sexual Behaviors
Females (N=161)
Males (N=121)
99.4% (160)
99.2% (120)
* Penis touching vagina
32.9% (53)
33.9% (41)
* Penis penetrating vagina
3.7% (6)
2.5% (3)
* Mouth touching vagina
55.3% (89)
59.5% (72)
* Penis touching mouth
54.7% (88)
60.3% (73)
* Penis penetrating mouth
49.1% (79)
52.9% (64)
Your hand caressing someone else’s genitals
80.1% (129)
81.0% (98)
Someone’s hand caressing your genitals
88.8% (143)
90.1% (109)
# Mouth touching breasts
85.7% (138)
Masturbating yourself to orgasm
88.2% (142)
90.1% (109)
Someone masturbating you to orgasm
69.6% (112)
76.0 (92)
* Format of responses placed females as the “receivers”and males as the “givers”
# Question only asked to females

A situation where abstinence until marriage education is established without first clearly defining what is meant by abstinence is both futile and unethical, and attention must be placed on examining and rectifying the obvious discrepancies in behavioral references of adolescent sexual practices (Sawyer et al, 2007).
With this situation in mind adolescents are in risk of obtaining an illness from other practices that doesn’t involve intercourse, such as oral sex, because they believe it is sexual abstinence.

Sexual abstinence can reasonably be urged, but its promotion must be left to private individuals and groups. The Government should stay out of it. It is more effective to promote safe sex and educate adolescents about sex rather than promote sexual abstinence because in these days sex promotions are becoming a strong influence among adolescents. Parents should speak with their kids about sexual abstinence and safe sex. In the end, is their choice to choose how to act but we made our job on educating them about abstinence and safe sex.


Borawski, E; Trapl, E. (2005). Effectiveness of Abstinence-Only Intervention Middle School Teens. American Journal of Health Behavior. Vol 29. Issue 5.
Dwarkin, S; Santelli, J. (2007). Do Abstinence-Plus Interventions Reduces Sexual Risks Behavior Among Youth?. Plus Medicine. Vol 4. Issue 9.
Sawyer, R; Howard, D; Brewster-Jordan. (2007). “We didn’t have sex did we?” College Students’ Perceptions of Abstinence. American Journal of Health Studies. Vol 22. Issue I.
Waters, H. (2007). Opinion: Abstinence-Only: Wrong in Principle and Principle. Columbia Daily Tribune.
Time to Grow. Economist. (2007). Vol 384. Issue 8547.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Learning with Technology at an Early Age

Children are naturally curious, creative, in search of independence, persistent which will lead not only to explore how technology works but also how it fits into the world they live in. This is the perfect timing to provide them toys to help them learn about anything before they go to school. Technology has turn normal kids into e-kids. There are more toy companies that integrate technology into their toys to induce kids to read and learn without even knowing. By the age of three, a child can begin to use a computer and discovery-based software with the help of an adult.
Toy designers and engineers are working hard, creating the next generation of electronic learning devices for kids (Minkel W., 2003). Companies such as Leapfrog as the company that pioneered the smart-toy revolution and Fisher Price are integrating technology into their toys. These toys are made to teach children at an early age using technology. Many American children receive physically formatted e-books before they are able to walk, much less to read. Stores are filled with books masquerading as toys long before toddlers are entrusted with the traditional fragile medium of paper (Johnson C., 2006).
These books for children include embedded electronic chips, audiocassettes and discs, CD ROM’s and even video games. The electronic books can read aloud individual words, phrases, and stories, and provide animated cues to word meanings. With companies like LeapFrog leading the development of books “communication toys” for children, and providing “e-books for e-kids”, with its related puzzles, quizzes, and

Educational resources, it is unrealistic to believe that more sophisticated digital publications will not be demanded by children (Johnson C., 2006). This kind of learning teaches kids about multimedia communication with action and motion, and it helps them reinforce a variety of other skills, including critical thinking, literacy, interpersonal communication, public speaking and group decision making.
Research has demonstrated that kids learn better and retain more knowledge when they use well-designed interactive software no matter what its electronic platform (Minkel W., 2003).
The Table I demonstrate some of the electronic books that have been created an how they help develop several skills to our children.
These toys have prove to teach kids at an early age of literature, cultural history, mathematics, science, language and even reading and writing. It integrates characters such as Winnie the Pooh to increase the interest of the child and make it for them an entertainment rather than feel like they are learning and studying.
Because too much can become a problem we should control the use of technology for kids and most important always supervise them. Parents could use the time to create a better and solid relationship with their children. Parents should also let the child interact with other children and develop their skills in other things rather than technology.
The use of technology at this time starts early. As I said before we should take advantage of this to teach our children with technology at an early age.

Table 1

Subjects Taught
Disney Interactive
Winnie the Pooh: Toddler, Preschool, Kindergarten Phonic Quest
1 ½ to 6
Preschool/Kindergarten curricula
Knowledge Adventure
JumpStart: Languages, Explorers
Math Blaster: Cross Terrain Challenge
3 to 8
9 to 12
International cultures and languages, history logic, deductive reasoning.
The Learning Company
Reader Rabbit: Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade
3 to 8
Math language, thinking, creativity, life sciences.
MontParnasse Multimedia
SmartKids: Discovering Life, Touring Planets
8 to 12
Scholastic Software
I Spy: Treasure Hunt
6 to 10
Reading, math, thinking
School Zone Interactive
Interactive Work Books: Preschool Thinking Skills, Grade K, Alphabet
3 to 5
Matching, sequences, classifications, comparisons, patterns, problem solving, letters and sounds.

We can’t deny that technology is an integral part of our lives. Computers have become an invasive presence in our lives which leads us to discuss some of the implications. With the rise of electronic literacy supplementing traditional forms, librarians are in an ideal position to show the new generation of readers how content transcends form (His, S., 2007). Teachers are at all levels are being asked to move from traditional forms of instruction to multimedia and active learning. This has been a challenge for some of them because it means to reconstruct practically they way of teaching and start all over again.


Johnson, C.; Harroff, W. (2006). The New Art of Making Books. Library Journal. Vol 131. p 8-12.

Lew, Donald J; Jannone, Patrick V (1998). Exploring Literacy on the Internet. Reading Teacher. Vol 51. p468

His, S (2007). Conceptualizing Learning from the Everyday Activities of Digital Kids. International Journal of Science Education. Vol 29. p29.

Weissman, R. X (1999). Connecting with Digital Kids. American Demographics. Vol 21. p16.

Minkel, W (2003). Smart Toy Story. School Library Journal. Vol 29. p60.

Leap Frog Company

PC Magazine

Friday, November 16, 2007

Living together before getting married

Today it is almost expected that a couple will live together before marriage. I don’t believe in living together before marriage and in this essay I’ll explain why.
Studies had shown that living together before marriage holds risks to the longetivity and stability of the relationship, and to the happiness and welfare of those in it. Living together before marriage increases the risk of breaking up when it comes to living together. Research suggests that the quality of life for unmarried couples is for lower than for married couples. The most important reason of not leaving together before getting married if you want to really get married it is because living togethere mostly doesn’t lead to marriage.
The transition of living together and then get married it would be difficult because you will have a way of living and expect things when you get married that wouldn’t have because you lived with the person before.
Some think that by living together before marriage they would know if it really going to work. If the relationship doesn’t work they wouldn’t have to get a divorce and just simply separate. But then you will loose the essential feelings about marriage and when you do get married it won’t feel the same. Once you live together before married just to know if it would work you are predisposing the posibility of getting separated and won’t make the impossible to get things better when difficulties come.
Everybody has the priviledge of choosing what they want in life. But we should always consider our dignity and consecuences of our acts.
Love at first sight

The phrase ‘Love at first sight’is defined as an emotional condiciton whereby a person feels romantic attraction for another person on the first encounter with the person. The person may or may not be aware that the other person has any such notion, and may not even be aware of the other person’s presence. The term ‘love’in this phrase could be refered to an attraction or romantic feelings.
I believe in ‘love at first sight’as a physical attraction you feel towards another person but not as a romantic love that you feel from the first moment you see a person. It is impossible to have romantic feelings or fall in love at first sight with another person but it is possible to feel physical attraction or the desire to get to know a person once you see them.
Scientist who had study our brains activity say that ‘love at first sight’it is possible. But, I believe they refer love as an attraction or desire.

Authors from past times have made their interpretation on the phenomenon of ‘Love at first sight’. For example in Plato’s Symposium in Aristophanes’description of the separation of primitive double-creatures into modern men and women and their subsequent search for their missing half.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Technology as an ideal method of learning

It is better for students at school to learn using technology such as computers. Statistics had shown taht students retain more an learn better using technology. Most research on the use of technology for learning has looked for features that make more effective and efficient than instruction that does not incorporate technology. By using technology students understand better the material given in class because it could be a good visual instrument. The computers could provide examples of the material given in class and provide extra information.
Teachers could use diverse methods of teaching also so it doesn't have to be boring for the students because it can provide different skills other than text books or group work. Computers makes life easier because it does it all by itsel practically.
Computers gives the option to students to communicate with the teacher and other students at any time to discuss the material given in class, so it also provides human interaction. Teachers could also give material to students and homework outside the classroom.
Computers improves critical thinking skills and increase students interests.