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Scott Phelps Sam ple Copy Aspire is designed to help you think through some of the most important decisions in your life. Specifically it is designed to help you resist the many pressures pushing you toward sexual activity by making wise choices and decisions today. Aspire is about learning to resist the power of the present and choosing instead to pursue your future freedom. If this is your desire Aspire can help to strengthen your resolve to set your course. If youre not sure what you should do Aspire can help you in considering this very important decision. PANTONE293 Sam ple Copy Acknowledgments Thanks to the following individuals for sharing their true stories. These stories are intended to help students understand the real world implications of their daily choices. Each person listed below willingly shared their personal story for the benefit of todays teens. Special thanks to Ty Renee Gooch Chapter 1 Tina Marie Holewinski Chapter 4 Eric Allen Chapter 4 Katie Thompson Chapter 5 Cori Moschberger Chapter 6 Gina Harris Chapter 7 Rick Barbara Wise Chapter 7 Rashida Jolley Chapter 8 To schedule Aspire author Scott Phelps to speak at your event contact Thanks also to Robb Hansen of Next Level Insights for management and project assistance Stan Burkat for graphic editing Annika Shultz for graphic editing Virginia Nurmi Gina Harris and Cori Moschberger for concept and text editing Donna Berg for text editing Lisa Rue for providing program theory analysis and suggested revisions Josh Sosa and Rob Harris for sharing illustrations and activities Most importantly thanks to Carrie Jennifer Megan Jonathan and Matthew Phelps for their love and support. Our Commitment to Excellence AMResourcesseekstoprovidehighqualityabstinenceandmarriageeducationresources.Allmaterials publishedbyAMResourcesareregularlyupdatedandreprintedtoprovidethebestandmostrecentdata available. AMResourceswelcomesallfeedbackandsuggestionsinordertoimprovematerialsforfuture editions. Please send comments or data for consideration to Sam ple Copy To aspire is to dream. It is to believe that tomorrow can be better than today. It is to pursue great goals for your future andtomakethewisechoicesthatarenecessary to get you there. Aspire. Live your life. Be free. 1. Living Life On Purpose................................................5 Considering your future. 2. Standing Strong.......................................................... 15 Resisting pressures. 3. Thinking Ahead........................................................... 25 Choosing to be free. 4. Protecting Your Mind................................................ 35 Taking control of the media. 5. The Power of Self-Control....................................... 45 Building your character. 6. Marriage Rocks............................................................ 55 Looking forward to your future. 7. Making A Fresh Start................................................ 65 Letting go of the past. 8. The Big Picture............................................................. 75 Life is short. Live well. PANTONE293 Sam ple Copy All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. Gandalf Fellowship of the Ring r Sam ple Copy Considering Your Future Living Life on Purpose Sam ple Copy 6 Planning for the future is one of the best things that you can do to accomplish your future goals and dreams. Discovering Your Purpose Everyonehasadifferentpurposeinlife.Althoughthereareoversixbillionpeoplein the world at this moment no two people are exactly alike. Everyone is different. People have different skills talents and abilities. People have different interests personalities and temperaments. Every person is unique and every person has a different purpose in life. What about you Whats your purpose What are your dreams Your purpose and plan wont be written in the sky. It will come about as the result of making a plan for your life and then staying committed to it. It has been said that People dont plan to fail they fail to plan. 1. How much thought have you given to planning your future Have you ever thought about making a plan for your life Yes No If some one were to ask you what you wanted your life to be about what would you say 2. Now is the time to think about what you would like to do with your life. If you could do anything in the world what would you do Without a plan for the future people often press ahead in life without really knowing where theyre going. Years later they are discontent discouraged and unsure of what their life is all about. It is especially important to begin thinking through your plan for the future now during the teen years before launching out into adulthood. Sam ple Copy 7 Looking Forward 1. Your life is like a blank piece of paper. Now is your chance to write your dream. How do you picture your future How would you like it to be In the spaces below write some one-word descriptions of what you would like to see in your future. List your greatest hopes goals and dreams. 2. Will it be easy for you to accomplish your future goals and dreams If you are serious about having a meaningful and fulfilling life what are some things you will have to do to make it happen 3. Are you planning to go to college Yes No If yes do you know which one If no what are your plans 4. If you are hoping to get married and have a family someday do you have an idea of what you would like your family to be like Describe Sam ple Copy 8 Life Hike 1. Think of your life as a hiking trip through the Rocky Mountains.Youve got a number of peaks to climb as you go through life and each one represents opportunities and accomplishments. On the series of mountains below put a mark on the spot where you are now. How much of your life is behind you and how much is ahead 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 2. Consider your present location.What is the significance of where you are right now How far along this hike will your life take you Will everyone make it to that last mountain or beyond Will you make it to the end Life is short. It is important to choose wisely what you will do with your life and how you will spend your days. 3. Look over the six time periods represented by the mountains above and think about the major life decisions that will take place during each of them.Which mountain would you say represents the most important period of time for you to be thinking about now and why Sam ple Copy The Critical Moment 1. As you stand at the base of the second mountain or time period consider the significance of the decisions that you will make between the ages of 15 and 30. Make a list of the major decisions and events that will take place during this period and write them on the mountain at right. 2. As you stand at the base of this second mountain consider that by the end of this time period you will probably have made many or all of the most important decisions in your life. In light of this how important are the decisions you will make now and over the next few years My choices now will have no effect on my future. My choices now will have some effect on my future. My choices now will have a significant effect on my future. 3. Ages 15 to 20 represent thecritical momentof your life.What specifically is the relationship between decisions made between ages 15 and 20 and the opportunities you will have between ages 20 and 30 4. Looking at the mountains in the diagram on the preceding page what would you say is the most significant difference between the first and second time periods in your lifeWhy is this important to consider 15 20 25 30 The valley between the first and second mountain is steep and the river running through it is difficult to cross. Some get caught in the current. Others slip on the rocks. Successfully crossing the valley of these transition years is critical in protecting your future. Where are you in this transition Have you felt the current of the river Stepped on the sharp rocks Are you making it across Do you have a plan to make it across the river If so what is it If not what should it be The Future is Now This is the best possible time in your life to consider some of the most important decisions you will ever make. Everyone has times when critical choices and decisions must be made.That time is now. Its not enough to just think about your future. Now is the time to do something about it to prepare for your future no matter what others might think or say. Now is the time to resist the pressures to look only at today and to look instead at your future and where youre going with your life. 9 Sam ple Copy 10 Pressed on Every Side 1. Although the importance of making good choices and decisions for the future may be clear there is constant pressure from every side to compromise and make poor choices. Using one-word descriptions identify some of the negative pressures teens face that could significantly compromise their future. Negative Pressures 2. Which of these negative pressures do you think have the greatest potential to keep a person from accomplishing his or her plan for the future One of the pressure spots that causes many people to miss out on their plan for the future is the pressure to be sexually active before marriage. Fortunately increasing numbers of teens are realizing that choosing to resist this pressure provides significant benefits and greatly increases their chances of achieving their future goals and dreams. Even those who have been sexually active in the past are realizing that its never too late to start over again and are now choosing abstinence for their future. 1 3. What is abstinence If someone at your school were to ask you what abstinence means how would you explain it Sam ple Copy 11 Considering the Benefits of Abstinence In reference to sexual activity Abstinence is choosing to save all sexual activity for marriage. Sexual activity includes any type of genital contact or sexual stimulation. Abstinence is the only sure way to protect your body mind and heart from the various consequences of premarital sexual activity. Abstinence is the safest healthiest lifestyle and one of the best ways to prepare for a healthy future marriage. 1. Why is it important to have a clear understanding of whatabstinencemeans 2. Consider the three key components of the abstinence definition above Choosing Abstinence is described as a choice. Whose choice is it and why is this an important part of the definition SexualActivity Why does abstinence refer toall sexual activity Marriage Why is abstinence defined as untilmarriage 3. Do you believe it is possible for someone who has already been sexually active to still choose abstinence Yes No Not sure Abstinence is an option for everyone whether or not you have been sexually active in the past. If youve already chosen abstinence for yourself Aspire will encourage you to remain committed to that decision by giving you practical and helpful guidance in this area. It can also help you be an encouragement to others who might be wondering what they should do. This is thecritical moment. The decisions you make now will likely shape your life for years to come. The high school years are a time when the pressure is the greatest and sexual activity has the potential to take your life in a very different direction than you ever imagined. Resisting pressures toward sexual activity is one of the best things you can do to keep your life on track and to accomplish your future goals and dreams. Sam ple Copy 12 Worth the Wait T y G o o c h Igrew up in an affluent suburban culture. I was high school homecoming king a star football player basketball player and track athlete. After reviewing a number of college scholarships I attended Northwestern University where I played on the football team. My first year on the team we were undefeated in the conference and went to the Rose Bowl against USC. College life was much of what I dreamed it would be and yet I also had to make some of the toughest decisions of my life. Iwasinnewspapersandmagazines.Iwasonthefrontcoverofanewspaperco-headliningwithMichaelJordanandourteamwasontheWheaties box. The pressure all around me got pretty crazy. Girls would tell my friends that they wanted to be with me. If I would go out with a girl the guys I knew would encourage me to do as much as she would let me if I got the chance and the chance was almost always there. Women were even daring each other to go out with me and women would tell me over and over againno commitment has to be involved we can just have a little fun. AttimesIthoughtIwasmakingamistakebynotgivingin.WhatwasImissingoutonIwondered.Butsomethinginsideofmejustkeptsayinghold on it will be worth it stand strong. I kept thinking that women arent justsomethingto have fun with but that every woman I went out with was someones daughter or sister and would one day be someones mom and someones wife. I would think about the fact that one day I would have daughters and how guys would treat them or try to take advantage of them. I wanted to be able to tell my daughters or sons if I had them that I wasthekindofguywhorespectedwomenandsavedmyselffortheirmother.Iwouldthinkabouthowsomeotherguywastreatingmyfuturewife and sometimes get upset to think he could be treating her poorly. One of the only things I could do to make a difference was to treat women the way they deserved to be treated by helping them meet their husbands in the same manner that I wanted to meet my wife So I did. To be clear I was fully attracted to women and I went on plenty of dates with some wonderful women. Through it all it was my commitment to my future wife who I hadnt even met yet that helped me to make the only choice I knew I should make. I didnt know the statistics about STDs or pregnancy and I didnt care. I wasnt planning on putting myself in a situation where I would be at risk for any of that. And even though some of the guys loved to make fun of me when I didnt take advantage of the girls I reminded myself that these were the guys who already had children and werent even taking care of them. They left the women to go it alone. To them there wasnt anything special about marriage it was never part of the picture. I wanted something different something greater for myself. Fortunately I made it through thatcritical momentof my life. I was able to resist the pressures and to save myself for my future wife. Although the pressure was steady I found that the more I used self-control and resisted the pressure the stronger my ability became to resist that pressure. Sam ple Copy 13 When I finally met Renee the woman who would become my wife I was able to tell her I had saved myself for her. She knew she could trust me because I had waited my whole life just for her. Now that we have been married for a number of years and have belonged only to each other we have a relationship more special and intimate than any other relationship we have ever had.We have two beautiful little girls and we are so thankful that we were able to make it through those challenging years. We have had the joy of starting a family together and we wouldnt wish for anything else. If Renee and I made it I know you can make it too. Choose for yourself friends who support you and exercise self-control. By building your character and exercising self-control you will build a solid foundation for your future. What are some of the reasonsTy gives for choosing abstinence Ty said he was fortunate to make it through thecritical moment. What did he mean by that How could thatmomenthave changed his life What do you think ofTys decision Do you think that Renee was glad that he turned down the pressures from other women Yes No Do you think that she respects him more or less because of his decision and why Affirmation 1 I will live my life with a sense of purpose. Sam ple Copy 14 Talking It Over This section is designed for parents to review and discuss the chapter with their student. Parents may want to answer these questions on a separate sheet and compare answers with the student. 1. Consider your goals for the future. How would you summarize in a sentence or two your hopes for your future 2. On a scale of 1-10 how much do you think decisions made in the teen years affect a persons future 1 None 10 A lot 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3. Of all the events that will take place in your life between ages 15 and 30 which do you think are most important page 9 4. Why are ages 15 to 20 considered thecritical momentof your life p. 9 and what are some of the important decisions you will have to make during this time ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 5. What is the relationship between choosing abstinence and protecting your future _________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ _______________________________________________ 6. Why do you think that increasing numbers of teens are choosing abstinence1 ______________________________________________ _____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ Sam ple Copy Standing Strong Resisting Pressures Sam ple Copy 16 Planning Ahead 1. Accomplishing your goals and dreams requires that you stand strong against the many pressures that threaten to push you off course. On page 10 you listed a number ofnegative pressures. Do you suppose that these pressures are likely to increase or decrease during the college years As youre planning ahead for your future why is it especially important to figure out how to deal with powerful negative pressures sooner rather than later in your life 2. How do you make decisions when youre hanging out with a group of friends I normally do what I think is best no matter what my friends think or say. I normally do whatever my friends do. 3. Can you think of a recent decision you made in which you took a position different than the rest of your friends If so what was it 4. Do you have a plan for handling pressure situations If so what is your plan 5. Why is it important to have a plan for handling pressure situations ahead of time rather than waiting to see how things go when youre out with your friends Sam ple Copy 17 Dont Be There 1. If a friend invited you to a party and you went and saw people drinking alcohol what would you do Stay at the party because you dont think it will have a negative influence on you. Stay at the party and not worry about the alcohol because youre not going to be drinking anyway. Leave the party. Explain your reasoning One of the best ways to protect yourself from negative influences is to avoid pressure situations in the first place. By making smart decisions you can reduce your risk of being pressured into doing things that can harm you. 2. If alcohol is available at a party how likely is it that each of the following would also occur 1 Not likely 10 Highly likely Smoking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Drugs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Sexual activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Violence 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Explain Many teens who become sexually active dont plan for it to happen especially girls. Instead they are often pressured into it against their will. In fact over seventy percent of girls under the age of eighteen who have had sex either didnt want it to happen or had mixed feelings about the encounter. Avoiding high risk environments such as those where drugs and alcohol are used is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid pressure toward sexual activity.1 Most girls under the age of 20 who have had sex either didnt want it to happen or had mixed feelings about the encounter.1 Sam ple Copy 18 Teen Pregnancy When pressured into sexual activity there are a number of potential consequences including pregnancy. As more teens choose abstinence rates of teen pregnancy continue to decline. However there are still approximately 2000 teen pregnancies each day in the United States.2 Children born to unmarried teenage mothers face high hurdles in seeking to keep up with their peers in virtually every area of life and are more likely to live in poverty than children born to a married mother and father. If a girl becomes pregnant and shes not married what are her options and what issues will she will faceWhat about his issues Who else is affected Use the table to indicate her options and the issues faced by each person. 1. 2. 3. Nearly all teens surveyed 90 believe that young people should be taught about abstinence. A large majority of teens 84 believe that young people should be taught to be married before they have a child. 3 Options Her Issues His Issues Others Affected Teen Pregnancy There are approximately 2000 teen pregnancies per day in the U.S. Two-thirds of these 1301 are college-age teens 18-19 years old.2 Although each of these options have various consequences adoption can be a positive option and may provide significant benefits for the mother father child and adoptive family. Sam ple Copy 19 The Whole Person 1. Teen pregnancy is one of the most recognizable consequences of sex before marriage but it is not the only possible outcome. The consequences of sexual activity can be wide ranging and long lasting. What are some of the undesirable side-effects of sex before marriage List some of the unintended consequences in the boxes below. 2. Could these consequences affect a persons future Yes No If so which ones 3. What aboutsafer-sex Circle the consequences above that can be completely eliminated by using condoms or other contraception. 4. What is the best way to avoid these consequences FinancialSocial Emotional Mental Physical My Life Physically Mentally Financially Socially Emotionally Sam ple Copy 20 The Safe Place Where does marriage fit in this discussion of sexual activity If someone were to ask you to explain why marriage is important what would you say Marriage serves as a protective barrier around a relationship. Its like being at home by the fire on a cold rainy day. Inside the house you can play games roast marshmallows in the fireplace drink hot chocolate and have fun. Its possible to do these things outside of the house but youre exposed to the elements youre not protected. Marriage is like that house. It provides protection from the elements the consequences of sex that can change your life forever. In marriage two individuals join together sharing all they have physically mentally financially socially and emotionally. Marriage is a unique and exclusive relationshipinwhichgenuinecommittedloveisexpressed. Abstinenceisntaboutnothavingsexitsaboutsavingsexforthecontextofmarriage where it is safe and protected. Marriagenotonlyprovidesasafe-placeforthecouplebutforthecoupleschildrenaswell.Alargeamountofscientificdataconfirmsthatmarriage provides physical mental financial social and emotional benefits for children and increases the likelihood that they themselves will enter into a stable marriage 4 Knowing what to do when it comes to sexual activity isnt as complicated and mysterious as society makes it seem with endless magazine articles on How to know when youre ready. The only question you really need to ask isAm I married If you can answer that question you will know what to do. Financial Social Emotional Mental Physical Physical Mental Financial Social Emotional His Life Physically Mentally Financially Socially Emotionally Her Life Physically Mentally Financially Socially Emotionally Marriage Two become One The box represents the protective barrier of marriage In marriage two lives are joined together. This represents the safe-placefor sex. Most negative consequences of sex take place outside of the box. This is where sex is unsafe and unprotected. Sam ple Copy 21 Resisting Pressures Although avoiding pressure situations is the best defense against negative influences it is not always possible to do so. For this reason it is important to know how to handle a pressure situation when youre in it. There are three steps that can help you to resist pressures from others. This applies to both one-on-one and group situations. Makeyourplan. Know in advance what you will do before even leaving your house. Sayyourplan. Tell the other person or group what you will not do. Doyourplan. Ifyouarepressuredtogosomewhereyoudontwanttogoordosomethingyoudontwanttodoyourbestchoiceistoleave. Practice. Writeoutsomeideasofwhatyoucouldplansayanddotoresistpressure. Wouldyousaythat youaremorelikelytoinfluenceyourfriendsattitudesandbehaviorsorthat yourfriendsaremorelikelytoinfluenceyourattitudesandbehaviors Whyisthisimportanttoconsider Having a clear plan to follow and sticking with it can help you to avoid or escape from negative pressure situations. Make a plan. Know where you wont go and whatyouwontdo. Haveanexitstrategycell phone money for taxi a way to leave. Say what you believe. If you dont want to go somewhere or do something make that known. Be clear. Be firm. Stick to your plan. If the pressure continues after saying what you believe use your exit strategy leave. Plan it Say it Do it Plan it Say it Do it Sam ple Copy 22 Shanes Big Test A T rue S tory Shane andTammy began going out in the summer between high school graduation and college. One evening after they had been going out for several months Shane went over toTammys apartment.When he arrived he was surprised to find that her roommate Susan wasnt home meaning that Shane andTammy would be alone in the apartment that evening. 1. What should Shane andTammy do in this situation 2. Shane stayed in the apartment withTammy and thats when it happened. Shane andTammy faced a test.This would turn out to be one of the most important nights of their lives. Shane had gone out with other girls beforeTammy but had never been sexually active.Tammy told Shane that if they really loved each other they should have sex and she began to pressure him. What would you do if you were in this situation 3. What question should Shane ask himself in order to know what to do 4. How important do you think this decision would be for Shane andTammy regarding their future whether together or as individuals Not too important Very important Life-changing important 5. Although Shanes body was telling him one thing his heart and mind were telling him another. Because of his respect for Tammy he didnt have to think about it very long. Shane toldTammy that he would not do it and left for home.That was the end of their relationship.What do you think about Shanes decision Did Shanes actions demonstrate strength or weakness Explain Sam ple Copy 23 6. About two months later Shane found out thatTammy was already pregnant on the night she was pressuring him to have sex with her.What do you think was going on withTammyWhat do you suppose she was trying to do 7. What reason didTammy give to Shane to justify having sex 8. If Shane had given in to the pressure from his girlfriend that evening do you think it would have affected the future direction of his life and a potential future marriage Yes No Explain 9. If you were being pressured toward sexual activity which of the following would provide the best foundation upon which to make your decision How old I am. What my friends say. Whether or not Im in love. Whatever I learn onTV. Whether or not Im married. How I feel at the time. 10. Why is it better to make important decisions based on facts rather than feelings Affirmation 2 I will resist negative pressures in order to accomplish my future goals. Sam ple Copy 24 Talking It Over This section is designed for parents to review and discuss the chapter with their student. Parents may want to answer these questions on a separate sheet and compare answers with the student. 1. Would you say you are more likely to try tofit inor tostand outat your school Fit in Stand out Because 2. Ask your parent for a time when they had tostand outwhen it would have been easier for them tofit in. 3. Why is it important to think ahead about how you will react in a pressure situation 4. What role do you believe your parents have in helping you to make the right decision 5. What are some of the reasons that teens may choose to save sex for marriage beyond the common concerns of physical issues such as pregnancy and STDs 6. How does choosing abstinence demonstrate maturity Sam ple Copy Thinking Ahead Choosing to be Free Sam ple Copy 26 Tomorrow Begins Today Although its true that sexual activity may cause immediate consequences that are clearly identifiable other consequences may be less obvious or maynotevenshowupforyears. Understandingabstinenceisunderstandingthatyouonlyhaveonelifeandthatthefoundationforwhatyourlife will become in the future is being prepared now by the choices and decisions that you make on a daily basis. It is about understanding that your future begins today. The challenge in thinking ahead is that we live in a culture that is constantly telling us to live for today and forget about tomorrow. The consistent message is that there are no long-term consequences for our actions. For example a popular ad says What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. 1. What does this mean What are they saying to you 2. Would you describe this slogan as True or False Because Its easy to focus on the here and now without realizing the long-term significance of decisions that are made on a daily basis. In many ways choosing abstinence is a matter of seeing your life in its full context. Its about stopping and thinking about where each days decisions will eventually lead you. What kind of person do you want to become What kind of life do you want to have Now is the time to be making these decisions because tomorrow begins today. The fact is what happens in Vegas doesnt stay in Vegas. What happens at the party doesnt stay at the party. Your daily decisions can have life-altering consequences. One of the most significant long-term consequences of sexual activity before marriage is the very real possibility of contracting an STD. Sam ple Copy 27 Non-Viral ST Ds Chlamydia Gonorrhea Syphilis Trichomoniasis These diseases typically have no outward symptoms. Although they can be cured they often remain in the body undiagnosed and uncured. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are particularly troublesome for teen girls because they are able to move through the reproductive system possibly causing pelvic inflammatory disease. This disease can scar the fallopian tubes and prevent or hinder passage of the egg which may causeinfertility.AlthoughtheinitialSTDcanbecuredthedamagedone to the persons body remains.234 Viral ST Ds HPV Herpes II Hepatitis BC HIVAIDS These diseases cannot be cured. In the case of some viral STDs such as HPV a persons immune system may or may not be able to suppress the virus. In other cases such as genital herpes the virus typically requires medication in order to suppress outbreaks. Ads onTV for herpes medication do not claim to cure herpes because they cannot it is incurable. Rather these medications claim to help control the symptoms of the disease.The vast majority of cases of viral STDs today are HPV and herpes II. HPV Human Papillomavirus23 STDs are commonly divided into two categories those that can be cured non-viral and those that cannot viral. These two basic categories represent some of the most common STDs. The Real World Justasthemediaportraysalcoholascoolandfunandwithoutconsequencesteensexisoftenshowninthesamelight. Itsallgoodallfunallcool and there are no serious consequences. However when people choose to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage they put themselves at risk for a number of consequences. Beyond the physical concerns of pregnancy in this context sexually transmitted diseases STDs represent another serious concern. STDs are diseases transmitted through various types of sexual contact. 1. Can you think of a movie orTV show you saw recently in which people contracted an STD Would you say that In theTV world STDs are Very rare or Very common In the real world STDs are Very rare or Very common 2. Although television shows include sexual images or situations there are relatively few scenes in which characters contract STDs.There are however increasing numbers ofTV ads for STD medications.What does this tell you 3. In the real world the number of cases of STDs that occur in America each day is approximately1 5.2 52 520 5200 52000 4. Would you say that STDs usually go away quickly or have long-term effects If someone desires to get married in the future could having an STD be a problem Yes No Explain Are all people equally at risk for contracting an STD Yes No Explain 5. It is documented that the use of alcohol contributes to the spread of STDs. Adults who become drunk are twice as likely to become infected with an STD as those who dont get drunk.5 What would you say is the relationship between alcohol sexual activity and STDs Sam ple Copy 28 Safety-First 1. Because STDs are very common and may have life changing implications finding a way to be completely safe and protected from STDs is a high priority for many teens. If you wanted to make sure that you were safe and protected from STDs what would you do 2. What about condoms If a person chooses to be sexually active and use condoms correctly and consistently is it still possible to contract an STD Yes No Not Sure Explain While research indicates that condoms can help reduce the risk of transmission for some STDs such as HIV and gonorrhea for heterosexual transmission if used correctly and consistently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC is unable to definitively state that condomswillreducetheriskofinfectionformostSTDsmuchlessprovidecompleteprotection. Ina2004reporttoCongresstheCDCstated that condoms can be effective against some STDs in some instances but it also stated the following EvidencefortheeffectivenessofthemalelatexcondomtopreventvariousSTDamongheterosexualmenandwomenwasthesubject of a recent NIH report. The report concluded that for the majority of STD published data were not adequate to definitively assess the effectiveness of condoms to prevent STD. 14 3. STDs are often asymptomatic. What does this mean How would you know if someone has an STD Why might this be a problem 4. IfyouhadafriendwhowasplanningtohavesexwithsomeonewhoyouknewhadanSTDwhatadvicewouldyougivetoyourfriend Use a condom Dont do it Explain 5. What about spermicide Until August 4 2000 spermicide a gel to kill sperm was widely encouraged for usage along with condoms to help prevent transmission of STDs. However in 2000 the CDC issued a warning about spermicide nonoxynol-9 Researchers found that the women who used N-9 spermicide gel had become infected with HIV at about a 50 higher rate than women who used the placebo gel. Simply stated N-9 did not protect against HIV infection and may have caused more transmission Given that N-9 has now been proven ineffective against HIV transmission the possibility of risk with no benefit indicates that N-9 should not be recommended as an effective means of HIV prevention 15 6. What is the difference between risk reduction condoms and risk elimination abstinence The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC is a government agency based in Atlanta which tracks the spread of STDs throughout the United States and provides information to the public regarding disease prevention efforts. Sam ple Copy 29 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 80000 Females Males 6555-6445-5440-4435-3930-3425-2920-2415-1910-14 Reported Gonorrhea Cases by Age - 20127 0 100000 200000 300000 400000 500000 Females Males 6555-6445-5440-4435-3930-3425-2920-2415-1910-14 Reported Chlamydia Cases by Age 2012 7 Non-Viral STDs Chlamydia Chlamydia is a curable bacterial infection which is often asymptomatic and undiagnosed. Untreated it can cause severe health consequences for women including pelvic inflammatory disease PID ectopic pregnancy and infertility. Complications for men are less common but may cause pain fever and in rare cases sterility. Chlamydia is the most commonly reported infectious disease in the U.S. and with expanded screening efforts and more sensitive diagnostic tests reported cases of chlamydia have reached an all-time high of over 1400000 cases annually 1422976. 47 Gonorrhea While gonorrhea is curable untreated cases can lead to serious health problems. Among women gonorrhea is a cause of PID which can lead to chronic pelvic pain ectopic pregnancy and infertility. In men untreated gonorrhea can cause epididymitis a painful condition of the testicles that can result in infertility. Although rates of gonorrhea have been in a decline the disease is increasingly resistanttomedicationandisstillthesecondmostcommonlyreportedinfectious diseaseintheUnitedStateswith334826casesreportedin2012.47 Syphilis Syphilis a genital ulcerative disease is highly infectious but is curable in its early primary and secondary stages. If untreated it can lead to serious long-term complications including nerve cardiovascular and organ damage. Congenital syphilis can cause stillbirth death soon after birth and physical deformity and neurological complications in children who survive. In 2000 primary and secondary syphilis cases reached an all-time low but have been steadily increasing since that time. Cases remain relatively low at 15667 reported cases in 2012. 47 1. From the graphs above what are the total number of cases of STDs for ages 15-19 approximately Chlamydia Gonorrhea Syphilis 2. In total number of cases which two age groups have the highest rates of STDs What might the reason for this be Do these two groups have any common characteristics Doesthefactthattheaverageageofmarriageisapproximately28helptoexplainthisphenomenon8 Yes No NotSure Explain Having multiple sexual partners is a leading risk factor for STDs. Those who are sexually active during the teens years are likely to have multiple sexual partners before marriage and are therefore more vunerable to STDs.10 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 Females Males 6555-6445-5440-4435-3930-3425-2920-2415-1910-14 Reported Syphilis Cases by Age 20127 Sam ple Copy 30 Protecting Womens Health While both girls and guys are at risk for STDs girls tend to suffer the most. Reportedratesofchlamydiainparticulararefourtimeshigherforgirlsthanforboys. Chlamydia is by far the most common bacterial STD in the U.S. and teen girls have thesecondhighestratesofinfectionseegraphbelow.Chlamydiaisofspecial concernforteen girls because it is typically asymptomatic and can cause pelvic inflammatory disease PID. PID can damage the reproductive system and cause infertility. 4 Condom usage among teens continues to increase18 so that today according to the National Center for Health Statistics nearly all sexually active teen girls have used condoms9510 andmostsexuallyactiveteens6018 haveusedcondomsattheir most recent encounter see graph below. In spite of these trends the CDC indicates that teen girls have the second highest reported rates of chlamydia and these rates are now at an all time recorded high.7 Various factors such as multiple sexual partners and inconsistent condom usage may help explain why even high rates of condom usage among teens have not been able to prevent the spread of STDs such as chlamydia. What does this data from the CDC indicate about the seriousness of the problem of STDs especially for teen girls What would you recommend as the best way to avoid this problem 4 in 10 sexually active teen girls 14-19 have one or more STDs. 1 in 7 of these girls have two or more STDs. 19 This graph shows the relative comparison of reportable STDs. Only reported cases are represented and the actual number of cases is estimated to be much higher. 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 250000 300000 350000 ChlamydiaGonorrheaSyphilis Reported Cases of STDs Ages 15-19 Females Males 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 250000 300000 350000 400000 Females Males Reported Cases of Chlamydia Ages 15-19 7 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 Remember to check MaleFemale color key when updat- ing graph. For some reason they flip flop making Males blue and females gray 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 Condom Usage Among Sexually Active High School Students18 This is a serious problem which requires a serious solution. Choosing to avoid all sexual activity before marriage is the best way to avoid this problem. Sam ple Copy 31 Viral STDs BasedonestimatesthetwomostcommonviralSTDsareHumanPapillomavirusHPVandGenitalHerpes2HSV-2.1 Becausethesediseasesare not reported to the CDC there are no charts available to show the numbers of reported cases and age categories. Genital Human Papillomavirus HPV Genital HPV infection is a sexually transmitted disease STD. Most people who become infected with HPV will not have any symptoms and will clear the infection on their own. Low-risktypes of the virus can cause genital warts. High risktypes can result in cervical cancer which kills nearly as many women each year as AIDS. Approximately 20 million people are currently infected with HPV. About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year. 1112 HPVvaccineisnowavailableforfourtypesofHPV. Twoofthetypes1618cause70ofcervicalcancersandtwoofthetypes611 cause 90 of genital warts. According to the CDC vaccinated women will still need regular cervical cancer screening since the vaccine will not provide protection against all types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and will not provide protection against other types of STDs. Teens should discuss this vaccine with their parents and family physician. 17 Genital Herpes HSV-2 Genital herpes simplex virus 2 is an STD caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 HSV-1 and 2 HSV-2. Most genital herpes is caused by HSV-2 and most individuals have no or only minimal symptoms. Symptoms typically appear as one or more blisters on oraroundthegenitalsorrectum.Theblistersbreakleavingtender ulcerssoresthatmaytaketwotofourweekstohealthefirsttime theyoccur. Atleast45millionpeopleoroneoutoffiveadolescents and adults have been infected with HSV-2. HSV-1 and 2 can be released from the sores that the viruses cause as wellasfromskinthatdoesnotappeartobebrokenortohaveasore. Transmission can occur from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore and may not know that he or she is infected. HSV-1 can cause genital herpes but it more commonly causes infections of the mouth and lips so-calledfever blisters. HSV-1 infection of the genitalscanbecausedbyoral-genitalorgenital-genitalcontactwith a person who has HSV-1 infection. Most people infected with HSV-2 arenotawareoftheirinfection. 13 The United States has the highest rates of STDs in the industrialized world.6 Sam ple Copy 32 HIVAIDS in the USA There is much concern today about the dangers of HIVAIDS and for good reason. While HIVAIDS is the least common of the major STDs it is also the most deadly. HIV causes AIDS and in 2010 there were an estimated 15529 AIDS related deaths in the United States. It is estimated that 1155792 people in the United States are now living with HIVAIDS.9 AlthoughratesofHIVAIDSinfectionforteensisrelativelylowseegraphtheriskofinfectiongrowssubstantiallyinthe20sand30s.Gettingon the right track in your teen years can protect you from the risk of HIVAIDS later on. Additionally the CDC warns that presence of other STDs such as chlamydia gonorrhea and syphilis makes an individual three to five times more likely to acquire HIV if exposed. 2 HIVAIDS cannot be transmitted through casual contact and people living with HIVAIDS should not be stigmatized but rather helped to obtain thenecessarylifesustainingmedications.Theyalsoneedopportunitiestodevelopcaringfriendshipsandsupportnetworksforemotionalstrength and encouragement. 3 HIVHumanImmunodeficiencyVirus is a virus that weakens the bodys immune system and causes AIDS.This virus may be passed from one person to another when infected blood semen males or vaginal secretions females come in contact with an uninfected persons broken skin or mucous membranes. In addition infected pregnant women can pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy delivery or breast-feeding.9 AIDSAcquiredImmunodeficiencySyndrome is caused by HIV infection. Acquired means that the disease is not hereditary but is acquiredfrom contact with a disease-causing agent HIV. Immunodeficiency means that the disease is characterized by adeficiencyor weakening of theimmunesystem. Syndrome refers to a group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease. In the case of AIDS this can include the development of certain infections andor cancers as well as a decrease in the number of certain cells in a persons immune system. A diagnosis of AIDS is made by a physician using specific clinical or laboratory standards. 9 The best way to prevent any STD is to practice abstinence -The United States Department of Health Human Services 6 0 20000 40000 60000 80000 100000 120000 Reported HIVAIDS Cases by Age in the U.S. 2010 6560-6455-5950-5445-4940-4435-3930-3425-2920-2415-1913-14 9 0 30000 60000 90000 120000 150000 Cumulative AIDS Deaths in the U.S. Total through 2010 - 636048 65606455595054454940443539303425292024151913-14 9 Sam ple Copy 33 Finding Freedom Although STDs are a serious problem the good news is that more and more teens are resisting pressure to engage in sexual activity. Even many teens who have been sexually active in the past are choosing to stop and to protect their future. STDs are not inevitable. Good decisions now can protect you from STDs in the future. Here are some steps that you can take to protect yourself and eliminate your risk. If you have been sexually active Be Pro-Active Talk to a parent counselor or trusted adult and ask them to help you through the process of getting tested for STDs. Many STDs can be cured or treated more effectively if discovered early. Your parents and counselors can help you through this process. Be Strong Recognize that you dont have to continue to be sexually active. Although condoms may reduce your risk of acquiring some STDs if used correctly and consistently 100 of the time they do not eliminate your risk for STDs.14 Regardless of the past you can still choose to save sex for marriage and protect your future. Abstinence is risk elimination. Be Prepared If youre choosing to start over have a plan for what to do instead. Before going out decide what youre going to do and stick with it. Communicate your commitment to abstinence and if the other person doesnt respect your wishes you know its time to move on. If you have not been sexually active Be Committed The safest way to avoid all STDs is to wait until marriage marry an uninfected person and remain faithful. Also avoid all alcohol tobacco and other drugs which can compromise your commitment to abstinence. Be Supportive If you have friends who have been sexually active you can be a support for them. Be a positive influence and help your friends to make good choices for the future. Be Involved Join or start an abstinence group or club at your school. You can help promote abstinence as a positive way to turn the trend of STDs and encourage your peers to make healthy choices. You can make a difference. If youre serious about protecting yourself from STDs choose one of the sixBestatements above to implement and explain what you can do to follow through on it. My Plan for future freedom is toBe_____________________ . I will _ _____________________________________ Affirmation 3 I will protect and maintain my physical health and well being. Sam ple Copy 34 Talking It Over This section is designed for parents to review and discuss the chapter with their student. Parents may want to answer these questions on a separate sheet and compare answers with the student. 1. One of the problems our society faces today is an ever-increasing rate of sexually transmitted diseases among youth. Approximately how many cases of STDs occur in the United States every 1 Year 1900 190000 19000000 Day 52 5200 52000 Hour 21 216 2166 2. Choose one of the following statements and explain your reasoning. The best way to reverse the trend of STDs in America is for people to practicesafer sex. The best way to reverse the trend of STDs in America is for people to save sex for marriage. Explain 3. Until the mid 1980s the two most commonly reported STDs were syphilis and gonorrhea. These are bacterial or non-viral STDs. Today there are many more STDs including viral STDs. Can you name the four main viral STDs They all begin withH. ____________________ _ ____________________ _ ___________________ _____________________ 4. How do viral STDs differ from non-viral STDs and what is the significance of this 5. Sexual activity before marriage has a number of potential consequences for a future marriage only one of which is contracting an STD. How could contracting an STD in your teen years affect your future marriage What are the practical implications of this Abstinence is about protecting your future and living your life in freedom. Its about making choices that wont compromise your future. Sam ple Copy Protecting Your Mind Taking Control of the Media Sam ple Copy Media Power 1. The media world is like a wireless computer network It is always on always connected. No matter how hard we may try to avoid it our minds are constantly connecting to the media and downloading images and messages. How much media content are you downloading on a daily basis Use the chart below to catalog your daily media exposure and then add up your weekly total. Media Exposure Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Total Hours TV Radio Newspaper VideoDVD Billboards Internet Magazines Movies MP3 Total hours per week of media exposure on average 2. Teens today use media an average of about 6 hours per day or 44 hours per week. Including multi-tasking teens are exposed to the equivalent of about 8 hours of media per day or nearly 60 hours per week. TV is still the most popular media used by teens an average of 3-4 hours per day or 21-28 hours per week. In most homes theTV is onmost of the timeandduring mealsand most homes now have three or moreTV sets. 1 How manyTVs do you have in your home ____ How much media would you like to have in your home I think it would be better if we had more fewerTV sets in our home. Because 3. Cable and satellite systems now bring hundreds of channels into our homes and video recorders store it for us.Viewers have an ever-increasing selection of movies and programs. Approximately how manyTV channels do you receive in your home _____ How much media would you like to have in your home I think it would be better if we had more fewerTV channels in our home. Because 4. Research indicates that by 70 the average American will have spent the equivalent of at least 10 uninterrupted years watchingTV. 2 When you turn 70 how many years of your life do you think you will have spent watchingTV _____ HowmanyyearsofyourlifewouldyouliketospendwatchingTV_____ Howwillyoumonitorthis_______________________________ _______________________________________________ 36 Sam ple Copy 37 Sex Sells 1. Why does so much entertainment media target young people 2. Why is there so much sex in movies shows andTV ads 3. What role does the media play in helping teens know what to do in high pressure situations Does listening to the media make it easier or more difficult to make the right decision Explain 4. Do you think the media influences your personal views regarding sex and marriage Yes No Which of the following statements would you say best reflects the medias portrayal of sexual activity Sexual activity is only for married people. Sexual activity is for anyone. Which of the statements most closely reflects your view Sexual activity is only for married people. Sexual activity is for anyone. Sam ple Copy 38 Tina Marie The Truth Behind the Lies A T rue S tory Being an actress in Hollywood showed me how influential this city can be in the lives of teens. I grew up on a farm in Pulaski Wisconsin and at age twenty I packed myToyota truck and headed west to Hollywood to work in film and TV. Over the past 8 years I have worked with many celebrities in movies TV shows photo shoots and music videos. Ive worked on Jimmy Kimmel LiveThe Young the RestlessMalcom in the MiddleThe OC and Lizzie McGuire to name a few. Even though it is exciting to be on camera on a Hollywood set I saw first-hand how the media twists the truth. Much of todays programming glamorizes sex drugs alcohol and violence. Theyre not telling the truth. Showing two teens jumping into bed on a TV show one week with no consequences the following week is deceiving. Thats not the way it is in real life. The celebrities know it and Ive talked to many of them who told me that they protect their own kids. They make shows for other peoples kids but wont allow their own kids to see them All the lies and hypocrisy I saw on the inside caused me to leave Hollywood and start speaking out about the medias only real interest MONEY. ThroughoutmyHollywoodactingcareerIhaveturneddownbeercommercials sayingswearwordsinTVshowswearinginappropriateclothingornoclothes at all People say its justacting but what you do is what you believe and what you believe is who you are. I want the best for my life. Many celebrities sign a contract to do what they are told even if they disagree with the role they have to play They sell their souls to get ahead. Teensarebeingmisledtobelievethatitscooltodressprovocativelygetdrunkatpartiesorhavesexinordertofitin. Itsfrustratingformetoknow that many of these people are making millions of dollars in Hollywood by spreading lies and hiding the truth. Believe it or not you can make a difference. If you dont buy it the media wont supply it. If you dont watch those movies and shows the ratings will fall and they will have to respond to market demand to create better programs. Use your voice and speak out about how you feel Write to these producers rappers actors directors and studios. You CAN create change 1. Why didTina Marie walk away from a promising career in Hollywood 2. How does she say that you can make a difference in what the entertainment industry produces Tina Marie speaks to schools around the country sharing her message on the benefits of abstinence and marriage. For more information see p. 2 Sam ple Copy 39 Viewer Discretion Advised 1. Have you ever noticed that many movies and now regularTV shows begin with the wordsViewer Discretion Advised What does it mean to use discretion and what does this say about the film 2. The more we view things that make us uncomfortable the more desensitized we become. Why might this be a problem in the long run 3. As we become desensitized it becomes more difficult for the media to get our attention. For this reason the media keeps increasing the level of sex and violence in movies and shows to try to break through to our desensitized hearts and minds. As a result todays generation is exposed to the most graphic and explicit material that has ever been seen. Even little children today are being exposed to material intended for desensitized teens and adults. Are you concerned about thisWhy or why not 4. Are you concerned about your own media exposureWhy or why not 5. Today the internet provides virtually free on-demand access to sexual material or pornography. Because teens are naturally curious about sex the allure is strong and many teens are tricked into logging onto pornography through spam e-mails pop-up ads and trick links. Why is it especially necessary to usediscretionwhen using the internet Do you ever come across pornography on the internet Yes No Sometimes All the time Have you ever had trouble getting graphic images out of your mind Yes No Research indicates that the more shocking an image is the more deeply the mind is affected by it. Powerful or graphic images have a long lasting effect on the brain.This is why we tend to remember harsh or intense images longer. 3 When you view images on your computer those images are stored on the hard drive and can later be retrieved. Even if the images are deleted and the hard drive is re-formatted the images are still there and can be viewed with recovery software. Your mind is like a computer hard drive but infinitely more powerful and sophisticated.When you view images on a computer on a video or in a magazine those images cause the release of adrenaline into the bloodstream which causes the brain to imprint the images on the mind stored data that can be recalled at any time whether you want them to or not. 3 Sam ple Copy 40 Pornographyisa10 billionbusinessbiggerthanthemajorsports oftheNFLNBAand MLBcombined. 5 Erics Epic Battle The Twenty-Eight Year War A T rue S tory I was about ten years old when my brother brought home the first magazines. Thirty years later I can still see the images of nude women in my mind. They never go away. From that early age I began to look at pornography as often as I could. The rush it provided helped me escape from the real world problems in my family. When my parents divorced and my father left it was thefriendI could always count on. I did not realize then that this would become the central battle of my life. I became sexually active in my teen years thinking that this would free me from my need for pornography. Instead it fueled my need for more sex and more pornography. I treated girls like objects to be used to meet my needs. I was sure if I could find that special someone pornography would be a thing of the past. But even after I was married I was not free. Instead the woman I loved became just another object like the images that consumed my mind. After the magazines internet pornography took my addiction to a whole new level. Thousands of times I decided I would never do it again. I would make commitments to stop over and over again in the same day tenminuteslaterIwouldturntoitagain.Iwascryingoutinsideforsomeonetotakeawaymysecretaddiction. My addiction cost me almost everything. During my twenty-eight year struggle pornography took my job career self-respect and almost destroyed my family. No one ever told me that pornography would lead to addiction that would steal away most of my life. Today I am no longer controlled by this addiction but gaining my freedom wasnt easy. Now I am dedicated to helping others to break free from the power of pornography.Those who are dedicated to making a change in this area can do so with help and good counsel. Unfortunately Erics experience is increasingly common. Many teens are currently fighting this same battle. Little by little the body begins to depend upon and crave the rush. Before people even realize what is happening the addiction takes hold.They think they can stop whenever they want but the pull is much stronger than they realize. 1. How did Eric try to justify his use of pornography 2. Did Erics problem with pornography stop when he became sexually active Yes No Explain 3. Those who get caught up in pornography are sometimes too embarrassed to ask for help but getting help is very important. Internet pornography isnt like an addiction it is an addiction. In the same way a person becomes addicted to drugs sexual images trigger a biochemical response that causes increased heartbeat sweaty palms and dilated pupils all of which indicate the release of adrenaline in the body causing a biological rush.This creates a powerful cycle of dependency. If you or someone you knew were trapped in this cycle what would you do or what advice would you share 3 While pornographers try to lure guys into pornography girls are affected too. Guys tend to be visually stimulated and drawn in by pictures while girls may get hooked on internet chat or video blogging which includes both visual and verbal stimuli. Girls may be in danger of becoming victims of guys who are addicted to pornography and seek to act out on what they have seen. Pornography addiction is real and as with Eric it can have serious life altering consequences. 3 Sam ple Copy 41 Taras Trauma A T rue S tory Tara was 13 years old when she met a 27 year old guy at her church. She had a crush on him but knew nothing would ever happen between them because he was an adult. But then he started emailing her and chatting with her whenever they were both online.Their chat became more frequentuntilshewasalmostalwaysonlinehopinghewouldbetoo.Onenightafterchatting online for several hours he told her he wanted to see her and invited her to sneak out of her house. She agreed and that began a six month sexual relationship between them. She eventually got caught sneaking out by her parents and after getting caught in her lies she confessed to everything. The man was arrested and charged with statutory rape indecent liberties with a minor and sexual misconduct. Tara said that the man told her that it was illegal for them to be together and that she should nevertellanyonebecausehelovedherandwantedtobewithher.Hetoldherhewasaddictedto internetpornographyandthatshewashisfantasy.Hetoldherhewouldkillherifshetoldanyone because he didnt want to go to jail. Tara is now in counseling and working through the issue of having been manipulated and abusedbysomeonewhosaidhelovedher.Shesaysthatsometimesshehateshimforwhathe did to her and other times she still feels like she loves him but most of the time she just doesnt understand why he would do this to her. Thisisatruestorythatillustratestheveryrealdangersofonlinechatespeciallyforgirls.Taranever thought that anything would happen between them but before long she was the victim of an older mans pornography addiction. 1. Most teens dont want their parents to know what they do online. How mightTara have benefited by being open and honest with her parents about the mans e-mails and chat sessions 2. How did the man try to justify the relationship withTara 3. Do you think that when this man was a teenager that he planned to be addicted to pornography and to act out in this way How do you account for his behavior What happened to him Although it is not uncommon for teens to have conflict with their parents it is important to realize that there is probably no one in the world who cares for you more than your parents. Speaking about these matters with a parent or trusted adult is a much better option than trying to go it alone and may save you from the serious consequences of internet pornography and internet predators. 64ofteenssaythat teensdothingsonline thattheywouldnt wanttheirparentsto knowabout.6 Sam ple Copy 42 Firewall Your Mind The stories in this chapter are not intended to suggest what will happen but rather what can happen as a result of pornography. These are real stories of real people and provide important lessons on the need to protect your mind from the power of the media especially the internet. 1. Acomputerfirewallprotectsacomputerfromtheharmfulmaterial ontheinternetthatcandamagethecomputerandcorruptitsfiles. Inthesamewayitisnecessarytoprotectyourselffromtheharmful materialinthemediathatcandamageandcorruptyourmind. Do you believe that it is necessary to have a firewall on your computer Agree Disagree Do you believe that it is necessary to have a firewall on your mind Agree Disagree 2. How important do you believe it is to take control of the media in your life and why 3. If youre serious about protecting your mind from the powerful pull of the media here are some things that you can do. Some of these suggestions may be considered extreme but these arent for everyone. These suggestions are for those who are serious about breaking free from the power of the media and especially pornography Install an internet filter. You can purchase filters at a computer store or buy them online. Filters will help you to navigate the net without allowing you to be exposed to pornography which is everywhere on the web. If you are specifically having a problem with pornography disconnect the internet service. If you have aTV or computer in your room take them out. Find another place in your home where you can set up the computer. Have your parents cancel the family cablesatellite dish. If this seems too difficult try it for a month and see how you do as a family. Talk to your parents or a trusted adult about these concerns. Your parents are most likely your best support for gaining control of the media. Seek professional counseling. If you are facing a possible addiction in this area it can be very helpful to ask your parents to pursue professional help in order to break free and get your life back on track. Installing a firewall limiting both the amount and content of media input will allow you to make decisions based on what YOU think not what the MEDIA thinks. The purpose of filtering your media is to gain more control over your life so that you can live your life the way you want to live it. Its about being free. Sam ple Copy 43 Affirmation 4 I will control the media rather than allowing the media to control me. Life Inputs What I put into my mind Life Outputs What my life will look like ON media-centered OFF reality-centered How unrestricted media input can affect my life How limiting media input can affect my life Taking Back Your Life The point of this chapter isnt that we shouldnt have media but rather that we need to examine our relationship to it. Is it possible to live in a media-centered society without becoming media-centered people 1. Which of these statements would you say most closely describes where youre at right now Media-centered Reality-centered 2. Do you think its possible to be a reality-centered person and to watchTV listen to music use the internet and go to movies Yes No 3. Being reality-centered doesnt meanno-mediabut rather limited media. Its a matter of taking control of the media so that it isnt controlling you. Use the diagram below to think through the difference between being amedia-centeredperson Media ON and areality-centeredperson Media OFF. Sam ple Copy 44 Talking It Over This section is designed for parents to review and discuss the chapter with their student. Parents may want to answer these questions on a separate sheet and compare answers with the student. 1. It is very difficult to escape the reach of the media but the fact is most people arent even trying to escape from it. Most people it seems are loving it pursuing it and trying to get more of it. Its in the car in the bedroom and at school. For many students getting home from school is log ontime. Would you say that your family is a media-centered family or a reality-centered family Does your family spend more time with the media as individuals or as a family Do you normally watch movies together as a family or separately in different rooms Does the media generally improve your family life or hinder your family life How 2. List every type of media in your home. 3. What would it be like if there were no media in your home NoTV computer video games radio or i-Pod What would you do with all the extra time you would haveTry to describe what your life would be like without the media.Where would you go What would you do Would you spend more time together as a family or less ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ The point of this chapter isnt that media is bad but rather that it has enormous influence in the lives of most Americans. If you aspire to live a life of meaning and purpose there is probably no better place to start than in getting most of the media out of your head and choosing instead to be free. Bedroom TVResearch indicates that 2 out of 3teens have aTV in their bedroom.1 Do you suppose that these teens arelikely to watch more or lessTVthan other teens Do you suppose that these teens arelikely to spend more or less timetalking with parents and other family members Do you suppose that these teens arelikely to get more or less sleep on average Who do you suppose benefits mostfrom teens havingTVs in theirbedrooms Teens ParentsMedia companies advertisers Sam ple Copy The Power of Self-Control Building Your Character Sam ple Copy 46 Exercising Self-Control Exercising self-control in the area of sexual activity and in every area of life is one of the most important factors in determining your future. What is self-control Self-control is choosing to set personal limits on certain actions and behaviors. It is the ability to control yourselfregardless of what others are doing. 1. During your childhood your parentscontrolyou. As you are transitioning into adulthood it is important that you learn how to control yourself. What are some areas in life that a person needs to learn to exercise self-control in order to have a healthy lifestyle ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ 2. What happens to people who dont learn how to exercise self-control ____________________________________________________ A person without self-control is like a car without brakes. When you are unable or unwilling to stop yourself from certain activities and behaviors like a car without brakes you are out of control and heading for a crash. Character comes from an ancient Greek word referring toa stamping tool.1 Character is the mark or stamp that sets a person apart. Character generally refers tomoral or ethical strength.2 3. Exercising self-control demonstrates maturity and builds your character. It has been said that character is who you are when no one is looking. What does this mean Growing in character is about knowing when to apply the brakes when to use self-control. Its about successfully transitioning out of childhood into adulthood. A person of character doesnt make foolish choices and then hope to avoid the consequences but rather avoids the activity that leads to those consequences by the use of self-control. Exercising self-control in the choices you face builds your character which in turn strengthens your ability to exercise self-control. As your parents begin to give you more and more responsibility over your own decisions consider three critical areas which could impact your ability to maintain a commitment to abstinence. 1. Drinking and Drugs 2. Friendships 3. Dating Relationships CharacterSelf-Control Self-Control Choices Choices Sam ple Copy 47 Charlies Crisis A T rue S tory Charlie and Dan were high school friends who had grown up in the same neighborhood together. They went to the same schools and had a lot of the same friends. They also started doing drugs and alcohol together in high school and as a result had struggled through their high school studies. By their junior year both Charlie and Dan were placed in an alternative learning program which spent virtually no time on academic studies but instead went on numerousfield tripsand participated in non-academic projects. In their senior year Charlie and Dan were out drinking with some friends. Although they had driven Dans parentscar to the party Charlie decided to drive home because he had had less to drink than Dan. On the way home Charlie veered off the road and smashedDansparentscarintoatree. Theimpactwasonthepassengers side where Dan was sitting. Charlie survived the crash. Dan did not. 1. Unfortunately this true story is very familiar. Most high schools in America have similar stories of students at their school. Do you think that Charlie and Dans parents knew their sons were into drinking and drugs Were there some clues that could have helped them figure it out How could their parents have helped them 2. How were Charlie and Dan doing in school Does it sound like they were in a special program because they werent smart or because they had made some poor decisions regarding drinking drugs and school work Why is this important to consider 3. It is often said that drinking impairs judgment. How did alcohol affect Charlie and Dan Did they exercise judgment in determining whether or not to drive the car as well as who should drive Yes No Charlie was able to evaluate the situation and switch to the drivers seat because he was less drunk than Dan. This indicates that Charlie was able to exercise judgment in making this decision. So what was the problem The problem wasnt that Charlie didnt use judgment but rather that his judgment wasimpaired. What does it mean to have impaired judgment How often do beer commercials show the results of impaired judgment Sam ple Copy 48 Why Judgment Matters 1. Driving a car isnt the only area in which good judgment is necessary. Making good judgments during the critical moment of your life has everything to do with what your future will hold because drinking impairs all judgments. If a person chooses to save sex for marriage but begins drinking or using drugs what are the implications Who is more likely to become sexually active A teenager who drinks andor uses tobacco or other drugs. A teenager who doesnt drink or use tobacco or other drugs. 2. Self-control requires the use of judgment. In this case self-control means not going to a party where alcohol is provided in the first place. Once a person begins drinking the ability to exercise self-control is greatly compromised. Do you suppose people who get drunk ever regret decisions that they made while drunk Yes No What are some types of regrets they may have 3. It is not uncommon for teens to report that their first sexual experience took place under the influence of alcohol. Is this surprising to you Why or why not 4. If a person desires to save all sexual activity for marriage how important would you say it is to avoid the use of drugs alcohol or tobacco as well Because the use of drugs and alcohol compromises a persons judgment in the area of self-control avoidance of alcohol tobacco and other drugs is an important part of the abstinence commitment. Fact Teens 15-19 who use drugs are five times likelier to have sexual intercourse than those who dont. Fact Teens 15-19 who use alcohol are seven times likelier to have sexual intercourse than those who dont. 3 Influence of Alcohol Ages 15-19 3 Proportion of teens likely to have sex who use alcohol Proportion of teens likely to have sex who do not use alcohol According to researchers at Columbia University Teens who use alcohol and drugs are more likely to have sexual intercourse to initiate sexual intercourse at earlier ages to have multiple sexual partners and to be at greater risk for sexually transmitted diseases STDs HIVAIDS and pregnancy.3 Influence of Drugs Ages 15-19 3 Proportion of teens likely to have sex who use drugs Proportion of teens likely to have sex who do not use drugs Sam ple Copy 49 True Friends Unfortunately the pressure to engage in drinking drugs and sexual activity often comes fromfriends. Exercising self-control may mean choosing not to go to a party because there is alcohol even though it may cause a conflict. It takes character and courage to stand up to others who are trying to negatively influence you. True friends wont push you to do things that you know you shouldnt do. 1. Sometimes doing what is right may cause you to lose friends. Has that ever happened to you Yes No If your friends dont want to hang out with you because you choose to make good choices what would that indicate Would losing friends in this case be a positive or a negative development in your life Explain Sometimes its better to pull away from a group offriendswho are hurting you rather than trying to hang on. You may feel isolated and alone but this is far better than the alternative of compromising on your beliefs and giving in to the pressure of others to do things that can be damaging to your future. 2. Would you say that most of your friends are helping you to prepare for your future or hindering you from preparing for your future 3. Getting too close to friends who are making poor choices during the critical moment of your life can take you down the wrong road. According to the information from Columbia University in the box at right your friendships have a lot to do with where youre going in life. If your friends are taking you in the wrong direction what should you do What difference do your friends make Teens who indicate that half or more of their friends are sexually active are thirty-one times more likely to get drunk and twenty-two times more likely to have tried marijuana than teens whose friends are not sexually active. 4 Sam ple Copy 50 Shanes Lonely Summer During my senior year of high school I was approached separately by both my accounting teacher and baseballcoach. EachofthemtoldmethatIwashangingaroundwiththewrongcrowdandthatIwas going to have big problems in the future. Charlie and Dan were friends of mine and they kept trying to get me to join them in the alternative learning program becausetheres a lot less work do tothey said. I knew that my teachers were right and that if I didnt make some major changes in my life that my prospects for the future would not be promising. ShortlyafterthediscussionswithmyteachersImadeoneofthemostdifficultandimportantdecisions ofmylife. ItoldallofmyfriendsthatIwouldnolongerhangoutwiththemorpartywiththemthat I was going to get my life on track. My friends just laughed at me.They were sure that in a few days I would get over it. For weeks afterward my friends kept calling and driving by my house trying to get me to hang out with them but I refused. Instead I stayed home by myself alone. I spent most of that summer working and doing chores around the house. It was a very lonely summer but I knew I had to do it. I had to break away from my old friends. I had to getonanewpathandmakeanewstart.Istruggledwithlonelinessandthereweremanytimeswhen I thought that it would be easier to just go back to the way things were. But I didnt give up.The time had come to make a change and I was determined that I would make the change no matter the cost. It was shortly after this decision to leave my friends that Charlie and Dan suffered the fatal car crash. I was not with them that evening. 1. If you had gone over to Shanes house that summer and he had asked you what to do what advice would you have given him 2. Would you describe Shane as weak or strong Explain 3. Walking away from his friends was very difficult to do and at times he questioned the wisdom of his decision. It wasnt until years later lookingbackthatShanerealizedthiswasoneofthemostimportantdecisionshehadevermade. Whydoyousupposehefeltthisway 4. It was after that lonely summer that Shane began going out withTammy.The relationship ended a few months later when Shane resistedTammys pressure for sex. How did thelonely summerhelp prepare Shane to resist pressure fromTammy Sam ple Copy 51 Dating Plans 1. When Shane andTammy faced theirbig testthey were together in a house by themselves. Why is this not a good idea 2. How important is self-control when facing pressure situations Not too important Somewhat important Very Important. Explain 3. Would you say that teens in dating relationships are more likely to make decisions based on information or feelings Is it easier to make decisions with your heart or with your mind Why is this important to consider 4. Why is it a good idea to make decisions with your mind before you develop strong feelings for someone 5. Feelings are fickle and important decisions based on feelings often end up in regret. Making smart decisions requires the use of your mind. Below are some of the important decisions that you will need to think about. Rank these decisions in order of importance or sequence. Who you will choose to date. Where you will choose to go What you will choose to do. Whether or not you will choose to date. If you choose to date the questions of who you choose to date what you choose to do and where you choose to go are very important. In answering these questions its important to engage your mind to make smart choices and establish clear boundaries for your relationship. Dont let your feelings fool you. Self-control is making a smart choice and doing it. Research on Dating Teens who choose to date need to make smart choices. Two of the most important factors to consider when dating are the age of the person you choose to date and the amount of time spent together. These factors can cause increased pressures in the areas of sex drugs and alcohol. Fact Teenswhospend25ormorehoursaweekwiththeirboyfriendorgirlfriendarefivetimesmorelikelytogetdrunkand4timesmorelikelyto havetriedmarijuanathanteenswhospendlessthan10hoursaweekwiththeirboyfriendorgirlfriend. Fact Teengirlswithboyfriendstwoormoreyearsolderaresixtimesmorelikelytogetdrunkandtohavetriedmarijuanathangirlswhodonthave aboyfriendorhaveaboyfriendlessthan2yearsolder. 4 Plan a Date If you were to go on a date what are some things you could do that would not put you at risk for sexual activity Sam ple Copy I t s Okay Not to Date 1. In todays culture there is little understanding of the value of waiting for marriage.We are constantly being pushed to get everything we can as soon as we can. Its all about the now the immediate instant gratification.Why could this be a problem Whats wrong with wanting everything now 2. This push is especially true in the area of relationships. Movies culture and friends create a sense of urgency to enter into dating relationships now. However great freedom comes from resisting this pressure and choosing not to worry about what others think. What would you say are some of the benefits of choosing not to date in high school One of the concerns often expressed about teen dating relationships that do not lead to marriage is that they often end in heartbreak. For this reason many people are preferring to wait for a dating relationship that could actually lead to marriage. If youre in high school its worth thinking about the benefits of waiting until youre in your late teens or twenties to begin a dating relationship that could lead to marriage. 3. In considering the benefits of waiting to date which of the following do you find the most compelling benefits of postponing a dating relationship Check all that apply It helps me to focus on developing my personal character. It helps me to focus on studies. It helps me keep healthy relationships with many friends. It helps me to focus on goals and interests. It helps me resist pressure toward sexual activity. It helps me to have more time for church and community service. It helps me to be less concerned with myself. It helps me learn to resist pressure and not worry about what others think. It helps me to get to know the opposite sex better without the pressures that dating puts on. Other ___________________________________ The purpose of this section isnt to say dont date but rather its okay not to date. Sometimes the pressure is so great that teens feel as though there is something wrong with them if theyre not in a relationship. On the contrary choosingnottodateduringyourhighschoolyearscanfreeyoutofullygrowand develop your character and its perfectly normal 52 Sam ple Copy 53 I grew up in Chicago in a rather dangerous neighborhood where I saw a lot of sad and scary things. I saw friends mistreated used abused running away fighting gang banging and dying. It was all so close to home and yet I was always safe inside my home. I had wonderful parents and siblings who taught me well and talked to me about everything growing up. NowIteachabstinence. ItwasnevermyplanbutitmakesperfectsensewhenIlookbackonmylifegrowingupbecauseIwanttohelppeople understand what Ive seen. Most of my neighborhood friends have babies now and some have STDs. Ive seen bitter people with no hope in their eyes hurt abused forgotten and regretful because of their choices. People searching for love trying to buy it trying to keep what was never there. Ive also seen my older sister married more than 10 years with 5 beautiful kids still smiling at her husband from across the room. My brothers both married one with a baby boy and the other expecting a little girl -- leading and loving their wives their best friends. My parents have beenmarriedfor35yearshavingworkedthroughsomanyhardtimespovertychangesandlossandyettheyloveeachothermoreeveryday. Ive seen both sides. I know the difference between love and lust companionship and entertainment joyful lives and those filled with disappointment.The amazing thing is its all about our choices. Ive been given the privilege to choose what I want for my life. When I was 14 I signed aTrue Love Waitscard and made a commitment to be abstinent. That was over 8 years ago and my commitment has only become stronger and more important to me than ever. The longer I keep the commitment the more serious and real it becomes to me. I want the best for my life and Ive always believed I will attain it. As I tell the kids in my classesaim for the bulls eye and you just might hit it -- at least youll get close. But if you dont shoot for what you want what are you aiming for Idontworryaboutdatingrightnow. Itsnotagoalofmine. IlookforwardtothedayIwillmarrywithexcitement. Ilookforwardtolovingmy husband and giving him all that I have and all that I am. But until that day I choose to continue to grow as a woman of integrity and character enjoying life and accomplishing my other goals. 1. What did Katie see while she was growing up that influenced her decision for abstinence 2. Has Katies commitment to abstinence become weaker or stronger over time Why is this compare with the diagrams on page 51 3. Why doesnt she worry about dating What is her goal Katies Commitment A T rue S tory Affirmation 5 I will exercise self-control and build my character. Sam ple Copy 54 Talking It Over This section is designed for parents to review and discuss the chapter with their student. Parents may want to answer these questions on a separate sheet and compare answers with the student. 1. What does drinking do to your judgment and why does drinking make it more difficult to remain abstinent 2. Do your parents have rules for you regarding parties Do you have rules for yourself regarding parties Why might it be a good idea to decide beforehand that you will not stay at any party where there is alcohol 3. Are there ever times when you think it would be good to lose friends If so when 4. Do you have anyfriendsthat you need to lose 5. Why is it more important to take time now to become a person of character How will your personal character help to determine the type of person that you may marry some day 6. Review the sectionIts Okay Not to Datewith your parents.Which of the benefits of waiting to date do you find most compelling and why The question of whether or not you should date during your high school years should be the subject of an open conversation with your parents. Its best to have a clear understanding of your parents expectations. Its also helpful to remember that abstinence isnt about not having sex but rather saving sex for the safest healthiest context which is a marriage relationship. Abstinence is about developing the strength to resist pressures to engage in sexual activity until you meet someone who loves you enough to make a lifelong commitment to you in marriage. Sam ple Copy Marriage Rocks Looking Forward to Your Future Sam ple Copy 56 Love for a Lifetime Although there is little support for the idea of marriage in todays media the reality is that most people want to get married and do get married. In national surveys for the past three decades teens have consistently indicated that having a good marriage and family life is very important to them. 1. However while a significant majority of teens want to get married someday many are skeptical as to whether or not they will ever experience a happy healthy lifelong marriage. Why do you suppose this is 2. One reason for this skepticism is the high rate of divorce today and the associated personal pain. No one wants to get divorced and consideration of divorce is a legitimate concern. Choose one of the following statements and explain why you agree with the statement The choices I make now have nothing to do with whether or not I will have a healthy future marriage. Choosing to develop my character and learn healthy relationship skills now can greatly increase my chances of having a healthy stable lifelong marriage. Explain your choice High School Seniors Howimportantisittoyoutohaveagoodmarriageandfamilylife1 Percent respondingquiteorextremelyimportant 88 90 92 91 Marriageisntforeveryone. Sometimespeoplewhodontwanttogetmarrieddoandpeoplewho wanttogetmarrieddont. Itisverycommonforapersonsthoughtsandopinionsaboutmarriage tochangeovertime. Regardlessofhowyoufeelabout marriagenowitsnotabadideatobepre- pared. Whilethischapterisaboutmarriagetheprinciplesherecanhelpyoutosucceedindevelop- inghealthyrelationshipsregardlessofwhetherornotyouendupgettingmarriedinthefuture. 0 20 40 60 80 100 1977 1986 1998 2006 Sam ple Copy 57 Be the Right One 1. Oneofthemostimportantdecisionsyouwillevermakeiswhetheryouwillget marriedandtowhom.Itisadecisionthatwillsignificantlyshapethecourseofyour life.Asyouenterintothecriticalmomentofyourliferememberthatthesuccessof yourpotentialfuturemarriageislargelydependentuponthechoicesyoumakenow. Have you ever given much thought to what it would be like to be married someday or whether or not you will get married in the future Yes No If so what kind of person do you hope to marry How would you describe this person 2. Imagine meeting the man or woman of your dreams.The person is funny warm humble and generous everything youve ever hoped for in a potential husband or wife. If the person did not find similar positive character qualities in you how do you suppose things would turn out and why 3. Have you ever noticed that some people are really into themselves and others arent Look at the two basic types of people below self-centered and other-centered. Which type of person would you rather hang around with S-C O-C Which type of person would you rather marry S-C O-C Which type of person would you rather be S-C O-C Rather than worrying about finding the right person a better approach is to try to become the right person. When you are committed to being a person of character you are more likely to attract a person of character. Self-Centered Focused on Getting What I want is more important than what you want. Other-Centered Focused on Giving What you want is more important than what I want. Its About Me Its About You Sam ple Copy 58 Abstinence Marriage 1. Consider the relationship between abstinence and marriage. Is it possible that abstinence could help a person prepare for marriage in the future Explain 2. Choosing abstinence now can help you to learn characteristics which can benefit a future marriage relationship. What are some character qualities that abstinence can help you to develop 3. Would it be important for you to choose a future husband or wife who had these character qualities Why or why not 4. If you could choose one of these characteristics to develop in order to prepare yourself for marriage which one would it be and why By planning ahead for your future you can actually reduce your chances of divorce. There are no guarantees but making good decisions now and in the years ahead can help prepare you for a healthy marriage. If you want to marry a caring giving loving person youre probably going to have to be a caring giving loving person. Now is the time to become a person of character. Its important before entering into the most significant commitment of your life to develop the character qualities that will enable you to build a stable enduring marriage that will last a lifetime. Sam ple Copy 59 Shanes Incredible Gift After breaking away from all of my friends and the incident withTammy I was determined to get my life on track. I had been pressured tricked and led astray long enough. It was time to get serious about making a plan for my future. In college I met other students who were also committed to abstinence and who werent involved in the party scene. I had been in college for two and a half years when I first met Kelly a beautiful young woman who had some of the same friends. We became casual friends and ended up spending lots of time together. We had some of the same classes together and spent some time doing school work together and just getting to know each other. Although we never really dated we got to know each other really well just from hanging out at school and doing things together. We spent a lot of time talking about our future plans and desires. The more we talked the more we realized that we shared many of the same goals and dreams for the future. We began to talk more and more about our growing relationship and about what the future might look like for us together. After many conversations about our likes and dislikes values concerns and beliefs I felt that the time was right. I asked Kelly to marry me. I was so nervous I could hardly get the words out Ill never forget her response. She saidI dont even think you need me to answer that question. Meaning that we had come to know each other so well the answer was obvious. That evening was like a dream. It was so surreal. We had each just made one of the biggest and most important decisions of our lives and we had made it together. Eight months later following our college graduation we were married in San Francisco. Although we faced much pressure from friends and society in general we were both able to save sex for marriage and looking back were very glad that we did. My wife is an incredible gift and I love her with all of my heart. 1. Shane and Kelly never really had a dating relationship but they kept growing closer and closer together. What was their relationship built upon What was drawing them together 2. Why do you think Shane and Kelly chose to wait until marriage Does it seem like they were afraid of pregnancy or STDs or do there seem to be some other reasons for their decision 3. Shane and Kelly have now been married for over twenty-two years.They have four children and a very good relationship together. How do you think their decisions in high school and college have contributed to a healthy lasting marriage and family life Sam ple Copy 60 Rock-Solid Relationships If a marriage is to last for a lifetime it must be built on a solid foundation a foundation of rock not sand. To aspire to a healthy and successful future marriage is to learn how to build a relationship built on a solid foundation. 1. Teens are often counseled toprepare for collegeand toprepare for a career.But there doesnt seem to be much encouragement to prepare for your marriage.Which of these opportunities do you believe will have the most impact on your life College Career Marriage Preparing for marriage has a lot to do with building character qualities. Upon entering a relationship that could lead to marriage its a good idea not to focus on external physical characteristics. Although these are important in bringing two people together they will not sustain the relationship. Both people will benefit by getting to know each other on the inside. 2. Here are ten things you can do to get to know another person better. Each of these activities will help you build a rock-solid relationship. Check what you could would like to do Doing volunteer work together. Spending time with each others family and friends. Talking about your future goals and plans. Helping each other with school work. Keeping open communication. Setting and communicating clearly about physical boundaries. Writing letters to each other. Setting personal guidelines to keep you out of pressure areas. Going out to lunch together. Having a friendly competition with each other for good grades. 3. If in the future you build a relationship on the activities listed above and the relationship leads to marriage how will you benefit 4. If in the future you build a relationship on the activities listed above and the relationship does not lead to marriage how will you benefit By resisting physical involvement before marriage you are better able to get to know each other and develop stronger character qualities. As one girl saidAfter we became involved physically we just stopped talking. The relationship quickly went down hill after that.Making wise choices and saving all sexual activity for marriage is one of the best things you can do to prepare for a potential future marriage. Abstinence isnt about not having sex. Its about saving sex for someone who is willing to give back to you by making a lifelong commitment in marriage. Sam ple Copy 61 Marriage is giving yourself rather than guarding yourself. In marriage a person says I am giving you all that I have and all that I am. Marriage is giving yourself as a present to another person. Marriage says I am entrusting myself to you for the rest of my life. I am committed to you no matter what. I will always be here for you. I am yours and you are mine.There is no turning back. It is qualitatively different than any other kind of relationship. Sand Castle Relationships 1. It is commonly believed that cohabitation is a good way to prepare for marriage. After one year of living together what percentage of couples do you think end up getting married 2 10 30 50 70 90 Of those couples who live together would you say their chances of getting divorced are greater than or less than those who dont and by what percentage 3 5 25 45 65 85 2. What is the essential difference between being married and living together Cohabitation is guarding yourself rather than giving yourself. In cohabitation a person says I will give you some of myself but not all of myself. I will hold back part of myself in case things dont work out. I will give you what I have but not who I am. Ill give you the package but not whats inside You can have everything I have except my commitment to you everything except my heart. Cohabitation is by definition anuncommittedrelationship. 3. Consider the influence of of media messages on cultural values. Which does the media seem to value more internal character qualities or external physical appearance Which type of relationships does the media tend to glamorize Marriage Cohabitation Is it surprising that cohabitation is widely accepted Yes No ThemediafocusesonHowdoIlookWhatproductsandclothescanIbuytoimprovemyphysicalappearancesothatpeoplewilllikememore The increasing acceptance of cohabitation is consistent with a media culture that exalts external appearances above character qualities. Of course theres nothing wrong with looking nice but thats not the basis of a genuine relationship. Its much more about who you are as a person on the insidethanaboutwhatyoulooklikeontheoutside.Stronghealthyrelationshipsarebuiltuponarock-solidfoundationofcharacter. Weakfragile relationships are built upon the sand of superficial external appearances. Sam ple Copy 62 I Do Ifcohabitationislivingtogetherwithoutafirmcommitmentmarriageistheoppositeofcohabitation.Aweddingceremonyisapublicproclamation in which a man and woman promise to be exclusively committed to each other for life. Wedding vows vary. The following is one sample of actual wedding vows Officiant Please face one another and in turn repeat after me I Steve take thee Karen to be my wedded wife to have and to hold from this day forward for better for worse for richer for poorer in sickness and in health to love and to cherish till death do us part I hereby commit myself unto thee. Karen then repeats these vows to Steve. Steve do you have a token of your love for Karen I do. Best man hands ring to the groom. In ancient times the signet ring was used by the King to seal documents and to make official commitments. It was a seal which could not be broken. Steve do you now give this ring as a token that you will keep this pledge and perform these vows I Do. Please place this ring and repeat after meThis ring I give thee in token and in pledge of our constant faith and abiding love. Karen do you have a token of your love for Steve MatronMaid of honor hands ring to bride. This ring has neither a beginning nor an end. It is a symbol of an eternal commitment that is unbroken and without end. Karen do you now give this ring as a token that you will keep this pledge and perform these vows I Do. Please place this ring and repeat after meThis ring I give thee in token and in pledge of our constant faith and abiding love. The lighting of the Unity Candle symbolizes that two previously individual lives are now becoming one. Two individual candles are used by the bride and groom to light one central candle then the two individual candles are extinguished. The two have become one. 1. It is often said that marriage is just a piece of paper that it doesnt really mean anything. Is this your viewWhy or why not 2. Notice that the marriage vows are a promise to stick togetherfor better for worse for richer for poorer in sickness and in health. Why is it so important that we take time to build up our character before marriage 3. What do the two rings symbolize and what is their purpose Sam ple Copy 63 Coris Story A T rue S tory Abstinence is something I always believed in. I looked forward to marriage and had decided that I wanted to wait for sex until I got married. However as a senior in high school I fell in love and because neither of us had ever had sex we felt it would be okay since we werein love. The next year as I started college I had a pregnancy scare and wanted to stop but didnt really know how. I dated him all through college and by my senior year we were engaged to be married. Eight months before we were married we chose not to havesexbut we didnt stop everything believing wrongly that we were practicing abstinence. We married shortly after I graduated from college. ItwasntuntilafterweweremarriedthatIbegantoseethetruevalueofabstinence. EventhoughIonly had sex with one person before marriage and that is the person I married I had paid a price. I didnt getpregnantandIdidntgetanSTDbuttherewereotherconsequencesthatIdidntrealizeatthetime. Becausewewerefocusedonthephysicalweneverreallydevelopedacloserelationship. Weneverreally gottoknowoneanotherontheinside. Wehaddevelopedafalseintimacyandthisbecameincreasingly obvious after we were married. After five years of marriage my husband decided that he didnt want to be married anymore and left. By substituting a physical relationship for true intimacy I had missed key signs of differences in our character values and beliefs. Sex before marriage didnt help our relationship it hurt it a lot. Ive been divorced for two years now and have been practicing abstinence ever since. I wont make the same mistake twice. Abstinence can be hard attimessoIhavesetuppersonalboundariesandIhavefriendswhoencouragemealongtheway. Imnotlookingforadatingrelationshiprightnow. Im enjoying being single and living my life without the risk of consequences that come from sexual activity outside of marriage. Today I am the executive director of an abstinence education program in Chicago. My hope is that you will learn from my mistakes and choose abstinencesothatyoucanavoidthepainthatIhaveexperienced. Eventhoughabstinencemaybedifficultattimesitisnotnearlyashardasdealing with the consequences that come from sex outside of marriage. My hope is that you will reach your goals without anything getting in your way. Sex may seem cool and fun but it can rob you of your dreams. My life is dedicated to helping teens understand that abstinence can make a huge difference in their future. Ive met lots of people who wish they had waited for marriage but Ive never met someone who waited and wished they hadnt. I know that if you choose to save sex for marriage you wont regret that choice. 1. Why was it easier for Cori to see the value of abstinence after she was married 2. People sometimes think that sex before marriage will help their marriage relationship. Cori found that the opposite was true. Why was this 3. If a friend chose abstinence but thenfell in loveand asked for your advice how could you encourage them in their commitment to remain abstinent Affirmation 6 I will from this day forward save all sexual activity for marriage. Sam ple Copy 64 Talking It Over This section is designed for parents to review and discuss the chapter with their student. Parents may want to answer these questions on a separate sheet and compare answers with the student. 1. Within the next 10 to 15 years it is possible that you will be married with one or more children.When do you think it would be good to begin thinking about the preparation necessary to be a good husband or wife father or mother 2. What are some steps you can take now to help prepare you for a healthy stable marriage 3. Is sexual activity before marriage more likely to increase or decrease future marriage opportunities for teens Why 4. Will a teen who makes a decision to save sex for marriage and then exercises discipline and self-control to keep that commitment have a greater or lesser chance of having a healthy and stable marriage Because 5. Would you agree or disagree with the following statementTwo people who are married have a significantly different relationship than two people who are not married. Agree Disagree Explain 6. How is marriage different from living together 7. Statistically those who do not live together before marriage are much less likely to divorce than those who do. Why do you suppose this is 3 Maintaining a healthy relationship with your parents is one of the best things that you can do to maintain a commitment to abstinence and to prepare for a future healthy marriage. Teens who are well connected with parents and trusted adults are more likely to be able to resist negative pressures such as drinking drugs and sexual activity. 4 Sam ple Copy Making a Fresh Start Letting go of the Past Sam ple Copy 66 Yesterdays Gone One of the greatest obstacles to fulfilling your goals and dreams is the weight of past experiences. Sometimes it seems as though previous choices have already compromised your future. 1. Is it really possible to choose a new direction for yourself and to make new choices and decisions regardless of your past Is it possible to start over again How would you respond to each of the following If a person tries cigarettes as a teen does that person have to continue smoking in the future Yes No Not Sure If a person tries drinking as a teen does that person have to continue drinking in the future Yes No Not Sure If a person is sexually active as a teen does that person have to continue to be sexually active in the future Yes No Not Sure Sometimesteensdiscovertheyhavegottenthemselvesontoapaththatisnottakingthemwheretheywouldeventuallyliketogo. Astheylookahead they do not see hope freedom and opportunity. Instead they are discouraged about the future. But there is hope. Different choices now will lead to differentoutcomeslater. Whatmattersmostisnotwhatyouhavedoneinthepastbutwhatyouwillchoosetodaytoprepareforyourfuture. 2. Some believe that teens who become sexually active are not able to make a fresh start that once they have become sexually active they must continue to be sexually active. What do you think about this If you knew someone who was sexually active but wanted to make a fresh start what would you tell them 3. Surveys show that most teens two out of three who have been sexually active say that they regret their decision and wish they had waited. Why do you suppose this is 1 4. Is it possible for a person to regret sexual activity even if there is no pregnancy or STD Yes No Explain Perhaps one of the most important lessons you will ever learn is that regardless of your past youcanstillmakegoodchoicesforyourfuture. Youarenotdestinedtorepeatyourpast. Most ofyourlifeisaheadofyouandthisisyouropportunitytomakeafreshstartforyourfuture. Twooutofthreeteenswhohave beensexuallyactiveregrettheir decisionsayingthattheywish theyhadwaited.1 Ifyouhavealwaysbeenabstinentthe materialinthischaptercanbehelpful inknowinghowtohelpotherswho maybelookingforencouragementto makegooddecisionsfortheirfuture. Itsimportanttobesupportiveof othersregardlessofpreviouschoices. Sam ple Copy 67 Caution Daterapeisaseriousproblem. Justbecausesomeone knows you takes you on a date or spends money on you it doesnt mean the person can force you to dosomethingyoudontwanttodo. Itsimportantto clearlyresistallpressuresandtoremoveyourselffrom thesituation. Althoughdaterapemayoccurwithout theuseofdrugsoralcoholtheuseofsubstanceswill make it much more difficult to successfully defend yourself against it. Fact 46-75 of the cases of date rape involve the use of alcohol. The actual prevalence is likely even higher due to underreporting. 3 Cause for Concern 1. Unfortunately a large number of teen girls who have had sex didnt want to. In fact 1 in 3 older teen girls 15-19 say that they were either forced or pressured into it. For younger teen girls the percentage is much higher. Why is this an important consideration 2 2. Is it possible that two people in a relationship might have different ideas about sex If a guy tries to convince a girl to have sex and forces her into it even though she saysnowhat is that called Pressured or forced sexual activity can cause deep emotional hurt that is not easily overcome. It is important to realize that regardless of the circumstancesifsomethinglikethishashappenedtoyouitisnotyourfaultandyouarenot to blame. Letting go of the past may not come easily but choosing to move forward with your life regardless of the past is an important step in overcoming the hurt to gain freedom from your past. 3. Ifyouvebeenpulledintoalifestyleandhavestruggledwithyourfeelingsasaresultofyouractionsitsimportanttorealizethatyoure not alone. Most teens who become sexually active during high school indicate that they do not want to continue down that path. What would you say is the best way for a person in this situation to get back on track and move forward with his or her life Harvard Research on DatingViolence Nearly one in five sexually active teenage girls in the United States say they have been physically abused by a date in the past year Reuters reports of a study released by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston Mass. These same girls are also more likely than other teen girls to become pregnant or engage in risky sexual behaviors such as having more than one partner over a short period of time. The Harvard study surveyed a nationally representative sample of 6864 female high school students. Forty-three percent said they had had sex at least one time and of these 18 percent reported they had been hit slapped or otherwise physically hurt by a boyfriend and for a very small number a girlfriend in the past year. But among those teenage girls who said they had never had sex about 4 percent reported dating violence. Study author Dr. Jay G. Silverman said the statistics are consistent with previous research. Reuters also reports that the girls who said they had experienced dating violence were twice as likely to have had three or more sexual partners in the past three months and were 50 percent more likely to have started having sex before age 15 or to have used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sex.4 Sam ple Copy 68 Ginas Journey A T rue S tory Igrew up in a solid family environment a dad a mom two older sisters and a younger sister. But at age 13 my world shattered when my dad suddenly passed away of a brain aneurysm. My life changed completely. Instead of mom being home when we returned from school she was away taking college classes or working. Even more heartbreaking at 6 oclock in the evening when I usually anticipated my dad returning home I was reminded daily that he would not becomingback. Inolongerhadmydadtotreatmelikehislittleprincessencourage me and love me no matter what. I found out many years later that not having this kind of relationship with your father canaffectyourdecisions. Idesperatelywantedaguytosweepmeoffmyfeetandfall inlovewithme. MyfirstweekofcollegeImetagood-lookingandintelligentguy. We hititoffrightawayandinoneweekhesweptmeoffmyfeetandtoldmeeverythingI wanted to hear from a man. We did everything together and were hardly ever apart. As time went on I noticed I wasnt spending time with anyone else because he never wanted me to do anything without him. If I even said hito a guy on campus he would want to know who he was and how I knew him. When I went to work he would go to my car and check the mileage to see if I went where I said I was going. Whenwegotintoargumentshewouldthrowthingsandpunchwalls. Thenhewould apologize and I would always forgive him. Alongwiththecontrolcamesexualabuse. IremembertellinghimseveraltimesthatIdidnotwanttodoit. Iknewitwasntrightbecausewewerent married. Then he would make me feel really guilty and I would give in even though I felt forced into it. Later in my freshman year we got into an argument and this time he physically abused me so badly I wound up in the hospital. I remember lying in the hospital bed thinkingWhy me All I wanted to do was fall in love. What made this experience especially difficult to handle was that five months earlier my older sister Christine had been murdered by her husband. IwasstillinshockandgriefoverthelossofmysisterandknewIhadtoleavemyrelationshipwhenthephysicalabusehappened. Manypeoplethink that it would be easy to leave a situation like this. I found it very difficult. Thanks to the support of my mom I did not go back to him. During the following years of healing I learned of many reasons why I had such a hard time leaving him. I learned that sex creates a physiological bondbetweentwopeople. IknewthatitwasntmyfaultforanyoftheabuseincludingthesexualabusebutIalsoknewthatinthefutureIcoulddo things differently to prevent getting into another relationship like that. Instead of wanting to be swept off my feet with absolutely no standards or boundaries I decided I still wanted to be swept off my feet but not by just anyone. I needed to have a plan to set some standards. Heres what I came up with 1. Know the warning signs of an abusive relationship. I wanted to make sure that I never ended up in that kind of relationship again. Danger signs to watch for include possessiveness extreme emotions from very angry to very romantic jealousy fear and isolation from family and friends. 2. Become friends. I wanted to make sure that this person would be satisfied just being my friend. If he wanted more than friendship or nothing at all then he wasnt the one for me. 3. Make new friends. In college my friends were not the kind of people who would be hanging out with the kind of man I wanted to marry. So I met new friends who did not drink and had the same standards as I did. 4. Save sex until marriage. I realized I needed to make a new choice for my future and I did. I determined that I would not let anyone pressure me into sex again and I made a clear commitment to save all sexual activity until marriage. 5. Develop my character. I chose to take time to develop my character and identity. I wanted to be the best person I could be for my future husband. I had high standards of what I expected of my husband and I realized that I needed to have the same qualities that I was expecting to find in him. Sam ple Copy 69 LookingbackIwishIhadbeenabletodevelopthesestandardsinhighschool. Ifoundthathavingaset ofguidelinesgavemeasenseofsecurityandconfidence. Ihadaclearplantohelpmeavoidfallingback into that type of situation and it worked SeveralyearslaterwhenIleastexpecteditIwassweptoffmyfeetagainbutthistimeIknewitwas right. ThistimeIhadmystandardsandhehadstandardstoo Hewascommittedtobeingmyfriend and wasnt looking for anything more. He loved me unconditionally whether or not our relationship ever went past the friendship stage 2. Because I was developing my character 5 I had a better idea of who I was and was also able to discern his character which was remarkable. It wasnt just about physical attraction. We got to know each other on the inside. Seven-and-a-half years after makingthecommitmenttosavesexformarriagewhichwebothkept4RobandI weremarried NowIcanhonestlysaythatmarriageiswonderfulinfactitismuchbetterthanweeverdreamed it would be. When we married I was almost 30 and Rob was 32. I expected there would be many adjustments since we had lived so many years on our own as singles but it really came very naturally for us. I think what has made it work so well is that we both did the work up front. We went into the relationship knowing our identity andfeelingcompleteassinglepeople. Wehavefoundthatwedontcompleteeachotherinmarriagebutratherwedocomplementeachother. This is how we are able to love and support each other unconditionally. Im not saying that marriage doesnt take work it does. But I am glad that my husbandandIworkedonourcharacterandourselvesbeforewegotmarriedandthatwewaitedforeachother. Choosingtowaithasmadeallthe difference in our relationship. 1. Although Gina had a difficult experience she was able to make a fresh start. What did she do to get her life back on track 2. Gina didnt try to justify sex because of love. What does she say happened What would you do if you were in a situation where someone was pressuring you like that 3. How important were Ginas standards Do you think she would be married to Rob today if she had not decided to make a fresh start with standards for her future Why or why not 4. After the abusive relationship Gina chose to wait for marriage. Why was she glad that she waited Gina Harris speaks to schools around the country sharing her message on the benefits of abstinence and marriage. For more information see p. 2 Sam ple Copy 70 A Powerful Bond 1. One of the reasons that it can be difficult to end a physical relationship even if there is abuse is the physiological response of the body to sexual activity. Gina learned that sex creates a physiological bond between two people. This bonding occurs through the release of a hormone called oxytocin. For women oxytocin is released in the body during childbirth nursing and sexual activity.5 Why do you suppose the body releases thebondinghormone at these times What is its function 2. Oxytocin forms a strong natural bond between a woman and her husband and between a woman and her child. In a marriage relationship sex is not only safe but can strengthen the relationship between the husband and wife as a result of oxytocin. Outside of a marriage relationship however the oxytocin bond can increase the emotional pain when the relationship is ended.5 Why would the release of oxytocin in the body make it more difficult to end a physical relationship 3. If you or someone you know is finding it difficult to make a fresh start in the area of sexual activity it is helpful to understand the power of the bond of oxytocin. It will require a deliberate conscious effort to break free from an unhealthy relationship or behaviors to get on track to your future goals and dreams. Gina was able to do it by developing a set of standards. Look again at Ginas list below. Whether youre making a fresh start or maintaining a commitment to abstinence which of these do you think it would be important to prioritize Oxytocin Oxytocin is the powerful hormone involved in bonding sex and childbirth as well as in relaxation and feelings of calm. It is the mirror image of the stresshormoneadrenalinewhichtriggersthefight or flight systems in the body. 5 Ginas Standards Know the warning signs of an abusive relationship. Become friends. Make new friends. Save sex until marriage. Develop my character. Sam ple Copy 71 Future View How do you see your life Whats your perspective Where is your focus Here are three ways people tend to view life. Living in the Past Many people go through life focusing on their past. Unfortunately its hard to move forward when youre looking backward. In this view the past has the most influence over the way I live. Living for the Moment. Many people are focused on the present. Everything is about today.While it is commendable to take advantage of current opportunities and toseize the momenttoo often there is little consideration for how my actions today will affect my future and there is little preparation for the future. Living for the Future. Those who aspire to achieve their future goals recognize that the past is gone and the present is quickly passing. In this view the focus is on what I need to do to prepare myself to accomplish my plan. The present is not minimized but is kept in perspective. The larger you see your past the smaller you will see your future. The smaller you see your past the larger you will see your future. Let go of yesterday. Hold loosely to today. Embrace tomorrow. Which of these views most closely resembles the way you look at your life Past Present Future Which of these views would you like to represent the way you look at your life Past Present Future When you focus on the past you hinder your ability to move forward in life. Choosing abstinence is about letting go of your past and moving forward into a larger better brighter future. My Past My Present My Future My Past My Present My Future My Past My Present My Future Sam ple Copy 72 Finding Freedom B A R B S T R U E S tory Your HIV test came back positive the counselor said. Knowing HIV caused AIDS I tried to grasp the reality of this while hurling it as far away as possible. Two weeks earlier in March 1993 the possibility of marriage had prompted me to tell Rick that although he had remained abstinent I had not. I had made poor choices. Rick had assured me my past wouldnt hurt our relationship but now how could I tell him this news I decided to retest just to be sure. Driving home I thought This cant be happening. I am only 27 years old. Rick and I are in love and want to marry. Rick is strong and dedicated but why would he commit to a woman who might be terminally ill By midnight my tissue box was empty yet I struggled with my thoughts through the rest of the night. What a hypocrite. Everyone will reject you. What a failure. Youll die alone thin and weak. Covered with sores. In pain. Without friends. By morning I was still awake and I knew I would see Rick that night. I cant keep this from him and why should I He deservestoknowthetruthIthought.ThenhellbegoneThat evening we sat and faced each other. Ricks eyes met mine. I looked down at my hands and tried to speak but managed only a stifled cry.What is itRick asked. Remember our conversation about me not remaining abstinent I sobbed. I was tested for HIV and it came back positive. Rick reached over to hug me but I pulled back.Please let me hold youhe said.I dont think you should touch me. You could get thisI said knowing very little about the virus. I cant get it from hugging youRick said. He wrapped me in his arms and we both cried.I know this will change our relationship I whispered. I am ready to commit my life to youRick said. I dont know exactly what the future holds but I will be here for you. Nothing will change my mind. My love for you is far greater than this. Theretestcamebackpositive.Iconsultedmydoctorforaprognosis.YourT-cellcountis147hesaid.Anormalpersonsisbetween800 and 1200.You have two weeks to a year to live.The doctor gave me a prescription for AZT the first drug approved for the treatment of HIV and I stared at the paper in disbelief. How do I live the rest of my life in two weeks Later that night Rick held me again and we wept together. We were not expecting such grim news. I didnt even feel sick But Rick comforted me and gave me the courage to face our reality. Amazingly all of this confirmed Ricks acceptance. How can you stay with meI asked him. I couldnt believe his level of commitment. When you told me you were HIV positive I chose to support you through a terminal illness. I love you and love is not easily turned away. Our relationship is an incredible gift that has been given to us and no one no disease can ever take this from us. I am ready to commit my life to you. Sam ple Copy 73 Affirmation 7 I will let go of the past and live for the future. Committed for Life Rick sat by my side as I told my immediate family. When I finished Rick added I love her and will be here for her.Then Rick told his parents and declared his commitment to me. During the next few months we asked pastors doctors and counselors whether or not Rick and I could get married.We always got the same answer.People with HIV can still get married but there will be some sexual restrictions. That May Rick and I went out to dinner to celebrate the purchase of his first home. After dinner Rick read to me the famousLove Chapter. He then got down on his knee pulled out a ring and proposed. I couldnt speak. I just kept nodding. On October 9 1993 we married knowing we might only have a few months together. Twelve years later we remain happily married. Advances in medicine provided a three-drug therapy referred to as acocktail.The therapy keeps me alive but involves changing drugs often.These medicines have severe side effects such as liver damage nerve damage fatigue headache rash nausea and diarrhea. Currently myT-cell count is 522 and the side effects from my latest cocktail are minimal though no one knows the long- term effect of these drugs. Rick remains uninfected. He continues to lovingly stand by me as we deal with the side effects of new drugs the uncertainty of my medical condition and the sorrow of not having children.We still walk hold hands and exchange our deepest thoughts and feelings with each other. Through it all the most amazing part has been the fullness of forgiveness and understanding that I have received from my wonderful husband.The difficult part was the struggle to forgive myself. In time I have come to realize that if Rick has been able to let go of my past that I must be willing to let go of the past and forgive myself as well. Because of Ricks love and the freedom of forgiveness I am able to live my life without looking back. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to speak to students in schools all around the country and we are so glad that we are able to help others to make positive choices and decisions for their lives which will help them to protect their futures. 1. What do you think of Ricks response to Barbaras revelation Do you think most people would respond this wayWhy or why not 2. What do you think of Barbs decision to let go of the past and live for the future Rick Barb speak to schools around the country sharing their message on the benefits of abstinence and marriage. For more information see p. 2. Sam ple Copy Talking It Over This section is designed for parents to review and discuss the chapter with their student. Parents may want to answer these questions on a separate sheet and compare answers with the student. 1. Sometimes the place to begin making a fresh start is in your relationship with your parents. It is not uncommon for teens to get out in the middle of their teen years and realize they have left their relationship with their parents behind. Sometimes parents get busy and realize they have left their relationship with their kids behind.This is unfortunate because only a few years remain before you will be out on your own. How would you rate your relationship with your parents Great Okay Needs work Needs a miracle What are some things you could do to strengthen this relationship 2. Are there some other areas in your life where you believe you need to make a fresh start 3. What are some things in your past that you will need to let go of in order to accomplish your goals for the future 4. Whether it has to do with relationships with others or computer use or any other issue if you really want to change your parents can be your greatest source of help and support. What are some areas you may be struggling with that you would like to ask your parents to help you with as they are able 74 Letting go of the past is not easy but it is necessary. If youre looking for a way to get your life back on track taking your focus off of the past and looking to the future with hope is the first step. Be encouraged that many teens have found new freedom for the future by making a clear decision to make a fresh start. Sam ple Copy The Big Picture Life is Short. Live Well. Sam ple Copy 76 Vision Everyday you make choices that affect your life. Like small drops of water each of these choices may not seem very significant but over time can have a significant effect. The ocean is merely an accumulation of many individual drops of water and though you may be able to escape the consequences of one or two poor choices it is the accumulation of these choices over time whichcanfloodyourfuture. Itisnotnormallysomegrandeventbutrather the simple daily choices which will determine who you are as a person. 1. Which of the following most closely describes where youre at right now I believe that most of the choices I am making now are leading me toward my future goals. I believe that most of the choices I am making now are leading me away from my future goals. I believe that most of the choices I am making now are leading me away from my future goals but Im ready to make some changes to get my life on the right track. 2. Beginning today I plan to save all sexual activity until marriage. Yes No Not sure 3. Take a look back at some of the goals or ideals that you listed for your future at the beginning of this study on p. 7. Determine the top three goals in your life and then form a one sentence statement of purpose for your life. My top three goals in life are My purpose in life is The teenage years are a once in a lifetime opportunity to set the instruments on the panel that will determine the course of your life. Sam ple Copy Sex Key Life Events Parenthood Marriage Graduate High School Sequence Although nearly all teens hope to have a good marriage and family life6 todays culture tends to provide little support toward the accomplishment of these goals. One of the most important factors in determining whether or not you will accomplish your goals has a lot to do with the order in which some of your key life events take place. In the empty boxes below put the four key life events in the order that would best help you to accomplish your goals From left to right. This may seem like a very simple exercise and yet consider how important it is to follow this sequence of events. If these steps are out of order how significant will the affect be on a persons future Not very significant Significant Extremely significant Explain The Success Sequence Finallyteenslackknowledgeofwhatmightbecalledthesuccess sequenceFinishhighschoolorbetterstillgetacollegedegreewait untilyourtwentiestomarryandhavechildrenafteryoumarry. Teenswhofollowthissequencearelikelytoavoidpovertyandto dowelleconomically.Thosewhodepartfromthissequenceareat amuchgreatereconomicrisk.Achildborntoanunmarriedteen motherwhohasnotfinishedhighschoolisninetimesmorelikelyto bepoorthanachildborntoanadultparentwhoismarriedand hasgraduatedfromhighschool.5 Barbara DafoeWhitehead and Marline Pearson have coauthored a report entitled Making a Love Connection which explains the importance of sequence. The report is linked at 77 Sam ple Copy 78 Getting There Abstinence isnt really a goal but rather a path that helps you to arrive at a goal. Abstinence is simply about avoiding the things that will create obstacles as you pursue your dreams. Abstinence is a way to gain freedom in your life. If youre serious about achieving your goals use the diagram to walk through the linkages of how abstinence can help lead you to your ultimate destination. Abstinence Increases the likelihood of academic achievement 1. How can abstinence help to improve my academic achievement Academic achievement Increases the likelihood of future opportunities Future opportunities Increase the likelihood of future freedom 3. How can future opportunities help me to have more freedom in the future 2. How can academic achievement help to increase my future opportunities for college career and income Sam ple Copy 79 Rewards of Abstinence Aspire isnt about trying to dodge the consequences of sexual activity. Its about avoiding the consequences of sexual activity and helping you to have the freedom to live the life that you want to live. 1. Which of the following statements most closely reflects your views I think the decision about abstinence affects my choices regarding sexual activity. I think the decision about abstinence affects my choices in every area of my life. Non-marital sexual activity can have negative financial implications for many reasons discussed in chapter two. For example out-of-wedlock births are a leading cause of poverty for both mother and baby. 1 On the other hand abstinence increases financial opportunities. 2 If one of your goals in life is to earn a good amount of money you should know that abstinence can help you to accomplish this goal. At the same time sexual activity can make this goal extremely difficulty to accomplish in some instances. 2. Graduating from college is a great accomplishment. It isnt easy but it does have benefits including financial benefits. Of course these amounts will vary from person to person but these average numbers can help explain the financial benefits of education. Determine how much more lifetime income you would have for each educational level achieved and record in the right hand column. Educational Achievement Projected Lifetime Earnings EducationalBonus2 forTodaysTeens High School Non-Graduate 1336961 High School Graduate 1809038 College Graduate Bachelors Degree 3204784 Post-Graduate Doctoral Degree 5414068 If you dont feel that you can afford college talk with your parents or a school counselor about opportunities for grants and scholarships. Choosing whether and which college to attend is a decision with long term implications.. Muchoftheeconomicpolarizationinthiscountryconsistsofthelargedivide betweenthepeoplewhoareabletoacquirebothacollegedegreeanda marriagelicenseandpeoplewhoacquireneither.5 Sam ple Copy 80 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Sexually Active Teens Attending or Graduated CollegeDropped Out of SchoolExpelled from School Abstinent Teens Abstinence and Academic Achievement 2 Projected Lifetime Earnings of CurrentTeens Based on Educational Achievement 2 0 1000000 2000000 3000000 4000000 5000000 6000000 Doctoral Degree College Degree High School Graduate High School Non-Graduate Pathway to Freedom Research indicates that abstinent teens tend to do better in school and are nearly twice as likely to graduate from college. Whether you realize it or not you are planning out your future by the choices you are making today. Regardless of past decisions choosing abstinence now will increase your educational and financial opportunities. A Note from the Researchers Whileitisdifficulttoprovecausationitseemsclearthatabstinencecontributestoacademicachievement. Thepositiveassociationbetweenabstinenceand higheracademicperformanceislikelytobeduetothefactthatbothbehaviorsarefosteredbyimportantunderlyingpersonalitycharacteristics.Anexplicit goalofmanyabstinenceeducationprogramsistofosterthesecharactertraits.Abstinenceeducationisnotjustaboutsayingnotosex.Abstinenceeducation teachesyouthtodefergratificationtotakethefutureseriouslyandplanforittorespectparentalandsocialvaluesandtogenuinelyrespectselfandothers. Clearlylearningtheseskillsandvalueswillhaveanimpactnotjustonsexualactivitybutonacademicachievementandotherlifegoalsaswell.2 Sam ple Copy 81 Hope for Tomorrow Is abstinence really possible Sometimes things can get a bit discouraging because it seems as though everybodys doing it. However there is a clear movement in the direction of abstinence as more and more teens are choosing to wait. 1. The first chart here shows the number of high school age teens who are and are not currently sexually active according to the CDC. Approximately What percentage of teens are sexually active______ What percentage of teens are not sexually active______ 2. Thischartindicatesthat twiceasmanyteensarenotsexuallyactiveas those who are. Is this surprising to you Why or why not 3. Notice also that the number of teens who are sexually active has been declining year after year so that today fewer than 4 in 10 high school students are sexually active. With all of the pressure on teens today how do you explain this declining trend 4. Consistent with this trend of decreasing sexual activity rates of teen pregnancies births and abortions are all in decline and have been for more than two decades.34 All of this is positive news as these declines represent healthier individuals and communities. Abstinence helps teens to protect their future. Of the three statistics in the graph at right which would you say is the most significant trend and why Pregnancies Births Abortions Explain 5. After hearing a presentation on the benefits of abstinence at her school one student responded in a note Saving sex for marriage is a great idea. I never thought of that before. Thats what I want to do. Have you given abstinence much thought before or is this a new idea _______________________________________ Some teens havenever even thought ofsaving sex for marriage. The purpose of Aspire is to help you understand the option of abstinence. If it seems like its not possible be encouraged that all around the country more and more teens are choosing to wait and to gain the benefits that abstinence provides. AccordingtotheNationalCenterforHealthStatisticsthenumberonereasoncitedbyteensforchoosingabstinenceisntconcernaboutpregnancyorSTDsbutrather forreligiousormoralreasons.3 Whateveryourreasonforchoosingabstinencetherearesignificantbenefitsindoingsoforbothindividualsandsociety. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 SexuallyActiveNotSexuallyActive SexualActivityAmongHighSchoolStudentsintheU.S.7 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 Pregnancies Births and Abortions Rates per 1000 Females Ages 15-19 4 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 10 12 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Births Abortions Pregnancies Sam ple Copy 82 Rashidas Inspiration a t r u e s to ry My inspiration and the most amazing man I have ever known is my fatherNobleJolleySr. AworldrenownedJazzguitaristandcomposer he earned the first degree in jazz studies at Howard University. When he was about my age he had already composed BETs first theme song written asymphonyandwasbeingconsideredforarecorddealbyBlueNoteRecords.Thedoors ofopportunitywereopenedtohimtomakelotsofmoneyandbecomeaninternational celebritybutheturneditalldowntobeathomewithhisfamily. I have two sisters and four brothers and over the years I watched my daddy sacrifice for us. When he started his business he chose to work at home to be closer to his family.When my brothers basketball coach quit my father stepped up and replaced the coach even though he hadnt played basketball in years. When I won the Miss District of Columbia Pageant he was nicknamedMr. DCbecause he was so involved in my life. After competing in the Miss America pageant one of the volunteers told me they had never seen a father as devoted as mine. My parents encouraged each of us to pursue our gifts and talents which were in the fields of music and drama. My Dad nurtured each of us in our individual talents and all of us excelled. Dad adored my mother. He said she was the most beautiful woman in the world and that every day wasValentines Day for him. He would get up at 2 am to get my mom Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream from a twenty-four hour 7 Eleven when she would get a craving in the middle of the night We did not know that my Dad was born with a rare fatal heart condition that could not be detected. None of us even knew he was sick including him. One night I asked my dad to move my harp which weighs 95 pounds for an upcoming performance. Ill never forget his response to that simple requestof course I will move it for you. I want to serve you. I want to serve my family.Little did I know that those words would be the last conversation I had with my dad. The next morning this rare heart condition took my fathers life. He was only 48 years old. Im telling you about my dad because this man inspired me in every aspect of my life. He showed me what true love is and gave me the strength and encouragementtopursuemydreams.Healsoinspiredmydecisiontosavesexformarriage. Asateenagerhekeptitrealwithmeaboutsex. Hesaidthat thebestwaytoprotectmyheartmindandbodywastowaituntilImetthemanwhowaswillingtomakealifelongcommitmenttomeinmarriage. I will never forget his example to me and I will never forget his advice. I want to give myself completely to one man and to spend the rest of my life with him. This is the greatest gift that I can give to my future husband me all of me. I believe that everyone deserves to have the kind of relationship that my parents had. Today because of my fathers love and encouragement I am a national motivational speaker harpist and singer. I have also released my first CD LoveIsNotAGame. LifeisshortandIwanttomakethemostofitandIhopeyouwilltoo. NomatterwhatyoumayhavedoneinthepastIwant to encourage you to make good decisions to pursue your goals and dreams and accomplish all that is in your heart for the future. 1. What are some of the reasons Rashida chose abstinence 2. What relationship do you see between Rashidas commitment to abstinence and her accomplishments Sam ple Copy 83 The Big Picture To aspire is to dream. It is to live for a purpose greater than yourself. This program is about resisting negative pressures but it does not stop there. Its about making wise choices that not only protect you but enable you to help others as well. Its about building character and becoming the kind of person that others can rely on. Its about being a dependable responsible productive member of society. 1. Why do you suppose this chapter is calledThe Big Picture 2. As you complete the Aspire program take time to think about what youve learned. What are some of the key concepts that will help you to live well now and in the future 3. As a final project work with a team of several classmates to explore and carry out one of the following projects that will help you to put into practice some of the Aspire concepts Choose a service project to help your community. This could be something as simple as meeting up on a Saturday to pick up litter around school or a mall in your area. Public Service Announcement. Make a video about the importance of abstinence and what it means to Aspire. Post it on the web and see if a local TV station will play it as a public service announcement. Start an Aspire club at your school. Find a teacher to sponsor a club. The club could work to promote smart choices around school through posters videos school announcements inviting in speakers. Write an article for your school paper or write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Explain the importance of making good choices now especially in preparing for future marriage and family. Create your own project to benefit your community or to help spread the word about the benefit of abstinence and marriage. Affirmation 8 I will make wise decisions now to protect my future. Sam ple Copy 84 Talking It Over This section is designed for parents to review and discuss the chapter with their student. Parents may want to answer these questions on a separate sheet and compare answers with the student. 1. What is the difference between having a plan for the future and just waiting to see how things turn out Why is it so important to consider your future now 2. What plans do you have for staying on track to resist negative pressures and accomplish your future goals List four specific action items that you can use as a starting point. 3. Do you believe that the relationship between abstinence academic achievement and income are real or coincidental Explain 4. It is hoped that these discussions have led to increased communication with your parents.Why is good communication with your parents so important Abstinence is not an end but a means to an end. It is living your life with a sense of purpose and maximizing your future opportunities. Its living for a purpose greater than yourself. If you marry in the future your abstinence until that time will provide an excellent foundation for a healthy stable marriage relationship built on mutual trust and respect. Sam ple Copy Eight Affirmations for an Excellent Life 1. I will live my life with a sense of purpose. 2. I will resist negative pressures in order to accomplish my future goals. 3. I will maintain my physical health and well being. 4. I will control the media rather than allowing the media to control me. 5. I will exercise self-control and build my character. 6. I will from this day forward save all sexual activity for marriage. 7. I will let go of the past and live for the future. 8. I will make wise decisions now to protect my future. Signed Date PANTONE293 Sam ple Copy Aspire research notes are hyperlinked for easy access at Research Notes Chapter 1 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance MMWR June 8 2012 61 SS-4. p. 25. YRBS indicates that the number of students who have had intercourse in the past 3 months 33.7 is significantly less than num- ber who have ever had sexual intercourse 47.4. Chapter 2 1. Abma JC Martinez GM Copen CE. Teenagers in the United States Sexual Activity Contraceptive Use and Childbearing National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2008. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 23 30. 2010. p. 54 2. U.S. Teenage Pregnancy Statistics National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity. Guttmacher Institute 120 Wall Street New York NY 10005 January 2010. p. 14. 3. Albert B. With One Voice Americas Adults and Teens Sound Off About Teen Pregnancy. Washington DC National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy 2004 pp. 3233. 2007 pp. 21718. 4. Bramlett M.D. and Mosher W.D. Cohabitation Marriage Divorce and Remarriage in the United States. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Statistics 2322 2002. p. 4. Robert Rector and Kirk A. Johnson Ph.D. The Effects of Marriage and Maternal Education in Reducing Child Poverty Center for Data Analysis The Heritage Foundation Washington D.C. August 2002. pp. 1-10. Chapter 3 1. Hillard Weinstock Stuart Berman and Willard Cates Jr. Alan Guttmacher Institute. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among American Youth Incidence and Prevalence Estimates 2000. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health Volume 36 Number 1 JanuaryFebruary 2004. p. 1. Study Summary of Results Approximately 18.9 million new cases of STD occurred in 2000 of which 9.1 million 48 were among persons aged 15-24. Average daily cases overall is 51780. 2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tracking The Hidden Epidemics 2000 Trends in STDs in the United States Atlanta GA U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2000. pp. 8-24. 3. Workshop Summary Scientific Evidence On Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease STD Prevention June 12-13 2000 Herndon VA National Institutes of Health July 20 2001. pp. i 11. 4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Trends in Reportable Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States 2004 Atlanta GA U.S. Department of Health and Human Services November 2005. pp. 1-5. 5. Columbia University Dangerous Liaisons Substance Abuse and Sex The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University 1999. p. 27. 6. The National Womens Health Information Center United States Department of Health Human Services Office of Womens Health Sexually Transmitted Diseases Overview May 2005. p. 1. 7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2012. Atlanta GA U.S. Department of Health and Human Services January 8 2014. pp. 79 80 89 101 116 Prior years data for p. 30 graph please see 1998 CDC STD Surveillance p. 72 2004 Surveillance p. 97 2006 Surveillance p. 105. 8. U.S. Census Bureau 2011 American Community Survey. Median Age at First Marriage. Accessed January 9 2014. The average age of marriage is 28.9 for men and 26.9 for women. Therefore the average age of marriage combined is approximately 28 years old. 9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report 2011 vol 23. February 2013 pp. 22 44 56. Accessed January 9 2014. 10. Abma JC Martinez GM Copen CE. Teenagers in the United States Sexual Activity Contraceptive Use and Childbearing National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2008. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 23 30. 2010. pp. 49 50 55 11. American Cancer Society What are the key statistics for cervical cancer October 31 2005 Cervical Cancer is in a declining trend. ACS estimates 11070 cases of cervical cancer and 3870 deaths from cervical cancer in 2008. Female deaths from AIDS were 4128 in 2005. 12. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Genital HPV Infection - CDC Fact Sheet Atlanta GA U.S. Department of Health and Human Services August 2006. 13. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Genital Herpes - CDC Fact Sheet Atlanta GA U.S. Department of Health and Human Services January 4 2008. 14. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Report to Congress Prevention of Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection Atlanta GA U.S. Department of Health and Human Services January 2004. p. 13 15. Helene D. Gayle M.D. M.P.H. Director National Center for HIV STD and TB Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta GA U.S. Department of Health and Human Services August 4 2000. 16. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Divisions of HIVAIDS Prevention HIV and Its Transmission Atlanta GA U.S. Department of Health and Human Services HPV Vaccine Questions and Answers CDC Fact Sheet August 2006. 17. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sexually Transmitted Diseases HPV Vaccine Questions Answers Fact Sheet August 2006. 18. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. MMWR June 8 2012 61 SS-4. p. 26. This chart indicates condom usage at last encounter. 86 Sam ple Copy 19. Dr. Sara Forhan Oral Abstract D4a Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Bacterial Vaginosis among Female Adolescents in the United States Data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey NHANES 2003-2004. 2008 National STD Prevention Conference Chicago IL. March 10-13 2008. pp. 2-3. 20. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basic Information About HIV and AIDS. httpwww.cdc.govhiv topicsbasic Accessed June 19 2010. Chapter 4 1. Donald F. Roberts Ph.D. Ulla G. Foehr M.A. Victoria Rideout M.A. Kaiser Family Foundation Generation M Media in the Lives of 818 Year-0lds March 2005. 2. Medved Michael and Diane Ph.D. Saving Childhood Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence Harper Perennial New York NY p. 19 1998. 3. Kastleman Mark. The Drug of the New Millennium The Science of How Internet Pornography Radically Alters the Human Brain and Body Granite Publishing and Distribution LLC Orem Utah pp.173-185 2001. 4. PBS Documentary. Frontline The Merchants of Cool FROL6909 5. ABC News Porn Profits Corporate Americas Secret May 27 2004. httpabcnews.go.comPrimetimstoryid132370page1 6. Paul Hitlin and Lee Rainie Teens Technology and School Pew Internet American Life Project August 2005. p. 7 K7g. Chapter 5 1. Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English Oxford University Press 2006. 2. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language Fourth Edition 2000 Houghton Mifflin Company. 3. Columbia University Dangerous Liaisons Substance Abuse and Sex The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University 1999. p. 2. 4. Columbia University National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse IX Teen Dating Practices and Sexual Activity The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University August 2004. pp. 5-6. Chapter 6 1. Jerald G. Bachman Lloyd D. Johnston and Patrick M. OMalley Monitoring the Future A Continuing Study of American Youth 12th-Grade Survey 2006 Survey Research Center Institute for Social Research The University of Michigan 2008. 2. Bramlett MD and Mosher WD. Cohabitation Marriage Divorce and Remarriage in the United States. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Statistics 2322. 2002. p. 44 3. Georgina Binstock and Arland Thornton Separations Reconciliations and Living Apart in Cohabitating and Marital Unions Journal of Marriage and Family Vol. 65 May 2003 pp. 432-443. See also Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher The Case for Marriage New York NY Doubleday 2000. 4. Columbia University The Importance of Family Dinners II The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University September 2005. pp. 7-8. Chapter 7 1. Albert B. With One Voice Americas Adults and Teens Sound Off About Teen Pregnancy. Washington DC National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy 2007. Regret for ages 12-14 67 ages 12-19 60. Year over year the regret statistic for ages 12-19 is consistently in the two-thirds range. 2002 63 2003 67 2004 66. 2. Moore KA et al. A Statistical Portrait of Adolescent Sex Contraception and Childbearing Washington DC National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy 1998. p. 11 7.3 non-voluntary or forced 24.1 unwanted or pressured 31.4 or approximately 1 in 3. 3. Columbia University Dangerous Liaisons Substance Abuse and Sex The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University 1999. p. 42 4. Jay G. Silverman Anita Raj and Karen Clements. Dating Violence and Associated Sexual Risk and Pregnancy Among Adolescent Girls in the United States. Pediatrics Vol. 114 No. 2 August 2004 p. e220. 5. Kerstin Uvns-Moberg M.D. Ph.D. The Oxytocin Factor Cambridge MA. DaCapo Press. 2003. Inside cover text. pp. 59 93 117-120. Chapter 8 1. Robert Rector and Kirk A. Johnson Ph.D. The Effects of Marriage and Maternal Education in Reducing Child Poverty Center for Data Analysis The Heritage Foundation Washington D.C. August 2002. pp. 1-6. 2. Robert Rector and Kirk A. Johnson Ph.D. Teenage Sexual Abstinence and Academic Achievement Paper presented at the 9th Annual Abstinence Clearinghouse Conference The Heritage Foundation Washington D.C. August 2005. pp. 2-12 20-24. 3. Abma JC Martinez GM Copen CE. Teenagers in the United States Sexual Activity Contraceptive Use and Childbearing National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2008. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 23 30. 2010. p. 60. 4. U.S. Teenage Pregnancies Births and Abortions 2008 National Trends by Age Race and Ethnicity. Guttmacher Institute 120 Wall Street New York NY 10005 February 2012. p. 7. Hamilton BE Martin JA Ventura SJ. Births Preliminary data for 2012. National vital statistics reports vol 62 no 3. Hyattsville MD National Center for Health Statistics. 2013. P. 9. 5. Whitehead B. Pearson M. 2006. Making a Love Connection Teen Relationships Pregnancy and Marriage. Washington DC National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. pp. 17-18. 6. Jerald G. Bachman Lloyd D. Johnston and Patrick M. OMalley Monitoring the Future A Continuing Study of American Youth 12th-Grade Survey 2006 Survey Research Center Institute for Social Research The University of Michigan 2008. 7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. MMWR June 8 2012 61 SS-4. p. 25. 87 Sam ple Copy The Final Word A Note from Scott Phelps Ihave dedicated my life to the purpose of teaching teens to resist negative pressures particularly in the area of sexual activity before marriage. Over the course of my career I have counseled a number of distraught pregnant teens and their parents. I have seen them wrestle with the difficult decisions that unmarried teen pregnancy requires. Some chose abortion. Others chose to keep their baby and become single parents as teens. Still others placed their children for adoption often the most a beneficial option for all. And the problem of sexual activity does not only afflict todays youth. I have seen marriages and families broken apart as a result of unfaithfulness and a general lack of self-control on the part of adults who never learned the principles of restraint as teens. But few of these negative realities are found in the pages of Aspire. Although I have seen many beautiful young lives sadly derailed by sexual activity I determined not to write a book about the terrible things that can happen to you from sex outside of marriage but rather to highlight how good and beneficial the decision for abstinence can be in your life. My goal is not to discourage you from sexual activity as much as it is to encourage you toward sexual abstinence and future freedom. My hope is to inspire you to life on purpose and to have a healthy and successful future. In my experience working with families it is the critical moment the teen years which most significantly determines a persons future. If you dedicate yourself to making wise choices now avoid cultural pressures turn off the TV and the computer once in a while and stay connected to your parents you will be preparing yourself for a better tomorrow. And this is a message for all teens. Regardless of your past experiences today can be a new day. Choosing abstinence isnt about your past its about your future hopes and dreams. Abstinence is about choosing a clear direction for where you want to go with your life from this day forward. All of the stories in this workbook are true stories of real people. Throughout Aspire you read stories from the life of Shane. These stories are my own. Today I am fortunate to have a wonderful wife Carrie and a beautiful family. The freedom I experience today is a direct result of choices I made as a teenager Choosing to resist pressure for sex Ch. 2 choosing to walk away from my friends Ch. 5 and finally choosing to marry an incredible woman Ch. 6. Aspire is a curriculum designed for public school use and as such there is much that is left untold. Suffice it to say here that Carrie and I are extremely thankful that we were able to resist the pressures all around us and wait for each other. If we had it to do all over again we would surely choose again to wait. If you will resist the many negative pressures around you and make healthy choices there are many wonderful benefits that will follow perhaps not immediately but ultimately. If you choose abstinence were confident that youll be glad you did. So choose well. Live your life. Be free. Scott Phelps The Phelps Family MeganJonathanMatthewJennifer ScottCarrie Sam ple Copy Scott Phelps has worked with teens in San Francisco and Chicago and speaks tothousandsofteensaroundthecountry each year in public and private schools on the benefits of abstinence until marriage and preparing for a future healthy marriage. Scott provides training seminars nationally to help educators and parents effectively communicate the message of abstinence and marriage to teens. Scott has worked with various youth organizations over the course of his career.Hehasauthoredandco-authored several other abstinence and marriage curricula including Game Plan Quest and Navigator. He is also author of Excel a faith-based curriculum for high school students. Scott holds a bachelors degree from San Francisco State University and a masters degree from Trinity International University in Deerfield Illinois. Scott and his wife Carrie have four children and reside near Chicago. Sam ple Copy is designed to help you think through some of the most important decisions in your life. Specifically it is designed to help you resist the many pressures pushing you toward sexual activity by making wise choices. Aspire is about learning to resist the power of the present and choosing instead to pursue your future freedom. If this is your desire Aspire can help to strengthen your resolve. If youre not sure what you should do Aspire can help you in considering this very important decision. Todays youth are desperate for a picture of authentic relationships and sexuality. Aspire gives them much needed information on their decisions regarding sex and relationships with the vision that marriage completes the picture of authentic love commitment and sexuality. Jeff Kemp President Families Northwest former NFL quarterback Few things are more important for todays youth and society than transmitting a stronger marriage culture to the next generation. Young people today are hungry for both the sound information and message of hope that Aspire delivers. Maggie Gallagher President Institute for Marriage Public Policy and co-author The Case for Marriage My wife Veronique and I were able to resist the pressures toward sexual activity before marriage. We know firsthand that abstinence is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for a good marriage in the future if that is your desire. We did it and we know that you can too. Aspire can help you to get there. A.C. Green President A.C. Green Youth Foundation Successful Entrepreneur Ironman of the NBA Aspire is an amazing tool that teaches teens truth in a way that speaks to the pressures they face today. How exciting to see a new generation of young people who arent afraid to make a stand for doing whats right. Pam Stenzel Author Speaker Director Enlighten Communications In tough situations teens need to know how to make smart choices to resist negative pressures. Scott Phelps has provided another excellent resource for teens. Aspire is the perfect tool to help todays youth protect their health and gain hope for their future. Doug Herman Speaker Author Time for a Pure Revolution Come Clean R e s o u r c e s