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ncompatible. When other people are asked about this topic (both teens and adults), though, it turns out that they take the pretty rational view that abstinence and contraception can and should peacefully coexist. Specifically, when asked:
“Do you wish you/teens were getting more information about abstinence, more information about birth control or protection, or more information about both?”49 percent of teens and 74 percent of adults said both, 7 percent of teens and 13 percent of adults said abstinence, and 13 percent of teens and 9 percent of adults said birth control or protection.
“Do you think the primary message of these [federally funded programs] should be to help teens postpone sex, provide teens with information about birth control or protection, or provide teens with information about postponing sex andbirth control or protection?”65 percent of teens and 62 percent of adults said both, 19 percent of teens and 25 percent of adults said primarily providing information about postponing sex, and 11 percent of teens and 13 percent of adults said primarily providing information on birth control or protection.
According to the author, these findings show that in the real world people do not see sex education as an either-or proposition. He goes on to point out that:
Educating young people about both, therefore, is a “common sense approach.”
One of the other questions about sexuality education also shows common sense but may not be as simple as the survey seems to suggest. When asked if they agree or disagree with this statement, “Federally funded programs should primarily support those programs that have been proven to change behavior related to teen pregnancy,” a clear majority of adults (72 percent) agreed.
I, too, agree at least in theory but I fear this is oversimplified and that without first providing a little more context, the answer is not particularly meaningful. Obviously, we would all like to put our money toward programs that have already been proven to work whether they focus on sex ed or other topics. This is what the Obama administration is doing through its Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative which provides funding to organizations across the country to conduct prevention programming. Tier 1 of this program requires grantees to choose an evidence-based program (from a relatively small list of those that have been rigorously evaluated) and replicate programs “with fidelity.” Many educators agree, however, that this is too limiting because we don’t have enough programs that have been proven effective and the ones that have tend to be narrowly focused both in the topics they cover and the audiences they are intended to reach. Rodriguez says this is why Tier 2 of this program is so important, though it is a much smaller pot of money this funding is going toward innovative approaches and that will hopefully add to our knowledge base about what can be effective.
To Rodriguez, though, the most alarming finding of the survey when it comes to education, is just how low teachers and educators fell on the scale of influence; they were lower than friends, siblings, religious leaders, and the media with just 5 percent of teens ages 12 to 14 and 4 percent of teens ages 15 to 19 noting them as the most influential people when it comes to sex. Rodriguez believes that: “Educators and school administrators need to do some soul searching about why this is. Is it because we’ve censored ourselvesas a result of restrictive policies or fear of controversyto the point that young people just don’t see us as a good source of information?”
The Role of Contraception
The survey’s findings when it comes to contraception are a bit of a study in contradiction. Teens, it seems, think they know everything they need to know in order to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy yet admit they don’t all that much about either the male condom or the birth control pill. Moreover, an alarming number of them believe that contraception is somehow irrelevant to whether they get pregnant. Specifically:
When asked if they agreed with the statement: “I have all of the information I need to avoid an unplanned pregnancy”75 percent of teens ages 12 to 14 agreed as did 86 percent of teens ages 15 to 19.
When asked, how much they thought they know about male condoms and how to use them6 percent of teens ages 12 to 14 thought they know everything, 27 percent know a lot, 50 percent know a little, and 16 percent know nothing.14 percent of teens ages15 to 19 thought they know everything, 50 percent know a lot, 32 percent know a little, and 4 percent know nothing.
When asked how much they thought they know about birth control pills and how to use them2 percent of teens ages 12 to 14 thought they know everything, 12 percent know a lot, 47 percent know a little, and 38 percent know nothing.6 percent of teens ages 15 to 19 thought they know everything, 30 percent know a lot, 48 percent know a little, and 16 percent know nothing.
When asked how much they agreed or disagreed with the following statement: “It doesn’t matter whether you use birth control or not, when it is your time to get pregnant it will happen”42 percent of teens agreed and 57 percent of teens disagreed.
As I said, these results seem somewhat contradictory. Teens are committed to preventing pregnancy and think they know how but in order to truly know how they would need all of the information about both male condoms and the pill and few teens even pretend they know it all. (And.
e parents about STDs and longer-acting methods, which are the most effective. One reason parents may not accept these methods, the researchers surmised, is that parents might associate long acting contraception, like IUDs, with an ongoing sexual relationship.
Cori Baill, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and former member of the national medical committee for Planned Parenthood, noted that parents' disapproval of long-acting contraceptive methods may also reflect U.S. historical events around the Dalkon shield, which the paper didn't mention. The Dalkon shield was an aggressively marketed IUD with considerable safety problems.
IUDs aren't accepted in the U.S. for many reasons, across all ages, concerning societal attitudes towards medicine and the memory of the Dalkon shield, said Baill. However, she commented, parents need to understand that the risk of pregnancy outweighs the risk of any contraceptive method, including the IUD.
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no instruction in either topic.
The researchers caution that these categories do not tell us exactly what respondents learned in the classroom or whether the programs in which they participated would be characterized as comprehensive, abstinence-based, or abstinence-only. For example, given what we know about abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, it is possible that those who say they learned about both “how to say no” and “birth control” did not actually receive comprehensive sex education because the only thing they learned about contraception were failure rates.
In order to determine the impact of sex education on sexual decision-making, researchers also looked at age of first sex, whether first sex was a wanted experience, contraceptive use, and partner rabbit vibrator (http://www.sextoysbrand.com/best-vibrators/rabbit-vibrators)selection, including whether a respondent’s partner was more than three years older and whether the relationship was casual or romantic.
The researchers determined that those young people who had had formal sex education (in either of the categories used by the NSFG) were more likely to delay first sex than their peers who had had none. Those who had received information on both abstinence and contraception were also more likely to use condoms or birth control methods at first sex than either their peers who had had no sex education or their peers who had learned only about abstinence. Moreover, they were more likely to have healthier partnerships at first sex.
Receiving only abstinence instruct.
al satisfaction, Dr. Parker says. If our results can be confirmed by other investigators, it would suggest that anxiety is not affecting some men's ability to perform sexually but perhaps more their ability to enjoy their sex life.
While Dr. Parker and his colleagues observed that anxiety was generally higher in those men who had the more aggressive forms of prostate cancer based on their pathology reports after surgery, a number of men with nonaggressive cancer also reported very high levels of anxiety. Among this specific subgroup of men with prostate cancer who have less aggressive disease we are talking about survival rates of nearly 100 percent, yet they think about cancer every day. This anal toys a great opportunity for identifying these men and offering intervention aimed at modifying this anxious behavior, Dr. Parker says.
Mayo Clinic already offers cancer patients access to behavior-based counseling led by trained psycho-oncologists. Dr. Parker says the results of this new study underscore the opportunity to test new ways of addressing this need in men sexy guys with prostate cancer.
Anxiety about a cancer diagnosis can lead to increased depressive symptoms and an inability to enjoy life's activities, including sexual relations, says Dr. Parker. We are building on these results by designing trials to test whether counseling can help these patients.
The study was funded in part by a grant from the Sexual Medicine Society of North America.
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the Future of Sex Education Initiative, a partnership between Advocates for Youth, Answer, and SIECUS.
The introduction to the National Sexuality Education Standards makes the point, indeed in several places, that they are the “the essential minimum, core content” and “minimum, essential content and skills” (italics theirs) for young people. And indeed, they are minimal. I realize that the new standards are not meant to replace the Guidelines. The Guidelines set up the ideal comprehensive sexuality education program and these standards give us the minimum. Still, I was somewhat surprised to see that the following words appear nowhere in the new Standards: pleasure, desire, kissing, masturbation, fantasy, dysfunction, marriage preparation, limit setting. As a minister, I am most distressed that the words love, parenthood (except as in “Planned Parenthood”), and marriage preparation also do not appear anywhere in the document.
The areas of shared sexual behavior (beyond stating that students should be able to define sexual intercourse by the 8th grade (!)), marriage, raising children, assertiveness, negotiation, masturbation, shared sexual behaviors, sexual fantasy, sexual dysfunction, sexuality and law, sexuality and religion, sexuality and the media (beyond expanded information on safe use of technology), and sexuality and the arts—all central to the Guidelines—are all also missing from the new standards. The Standards do contain expanded information on sexual and gender orientation and identity, and it is gratifying to see these included in the consensus of what minimally young people need.
As a minister, I am also concerned that the Standards do not seem to adequately commit themselves to the values-based programs that our young people need. Nowhere do they call for honoring the diversity of religious and moral values represented in our communities, nor do they call for explicitly teaching that decisions about sexual behaviors should be based on moral and ethical values, as well as considerations of physical and emotional health. Finally, they do not call for any respectful discussion of the differing sides of controversial sexual issues.
Perhaps my greatest concern about the new Standards, however, is that the goal of sexuality education in helping create sexually healthy adults is completely missing. The Guidelines identified the life behaviors of a sexually healthy adult and named “helping young people develop the capacity for caring, supportive, non-coercive, and mutually pleasurable intimate and sexual relationships” in adulthood as a central goal of sexuality education. Just as sex toys online civics classes are offered to help young people grow into politically involved adults and responsible citizens, so should sexuality education ultimately lead to adults who appreciate their bodies, take care of their sexual and reproductive health, a.
d Sailors and Marines underestimated their individual risk of acquiring HIV
In the Navy and Marines as in the civilian population, men who have sex with men account for most new cases of HIV infection. The new survey finds a higher rate of male-to-male sexual contact than in previous military studies -- possibly reflecting liberalized responses due to DADT repeal effects, the researchers write. In the past, some military personnel with sexually transmitted infections have sought care in the civilian community, for fear of being discharged if their sexual orientation is revealed while receiving care at military health facilities.
The findings help to clarify the risk factors for HIV Armed Forces personnel, and highlight opportunities for prevention efforts -- particularly promoting condom use. Now that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is no longer in force, prevention efforts for military personnel may be more targeted more openly and effectively, Dr Hakre and coauthors believe. They conclude, DADT repeal may afford opportunities for facilitating necessary primary HIV prevention strategies such as those targeting condom use and newer social outlets such as Internet networking.
The findings, based on responses to surveys instead of real-life encounters, aren't definitive and don't say whether the men are accurately reading women's signals. And it's unclear if sleepy men would be more likely to inappropriately pursue women they believe to be sexually interested in them.
In the big picture, the study raises questions about whether sleep has the same perception-dulling effects on men as alcohol, Peszka said.
"If you're a man and you're sleepy, you could make a mistake in judging whether someone's interested in you," Peszka said. Sleepiness had no effect on women's perceptions of whether men were interested in them, but Peszka had a message for them, too: Since sleepy men "could make a mistake, you need to be very clear about what you want."
In the study, researchers recruited 60 college students and asked them to take surveys before and after they were deprived of sleep. To make them tired, the researchers kept them up for 24 hours past the time they arrived at the lab (5 p.m.).
The surveys presented different scenarios to the students and asked them to judge the motivation of the opposite gender. For example, a male student would be asked to gauge the likelihood that a woman wants to have sex with him if she puts her hand on his thigh. Or they might get a question like "When a woman goes out to a bar, how likely is it that she is interested in finding someone to have sex with that night?"
On a scale of 1 to 7, with higher numbers translating more interest, nonsleepy men ranked the "sexual intent" of women as 4.58. But when they were sleepy, the number grew to 5.06.
By contrast, women's perception of men's sexual interest (5.22 on 1-to-7 scale) stayed about the same.
What's going on? Peszka suspects that the effect of sleepiness on the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls things such as decision-making and control of emotions, could be a major factor.
Lisa Fucito, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine who studies alcohol use and sleep, said lack of sleep can have effects similar to those of alcohol.
Sleep deprivation narrows attention, slows the brain's processing speed and hurts short-term memory, she said. "When our attention is narrowed, we tend to lose sight of other pertinent information when making a decision."
Still, Fucito cautioned that the differences in the survey responses between the sleepy and nonsleepy men may not be meaningful.
"More research is needed before we could conclude that sleep deprivation influences male's perceptions of women's sexual interest," she said. For now, Fucito added, "the safety messages we tell women would remain."
Study author Peszka said future research should aim to see if the study results hold up in real-life situations when men and women encounter each other.
The study abstract was published online recently in the journal Sleep and it was presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Baltimore.
The researchers looked at 70 patients with an ICD and 110 patients without an ICD, average age 32, and found that those with ICDs had a high level of shock-related anxiety. Elevated anxiety was associated with poorer sexual function in both men and women.
This is the first study to reveal that shock-related anxiety is associated with sexual dysfunction in young adults with ICDs, according to the researchers. They said the findings point to the need to address these issues in order to improve the quality of life for these patients.
"ICDs are increasingly being implanted in this young and vulnerable patient population, yet the psychosocial issues are often overlooked. Our study is an example of dynamic research intended to help us better understand this growing population," lead author Dr. Stephen Cook said in a news release from the Heart Rhythm Society.
"Improving outcomes and the quality of life in these young adults is critical and our results clearly show the importance of addressing their psychological well-being," added Cook, who is with the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Congenital heart defects are among the most common types of birth defects, according to the news release. In 2000, the estimated number of U.S. adults with congenital heart disease was between 650,000 and 1.3 million, and the number rises each year. This means that a growing number of adults with congenital heart defects are receiving ICDs.
For patients with shock-related anxiety, early identification might lead to help such as education, treatment planning and referral to a mental health expert, the study authors said.