Asher Book -Try ( Abstinence Educational Video)
(Read more here)

  It was the annual trip to Alabama for Lakita Garth, summers were always spent with her grandparents ever since she could remember. Latika came from a single parent family, all along, her mother bore the responsibility of raising them in the part of Los Angeles where gang fights and drugs were the usual scenes.

 While she was there, she noticed that her grandfather would be nowhere to be seen at exactly the same time every morning. Out of curiosity she asked her grandfather about his whereabouts. He simply answered her “I go to talk to my best friend, your grandmother”. At that time her grandfather was 90 and her grandmother Louise had passed away for 5 years, yet, he would unfailingly wake up 6 days a week at dawn to walk two miles to the cemetery. He continued adding “I don’t want to know anything else about any other woman and I don’t want to. Because louise. She was the stuff.” The reason being all along she had made him feel like he could take on the world , just because she was no longer physically there didn’t mean she would stop making him feel that way.

  Latika later learnt that the first time her grandparents had first kissed was during their wedding. They remained married for 60 years and had 12 children. Latika, then at 11 years old, realized she had wanted the same thing for herself.

  That young adolescent blossomed and was crowned Miss California Black 1995, since then she has been an active advocate of sexual abstinence. Even as a beauty queen she held true to her standards of abstinence, truly enough she had her first kiss in 2005 when she tied the knot.

  As a relationship starts everything gets exciting and feelings get hyped up…then comes a point to make a choice whether to give in and let nature have its way, or to wait and abstain from sex. Many think that abstinence is a conservative option, but the truth is how many are ready to make this deep physical and emotional bond with “Mr. He’s / Miss.She’s the one”? There are a few basic questions you should ask yourself before proceeding to the next level:
  • ·         How well do you really know this person (this person might have a sexually transmitted disease), and if the relationship ends would you be glad that you had sex with this person?
  • ·         If a pregnancy occurs, will you be able to handle single parenthood? (most guys would initially agree to take responsibility of fatherhood in the first 3-4 months but when things get out of hand they abandon ship
  • ·         Are you prepared to deal with the pain of adoption and abortion?
 If your answer is no to any of the above questions you aren’t ready to experience such intimacy. Then again people often confuse intimacy with intensity. Intimacy is the longing to be cared for, being able to share your deepest fear and to trust someone wholeheartedly without being afraid of them talking behind your back, simply being loved. More often than not we aren’t able to receive the intimacy we long for and hence replace it with sex. Sex is something that should be respected  and treasured  not something given up so easily. In fact, abstinence allows a relationship to grow in a more fulfilling and complete way, where the relationship gains emotional maturity, where there is space to show affection differently.

 However, promotion of safe sex is currently gaining the upper hand over abstinence. I was surprised to find out that only 77.4% of adolescents knew about oral contraceptive pills but only 54.9% knew about condoms (National Population and Family Planning Board in 2004) , hopefully this figure has increased. The majority of condoms are made out of latex, it’s waterproof, elastic and comes in non lubricated and lubricated forms. The lubricant is made out of a silicon substance with added spermicide, allowing the condom to slip onto the pennis more easily, provides more comfort and prevents condom breakage. Condoms also come in various shapes, which include the reservoir tip, non reservoir tip and form fitted. The condom is slipped onto an erected pennis and it physically prevents the male’s semen from entering the female’s vagina. There’s also a female version condom available, it’s made out of a different material called polyurethane. It composes of 2 two parts, the inner ring that has the sealed end (that is pinched between the thumb and middle finger and inserted into the vagina) and the outer part that remains outside of the vagina.

 While it is a MUST to use a condom every time you have sex to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STD), the truth of the matter is with a estimated breakage rate of 5%, each day one million people are exposed to unwanted pregnancies and STDs. While condoms have an efficiency of 85 to 95 percent, there is really is no method that guaranties prevention of unwanted pregnancies and STDs hence abstinence would be your best bet. These risks are real as there are 115 deaths per in Malaysia year due to STDs not including HIV. The commonly transmitted STDs would include Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, syphilis, Human papiloma virus( causes cervical cancer), they present as the leading cause of reversible infertility. Among the tell tale signs of a STD are:

o   Discharge from the urethra- often accompanied with pain during urination
o   Discharge from your vagina-look out for a change in colour or presence of any bad odour
o   Ulcers appearing around the genital organs

Other signs would be general discomfort, fever, itchiness around the genital area and lower abdominal pain.

 The danger of it all is that these diseases especially Chlamydia and gonorrhea commonly appear asymptomatic initially, you or your partner could be transmitting it without being aware of it. I would strongly encourage those who are sexually active to screen for STDs and other reproductive related problems as these services are provided in local government health clinics.

 Worldwide, teenage pregnancy rates have been declining and the same goes for Malaysia. Malaysia’s age specific fertility rate for age group 15-19 years old ( which just means number of babies born to a thousand adolescence aged 15 to 19) has declined from 16.06 during 1995- 2000 to 12.88 during 2005-2010. It is a significant drop and could be interpreted as an increasing awareness among teenagers to use condoms, increasing illegal abortions or increasing teens choosing abstinence. As much as I hope that the third option is the main contributor of this drop I fret that is not the reality of the current situation as statistics show an increasing trend of sexually active adolescence. Off the book, illegal abortions are done in Malaysia at the cost of RM400-800 with an average of 40 abortions done illegally in a single clinic. It has been shown that complications from unsafe abortions make up the largest hospital admissions for gynaecological services worldwide. As for those who can’t afford it or have no excess to these clinics can only resort to baby dumping.

 Our society remains a relatively conservative society and out of wedlock pregnancies are highly frowned upon, it would be extremely difficult for a single parent mother to survive without a strong support system. Teenage mothers are often left to tend for themselves without proper prenatal care and hygienic delivery services, often resulting in babies with low birth weight. Moreover adolescence have underdeveloped pelvises leading to obstructed deliveries with complications such as fistulas (an open passage) between the uterus and bladder or uterus and rectum may occur allowing the urine or feaces to enter freely into the uterus. Generally, girls aged between 15-20 are twice as likely to die as a result of child birth, whereas girls aged between 11-14 are five times as likely to die as a result of child birth.

  Chances that another human being forms in your womb, that you’ll be able to feel a gentle kick from that little person inside you always exists when you have sexual intimacy. No doubt that you’ll be able to love and give your utmost to provide for your precious one if you decide to have her but on a personal level are you willing to give up your opportunities to further education, face social discrimination and dedicate all your time and effort to raise another human being alone? Is the spur of a moment worth all this responsibility and sacrifices?  

Let’s just put it this way, the weekend leisure options available for an average teenager: watching movies, strolling in the malls, hanging out with friends at the mamak and having long afternoon naps ; the weekend options available for a teenage mother: taking care of your child.