You’ll learn to… Analyze the importance & benefits of abstinence from sexual activity in promoting emotional health & preventing pregnancy, STDs, and HIV / AIDS Evaluate ways to practice abstinence in a dating relationship. Demonstrate refusal strategies to reinforce the decision to remain abstinent.
Decisions About Sexual Relationships Good communication is critical for setting limits regarding sexual involvement. Each person must make decisions about what he/she wants from the relationship & communicate those decisions effectively.
Decisions About Sexual Behavior It’s perfectly normal for young people to decide that they are not ready for a sexual relationship. Teens are choosing to practice abstinence. Abstinence - a deliberate decision to avoid harmful behaviors, including sexual activity before marriage & the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Practicing Abstinence Until Marriage Abstinence does not mean doing without intimacy or physical contact in a close, special friendship. Intimacy is a closeness between two people that develops over time. For example, a couple can hold hands, hug, kiss, and grow to know and understand each other.
Benefits of Abstinence Benefits your physical, mental/emotional, and social health Eliminates risks of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, including HIV / AIDS Is the only 100% effective method to avoid unplanned pregnancy Allows a couple to build a deeper friendship Maintains respect for personal and family values
Reasons for Abstinence Teens are not ready physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially for the short- term & long-term consequences of engaging in sexual activity There may be legal consequences: Illegal for an adult to have sexual contact with anyone under the age of consent (varies state to state) In many states, it’s illegal for unmarried minors to engage in sexual activity Negative effects of sexuality activity can disrupt a teens life & interfere with his/her plans for the future.
Practicing Your Decision to Be Abstinent If you made a decision to abstain from sexual activity, a well thought-out plan of action will help you uphold that choice… Make a detailed list of your reasons for choosing abstinence. Discuss your feelings, your decisions, and your expectations of the relationship with your boy/girlfriend
Practicing Your Decision to Be Abstinent Place yourself in situations that reinforce your decision to be abstinent. Ex. Choose well-lit places that encourage conversation or date with other couples or in groups. Plan your time together—where you will go, how long you will stay, & what time you will go home.
Refusal Skills As you mature, you must assume more responsibility for your actions. Always make the best possible decisions for your health, safety, and well-being. Others may pressure you to make risky decisions that go against your values. You need to stand up for yourself and firmly say “No”. Practicing refusal skills will help you uphold your intentions and values.
Refusal Skills Communication strategies that help you say no effectively: When resisting pressure, simply say “No”. You do not need to justify yourself. If necessary, repeat yourself. Be polite but keep your tone firm. Do not insult or yell, but use a firm tone of voice and direct eye contact.
Refusal Skills Suggest an alternative activity that is acceptable to you. Do not compromise when you feel strongly about something. Compromise can be a passive way of saying yes. Avoid use of alcohol & other drugs. The use of these impairs your judgment & your ability to make healthy decisions. If the other person persists & continues to pressure you, leave. Go someplace where you feel safe & comfortable.
Lesson 2 Review Questions 1. Define abstinence. 2. Analyze the importance & benefits of abstinence in promoting emotional health & the prevention of pregnancy, STDs, and HIV/AIDS. List four reasons to practice abstinence from sexual activity. 1. Describe & demonstrate with examples three refusal strategies you can take to reinforce a decision to remain abstinent.
Lesson 2 Review Questions 4. What would you say to a friend who says that he/she will make a decision about sexual activity when faced with the problem, not before? Explain your reasoning. 5. Engaging in physical activity before marriage can have physical, mental/emotional, and legal consequences. Provide two examples of each of these types of consequences.