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Sexual Health: Definition and Answers

 
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“WHO (World Health Organization) working definition 2002: Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. In relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction, or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.”

http://www.cdc.gov/sexualhealth/

As teenagers (c.1970), we were warned about Gonorrhea and Syphilis, but little was said or done to enlighten us about the other diseases that we might encounter as adults. The world has changed, and the importance of not only talking to our children but also taking action in our own sexual encounters has become a theme of television ads and publications the world over. HIV and AIDs have made it more important, although many STDs (Sexually Transmitted Disease) can and have been devastating in their own right.

Unlike 40 years ago, parents talk to their children about sex and sex related problems (pregnancy and diseases) more openly and with more frequency. My mother’s answer to my question about sex was to tell me that only married people had sex. That answer was not unlike the answers that many of my friends were given by their mothers, and so we learned about sex through poorly made films, lacking a good deal of information, during the course of our years in middle school. We were given a book to read entitled “My Darling, My Hamburger.” The suggestion in the book was that when a boy asked his girlfriend for sex, she in turn would ask the boy for a hamburger, which was meant to stymie the boy’s need for sex. It did not work, as most young teenage males would happily allow you to eat while he had sex with your body. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but boys/men do it with regularity and do not consider the mental side of sex to be overly important.

The importance of talking to your teenagers about sex cannot be over-stated, it’s extremely important to talk and to listen to them as they ask and you answer, what are arguably, difficult questions.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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