Sex is no big deal, they say. Everybody’s doing it, they say. If it feels good, do it, they say. It makes me wonder who exactly “they” are?
This reminds me of a conversation I had with a colleague before he retired. He and his wife had just bought a home in a large retirement community in Florida, a community so large that it became a city unto itself. He laughingly asked me if I could guess what the #1 health issue was for this new city of senior citizens. “Heart disease?” I asked. He soberly responded with, “Nope, STDs.” His answer shattered my image of a retirement community. Apparently, golf, shuffleboard, and bridge are not the only games seniors play.
I found it even more ominous when I read about today’s younger generation’s attitude toward pornography. Twenty-two percent of young adults, aged 18-24 consider it to be good for society. And when asked to prioritize what they consider immoral, teens and young adults consider “not recycling” to be more immoral than viewing pornography.
Then I came across a news article touting last year’s report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stating that 1-in-5 Americans have a sexually transmitted infection (also referred to as STIs). ONE IN FIVE! That’s 20%.
“The authors of this study looked at the number of reported chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, syphilis, genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), sexually transmitted hepatitis B, and sexually transmitted HIV cases in the US and estimated the number of infections across the entire population in 2018. After crunching the numbers, these researchers found that there were around 68 million STI cases in the US on any given day. In 2018 alone, an estimated 26 million new STI cases were contracted. Looking at the financial impact, this study estimated that STIs in the US lead to lifetime medical costs of nearly $16 billion. Of this, $13.7 billion was attributed to HIV infections.” (1)
I guess what happens behind closed doors doesn’t always stay behind closed doors. Maybe a little biomedical background would help one grasp the significance of these numbers.
In the 1960s, only syphilis and gonorrhea were common, and both could be cured with penicillin. Today, there are at least 25 STIs; many of which are incurable.
There are two types of STIs: Bacterial and Viral.
Bacterial STIs can usually be cured with antibiotics. However, antibiotic resistance is fast becoming a major problem in the treatment of bacterial STIs. Unfortunately, even treatment with antibiotics cannot guarantee that later complications will be avoided. The reality is they often go untreated and lead to long-term consequences. There are a number of Bacterial STIs, the most common being:
Unlike bacterial STIs, no cures have been found for the viral version. Once you are infected with a Viral STI, you remain infected for life. While there are no antibiotics to cure a Viral STI, there are medications to help alleviate pain and symptoms. The most common Viral Sexually Transmitted Infections are:
- HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
- HPV (human papilloma virus)
- Herpes (both genital and oral)
To sum it up, the most common Sexually Transmitted Infections in the US and worldwide can cause infertility, cervical cancer, and even death.
Still, these facts do not seem to inhibit present day sexual behavior.
We live in an increasingly hedonistic society, basking in the permissive ethos of an if-it-feels-good-do-it environment. Our sex-charged culture’s secular dogma rejects outright any consideration of fidelity and chastity, branding these as old-fashioned, outdated, and restrictive concepts — a morality just a bit too quaint for modern times. But the CDC report suggests that sexual freedom is not so free — the reality is that it carries a high price tag.
Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have victims. Sexual license and freedom are a bad idea…with a growing number of victims.
I sometimes ask a person would they board a plane knowing that there is a 20% chance of an in-flight accident? I have yet to hear anyone answer that question with a “Yes.” Yet, our society seems to embrace the superficially appealing creed of whatever-whomever-whenever sex as if the only consequence is a good time. One does not have to be a Statistician to realize that every time you have an “itch to scratch” or want to “hook-up” extramaritally, you are increasing your chances of becoming infected. What have we learned when a lifestyle based on “feelings” hits the rock-solid wall of sound science and objective truth? A promiscuous lifestyle increasingly becomes a high-risk lifestyle that blindly trades a healthy, hopeful future for a few fleeting minutes of pleasure.
Doesn’t sound so liberating to me.
The explosion of STIs is a strong indicator that the prevailing sexual ethic is not the way life and loving were designed to be. Ironically, ignoring the objective truth (of the CDC statistics) has resulted in STIs becoming a national health threat with a substantial personal impact.
The choice is growing more evident with each new CDC report — live a life of fidelity within marriage and abstinence outside of marriage, or risk a lifelong threat to your health.
Are you dying to have sex? Sadly, some people are.
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