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VOLUME

2, ISSUE

1 – APRIL

2008

PAGE

24

The Sex Talk

By Dr. Marwan Jaber

I came to the USA when I was 10 years old when my family left Lebanon in 1982, in an attempt to get

away during the war. I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, from a very young age. I am married to the love of my life, Rolla Abdul-Chalk, who shares my love of medicine. She is also a physician and has chosen dermatology as her field. We have two beautiful children, Kareem & Eva, I

only hope that I can instill in them the same values, appreciation for life, and give them the same opportunities that our parents gave us. We currently live in Virginia.

As an emergency room physician, I have treated so many types of One particular scenario that I time and time again is that of problems. have seen

teenage pregnancy. This issue has always been a difficult one for me to deal with because of the fact that with some education and more involved parenting, so many of these situations could be avoided.

It is very easy to take the position that these issues affect only low income families or broken homes and think that,

“This could never However this is far remember treating a

happen

to me.”

from the

truth. I

young

woman

who

was

fifteen years old who

was brought into

the

emergency

room

by

her

middle

class

parents. She had been complaining abdominal pain for five days.

of

After speaking to the child in private, I discovered that she had missed her period the month prior and surprisingly had been sexually active since the age of thirteen. She had not been using any protection, and had already had many episodes of sexually transmitted diseases that her parents were unaware of. My interactions with this young woman made it very evident to me that she was very immature

in her thinking

and

her

actions.

In

addition, she

did

not

have

much

knowledge about

birth

control or about the

sexual

consequences of having relationship with someone.

a

between this family and to learn that the parents had not spent any time discussing anything about sex with their daughter.

At fifteen, they still thought that their little girl was too young for the “sex talk”, but to their dismay, all of her friends and her had been having sex for years. She told her parents that her friends had all

been having sex, too, and she didn’t see

what the big deal was. The mother appeared very aggravated about the situation and was yelling at her daughter stating that she got herself into this situation

and that she

needs to

get herself out

of it. The

father

was

sitting

on

the

side,

without

any

emotion

and

completely

uninvolved. Her situation required

to

remove

the

medical surgery ectopic

pregnancy, but her treatment did not end there, for there would certainly be long lasting emotional and social repercussions.

T h e r e a s o n I t e l l t h i s s t o r y , i s t h a t i t that people, culture, are brings up especially issues our many from

uncomfortable

discussing

with their

children. They

often feel

it is socially

unacceptable to talk to their kids about sex, or they are embarrassed to do so. Some may feel that if they talk to their kids

can talk with their parents about the subjects. They are less likely to have sexual intercourse as a teen, less likely to become pregnant or get someone pregnant, and more likely to talk to their parents about other important issues in

adults

require

personal maturity and a great amount of insight before venturing

into

s exu al

their lives.

In addition,

our children

need

to know we

will always

be there for

them

no matter what!

Teenagers

and

health,

personal

intercourse since the outcomes of a short period of gratification can result in very serious outcomes. The social, growth of the

people directly and indirectly involved in these actions will be affected.

I encourage parents to openly talk about these issues with their children. Kids are exposed to sexual issues at a very early age through the media, their

school, and their friends. educate our kids on these will learn from someone parents cannot be with our second of the day.

If we do not matters, they else. We as children every

After examining her and completing a few studies, she was found to have an ectopic pregnancy. This is a condition in which a pregnancy begins outside of its

normal location in the continues to grow there.

uterus and It is a very

serious condition, which almost always requires surgical intervention, and can lead to death if not treated soon enough.

After speaking to the

about

the

findings,

parents and everyone

child was

obviously very distraught.

I was so

surprised

to

watch

the

interactions

about sex, have sex.

their kids will be more likely to Others just assume that their

kids are sex until

“good kids” and just won’t have they are married because that is

what they are suppose to do.

My goal is to educate people that knowledge is good, and that ignorance leads to many problems. Study after study has shown that kids who feel that they can talk with their parents about sex are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors as teens than kids who do not feel that they

Our job is not to make our kids scared of us, but to create a trusting and comfortable relationship. We have a responsibility to our children to teach them our values and ideals, but we also have a

responsibility to educate them. point they will make their own and the more knowledge they better decisions they will make.

At some decisions, have, the Instead of

having

sex

be

such

a

“taboo”

subject

in

so

many

households,

take

the

initiative

to

talk

to your children and let them know can come to you about anything.

they

“CIVILIZATION HAS NO MEANING BUT THROUGH THE DISCIPLINE OF OUR THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, AND BEHAVIORS…”

Straight Talk

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