The High Cost of Free Love

By Heather Sells
CBN News
May 18, 2007 – The old-fashioned romance associated with Valentine’s Day is no longer a reality for many young people. That’s because casual sex, known as “hooking up,” is in. But at least one campus doctor is worried about the medical and emotional downsides of such activity. Here is more on the doctor’s concerns, and the politically charged field of sexual health. Social advocates on both sides of the issue can agree — our habits and understanding of sex changed profoundly 40 years ago. Educator Pam Stenzel notes, “In the 1960s, we could do whatever we wanted. Sex was free. It was no big deal.” With the Sexual Revolution, many began to think of sex as a recreational event, with no consequences. But today, the costs are clear. Each year, 19-million Americans become infected with a sexually transmitted disease, or STD. Almost half of them are between the ages of 15 and 24. Just 40 years ago, only two sexually transmitted diseases existed. Today, there are 25. There are young people who choose abstinence. But research shows 47 percent of high school students have had sex, paving the way for a variety of “relationships” in college. “They’re having multiple-partner sex completely indiscriminately,” said Stenzel. “It’s hooking up. It’s friends with benefits. It’s something we do cause we’re bored on a Friday night. It has nothing to do with intimacy.” With STDs, other problems can come — like cervical cancer, infertility and depression. But while it’s OK to talk about the mechanics of sex with young people, frank discussion of the medical and emotional downsides has become rare. And that’s why Dr. Miriam Grossman is speaking up. Her new book Unprotected explains how political correctness has invaded today’s university health centers. As an Ivy-League-trained campus psychiatrist herself, she says health providers can give plenty of information and caution about other risky behaviors — such as smoking, drinking and overeating. But when it comes to sex — risky behaviors are not discouraged. Her conclusion? Ideology-driven health care is misinforming, and putting the health of millions of students at risk.

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