Monday, May 06, 2013

An Ironic (But Relevant) Setting for STD Warnings

It's certainly not a conservative web site. Indeed, some of the sidebar ads of this site are sophomorically salacious and among the featured "photo articles" are such titillating offerings as "How Sexy Are You?," "Tips to Make It Work with a Sagittarius," "Strange Facts About Kissing," "Steamy Facts About Climax," and "Tips for the Perfect One Night Stand."

And yet, get this, this same site features a 15-slide article entitled "STD Facts You Should Know." That's what you call irony.

I'm sure the hep young things visiting the site find such an article to be an uncomfortable interruption of the scene…kinda' like a cop peering in a steamed up car parked in Lover's Lane. But then it's a lot better to be scared by the ugly realties of STDs by seeing them in an article than it is by seeing them when you pull down your shorts.

The "STD Facts You Should Know" isn't much of an article really but it's the kind of thing being used more and more in popular culture web sites. It involves using 15 photos and/or comic posters (all which require separate hits -- more ad revenue, don't you see) with just a line or two of attached text. However, because the facts contained in this quick-hitting piece are so stark, so fearsome, and so contrary to the general spirit of the sexual revolution, even a cursory review can have a life-changing effect.

Again, this article about STDs isn't the kind most conservatives have read but then if it were, kids probably wouldn't bother to read it. And this article isn't posted in a place where most conservatives would visit. But the children of conservatives too often wander in to these trendy places. And for their sakes (as well as my interest in the well being of everybody's kids), I'm delighted the photo article is where it is. I pray it will open the eyes of a lot of young adults to the deeply damaging effects of the hook-up culture.

Among the items dropped in this campy little article:

# 14 Get Help -- For those suffering from chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, the good news is that they are curable. The bad news is that if they are left untreated they can cause infertility, chronic pain, birth defects, miscarriages and even death! An STD can ruin your life and harm your family.

# 11 -- Sterilization for Women -- For woman, a single chlamydia infection brings a 25% chance of sterility. If she gets a second infection, it boosts it up to a 50% chance and a third basically guarantees that she will not be able to get pregnant again. This is because of PID (pelvic inflammatory disease)

# 9 Look Out For Crabs -- Crabs (or pubic lice) are small parasites that feed on human blood. They can be sexually transmitted even if there is no penetration or bodily fluid exchanged. They can even be passed on if a condom is worn. They can live for 24 hours after leaving a human host so it is possible to get crabs from infested bedding or clothes.

#7 A Growing Concern -- Teenagers and young adults (between the ages of 18 to 24) represent only 25% of the sexually active population. However the 15 to 24-year-old age bracket currently accounts for nearly half of all sexually transmitted disease diagnoses each year! The same study revealed that every day in America, 12,000 teenagers contract a STD!

# 3 Pregnancy Scare -- Hey ladies, remember when you used to worry so much about getting knocked up? Turns out a woman is four times more likely to contract STDs than she is to become pregnant! We're thinking it's probably time to start doing a little more than just going on the pill!

#1 Easy to Catch -- Right now, one in five Americans have genital herpes. However, nearly 90% of those are unaware they have it until being tested after it has been spread. Some studies show that by 2025 as much as 40% of men and 50% of all women could be infected.

Of course, a fear of STDs doesn't provide the best motivation for a lifestyle of chastity among the unmarried and a lifestyle of fidelity among the married. But, for many, a serious fear of STDs can be a rational, relevant first step.