I’m Waiting 3: M&M’s, STD’s & Your Teenagers

I’m Waiting 3: M&M’s, STD’s & Your Teenagers October 20, 2015

Im Waiting Slider

Today’s media is telling our kids a consistent lie: There are no consequences from living in the “hook up culture” – or going from person to person to person, sexually – as long as you use a condom, you’re safe and nothing will happen to you.

But what happens when (not if, but when) that condom breaks?

IMAGE: SHO YOSHIDA/GAZIMAL/GETTY IMAGES
IMAGE: SHO YOSHIDA/GAZIMAL/GETTY IMAGES

Even the Center for Disease Control admits – and makes it mandatory that condom manufacturers print on the packaging – that condoms are only 100% effective when it’s used 100% correctly and when it’s manufactured 100% correctly. And I don’t know anybody who does everything correctly 100% of the time. Plus, even if you used it correctly each and every time, you’re putting your faith in the hopes that the many people running the manufacturing process of your condom were on their “A Game” on the day they made yours, in order to make each and every condom 100% correctly 100% of the time.

By they way, I’ve never seen a label slapped across a condom package that truthfully read “Use at your own risk… this might be defective!”

To illustrate the consequences that today’s media is ignoring, I use what I call “The M&M Game”.

In a room full of teenagers, I randomly give each person an M&M. Each person who received a green one stays seated, while everybody else gets up and trades their M&M’s with as many people as they can in an allotted amount of time. Meanwhile, they keep count how many times they trade.

After a short while, everyone takes their seats and we start asking for their tallies: How many people were able to trade more than ten times? 15 times? 20? 30? And so on.

Then we tell them to go ahead and eat the M&M that they are now left holding.

Image: Vern Hart
Image: Vern Hart

The standard response is abject disgust. There’s no way they’re putting this M&M into their mouth after some 20+ people just had their hands all over it!

You mean you won’t even put a tiny piece of candy into your mouth because someone else has touched it, but you believe the lie that there are no consequences from trading sexual partners as if they’re M&M’s??

Here is some actual data on just the physical consequences I’m referring to (we haven’t even gotten to the emotional, psychological or spiritual consequences):

  • Right now, in America, one in six sexually active people ages 14-49 have Herpes. And more often than not, people with Herpes don’t even know it. In fact, most STD’s show no signs or symptoms. One of these is Chlamydia. And Chlamydia, when undiagnosed, is devastating! It turns into pelvic inflammatory disease, which eventually turns into infertility. Oh, and a condom’s effective rate against Chlamydia is only about 50%.
  • One in four sexually active teenagers in America have an STD – typically Gonorrhea, Chlamydia or HPV, which is genital warts. And believe it or not, HIV is actually on the rise amongst today’s young people. And what you’re never being told is the fact that overall, a condom only has a 60% effectiveness rate in preventing STD’s and pregnancy.

Now, think about it in these lines: How many teenagers do you know that can do anything 100% correctly 100% of the time? They can’t even keep their room clean half the time! How can they be expected to put on a condom perfectly 100% of the time?!

Yet, they are being fed this false sense of security that condoms will cover all their problems… and they won’t. They simply can’t. The CDC is in full agreement with me.

In fact, the CDC has recently changed their verbiage quite substantially. They used to say that abstinence was a reliable way to prevent STD’s or unwanted pregnancy. But just a few months ago, they changed their statement to read “Abstinence is THE most reliable way to prevent STD’s or unwanted pregnancy”.

You know, with simply a change in behavior, we could wipe out STD’s – including HIV – within a single generation. But we have to change our behavior. We have to teach our kids that there are consequences to their actions. Whether this message is done through our churches, in our schools, one-on-one conversations or even an M&M game, the message needs to be shared and taken to heart.

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