Teen Talk on Safety & Sex
Health conference provides tough talks for teens
DENISHA McKNIGHT | 7/17/2018, 1:58 p.m.
Mendoza advised anyone in an abusive relationship to break up with the abuser immediately and/or call the police.
“If that person doesn’t feel safe, they should never break up in person, ” she explained. “It’s OK to text someone ‘It’s over.’ if that person feels endangered. Even in email. Try to do what’s safe.”
She further advised that victims who choose to break up in person should do so in a public place and create a safety plan just in case.
“Don’t explain yourself to your ex and say why you want to break up,” Mendoza expounded. “You can say it once but that’s it.”
Notify friends and family about your location at the time of break up or have friends present if there’s a fear of violence or stalking. Also, create safety routes from school to home, if the abuser knows your residence.
“Even if it doesn’t apply to you right now, hopefully one day you will need it,” said Ayelia Ali, Ntarupt educator, to her school-aged audience.
The social media era and the high HIV infection rates in Dallas place a stronger need for sex education among millenials and the younger generations. At age 13 or 14, children have an increased acceptance of nonmarital sex and understanding of sexual content presented on television shows and movies, according a Kaiser Family Foundation study.
During the session, Ali explicated the importance of sexual health to the sixth through the 12th grade audience.
Once this current climate, the educator stated that Dallas millennials must understand the different sexually transmitted infections and sexually transmitted diseases that are contracted through unprotected sex, blood transfusion and skin to skin contact. She further explained that there are cures for bacterial STIs, such as gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia, but viral STDs like HIV, herpes and Hepatitis-B are incurable and could be present with symptoms.
Possible symptoms of a STD could vary from itching, nausea, flu-like symptoms and discharge, and if left untreated could result in infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and death.
“There’s no way to know if you have it … the first answer I would give is, if you’re not showing any symptoms but you had unprotected sex or a new sexual partner, it’s very important to get tested,” she said.
The information left many raised eyebrows among the students who asked about the proper way to protect themselves and if specific items such as birth control pills are suitable against diseases.
Abstinence – which means to completly avoid sex – and condoms are the best forms of protection, while birth control only prevents pregnancy, according Ali.
In classroom, the educator also displayed the different types of condoms and demonstrated how to use a condom on a phallic object during the session.
Ali disclosed the biggest takeaway from her sex health discussion is that the youth should be aware of the choice they make and what influence these choices.
“They are autonomous with their bodies … they have control to protect their own bodies and the responsibility to do that,” she said. “Give them the education they need and to choose for themselves what works best for them.”