Thursday, June 16, 2005

Food for thought

I read an interesting article on Stuff today. Briefly, it attributed the overall drop in abortion rates to the fact that fewer Asian students were coming here, and that the drop in numbers for this group pretty much accounted for the overall drop.

I don't know if the summary - by an anti-abortion group - is right or not. You can read the full article here.

Anyway, I'm blogging about it because it reminded me of someone I know.

What frightens me is that in this day and age, I know young women living in New Zealand who seriously didn't realise that having unprotected sex once meant they could get pregnant and/ or STDs.

Not silly fools: smart girls, both academically and socially. Some of them came from families and backgrounds where sex education was taboo, but they still got the basics at school, and it somehow failed to get through.

One of the hardest discussions I ever had was with a sibling's good friend.

Her boyfriend was hitting her, and she took some convincing to understand that this was not ok. Then she mentioned that he made her have sex with him when she didn't want to. She didn't seem to understand that he was raping her - because she figured you can't be raped by someone you know.

Then the penny dropped, and I asked if they'd been "safe". They hadn't, and I had to explain that she could be pregnant. Since she'd also said that her boyfriend had unprotected sex with other women, I also explained that she could have STDs.

It was really, really hard for me to understand how she could be so naive. It was even harder for me to understand why she was refusing to go to the doctor. I only got her there by threatening to report her boyfriend to the police and tell her parents the full story.

In the end, she was incredibly lucky. Furthermore, she ditched the boyfriend. I came with her to talk to her lecturers to ensure that they understood at least some of the situation so they could keep her safe.

Here's the irony though: she was studying to be a doctor.


Blogger Violet said...

People have a great ability to distance oneself from the possiblity of things like STDs and pregnancy. I was so naive growing up that it's really just as well I didn't have boyfriends until my 20's because I just would have had no end of trouble if I'd been exposed to all the complications that go with sex, any earlier.

It was reallly good of you to persist with your friend - I'm sure she appreciated it once she dumped the bastard and get herself checked out.

7:19 pm  

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