Author Student Union

Devin Kaeo Roth

Use knowledge, respect
when exploring sexuality

Sex -- whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, it is on your teenage son's or daughter's mind. You can't hold it against us teens, though. We're just people going through big changes, and our hormones are all out of whack. Unfortunately, I think a majority of sexually active teenagers, which is probably about half of all high school students, are irresponsible in expressing their sexuality.

Kaimuki High School students attended a pregnancy prevention program in July 2002 at Central Union Church. Each student had to care for a life-like baby doll for a week. Jason Hong, 14, (left) and Daniel Chong, 15, check a doll's battery.

You've seen them around your high school, maybe even in your middle school: teen mothers. In this day and age, it seems impossible to have an unplanned pregnancy. Condoms, IUDs, birth control pills, spermicide and other pharmaceutical devices make it easier to prevent pregnancies. But despite all of these options, teens are still getting pregnant while in high school.

There are those who deal with the hassle of a baby in the third trimester and come to school, but many teen mothers are forced to drop out of school to take care of the babies. There also are the girls who pay hundreds of dollars to have their pregnancies terminated. You sometimes hear the stories of worried young men who are the other half of the pregnancy problem. They'll tell you either how scared they are or how sure they are that it is not their child.

How can we as teenagers let these kinds of things happen to us? I'll tell you how.

At our age, it's so easy to get caught up in the here and now. We often don't think of the possible outcomes, the long-term effects of our actions. When you add raging hormones into the mix, it makes it even more difficult to behave responsibly.

A friend of mine was getting passionate with a girl and, without thinking about the consequences, they had unprotected sex. They were lucky -- she did not get pregnant, and neither one caught a sexually transmitted disease. My friend said that thinking about it afterward and realizing what could have happened scared some sense into them. I hope so.

Teenagers really do need to put more thought into something as serious as sex. After you take the time to think it over, and if you do decide that you are ready for both the physical and, more important, the emotional aspect of intercourse, be safe. There are so many methods you can use to protect yourself. So use them, and have respect for yourself and your partner.

Devin Kaeo Roth is in the 11th grade at Moanalua High School.

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Student Union is a forum for Hawaii's teenagers to tell the community what's on their minds and in their hearts. It appears every Thursday, starting today. We welcome opinions of no more than 700 words on any topic. Please include your name, address and phone number. E-mail to, fax to 529-4750 or mail to Student Union, Editorial Page, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813. For more information, contact Jeff Finney at 529-4735 or


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