I hope that a big part of the work pediatricians do for teens is to promote the physically and mentally healthiest lifestyle – waiting until marriage to have sex. (“Prevention of STDs and pregnancy begins in pediatrician’s office.”

AAP News
. March
2001
;
18
:
110
).

Doesn’t it break anyone’s heart to see that by 12th grade, 65% have had intercourse and 20% have had four or more partners? This is not only leading to an epidemic of STDs and pregnancies, but also to low self-esteem, depression, smoking, other risk-taking behaviors and a drop in academic performance.

We have gotten our courage up to talk about the wisest choice for tobacco use — never — now let’s recognize and promote our best hope for our kids and sex — one partner for life.

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