by Cynthia Millen
While a recent Planned Parenthood study notes that the highest rate of unintended pregnancies occurs between young teen girls and adult males at least six years older, the organization is only concerned that these teens have unfettered access to contraceptives and abortions, without parental notification. Where is their concern for the harm suffered by these girls who, by their own admission, were coaxed “involuntarily” to have sex, and who, as studies have proven, suffer much higher rates of STD’s, cervical cancer, and infertility?
The Guttmacher Testimony
In 1994, an Alan Guttmacher Institute study entitled “Sex and America’s Teenagers” indicated that 6 out of 10 girls who had sexual intercourse by the age of 15 had partners who were at least six years older, and had pregnancy rates three times that of other girls. Two years later, the Urban Institute cited a study in which “three quarters of females who had sexual intercourse before age 14 reported having had sex involuntarily” (“The Fathers of Teen Mothers”, Washington Times, April 9, 1996).
More recently, a 2006 study published by the same Guttmacher Institute supported those earlier studies, and also indicated that “one in four first sexual relationships between females aged 16 and younger, and partners five or more years older were classified as nonvoluntary.” The study also reiterated the earlier findings that young teens who have sexual partners at least four years older have a much higher pregnancy rates — three times greater — primarily because “female teenagers fear more negative reactions from older partners if they bring up using a condom.” (Manlove, J., Terry-Humen, E., and Ikramullah E. , Young Teenagers and Older Sexual Partners: Correlates and Consequences for Males and Females).
Furthermore, in a 2008 Guttmacher study, it was found that teens who had sex with a partner four or more years older “were [two times] more likely to acquire an STD as young adults.” (Ryan, S., Franzetta, K., Manlove, J., and Schelar, E. [March 2008], Older Sexual Partners During Adolescence: Links to Reproductive Health Outcomes in Young Adulthood) Those same teens also suffered much higher rates of pelvic inflammatory disease, pregnancy complications, infertility, and cervical cancer. (Ibid.)
As common sense would dictate, and based upon all of the adverse physical and psychological results of early teenage sexual activity with older partners, the authors of the Guttmacher studies strongly argued for sexual abstinence for these teens.
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After marrying her husband, Jim Roberts, in 1980, Cynthia Millen graduated from law school and practiced in Ohio for a short while. Excited about having a large family, Jim and Cindy were blessed more quickly than expected with the birth of five children in four years (two set of twins). Her love for reading and writing grew into the publication of several children's books (under the name C. M. Millen), poems and short stories (including a 2014 Tuscany prize winner). Millen earned her Masters in Literature from Trinity College, Dublin, and relishes the teaching (and learning) of reading, writing, and grammar with middle school students at Christ the King School in Toledo, Ohio. Most of all, she treasures attending Mass there with wonderful parishioners and truly marvelous priests.