Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 10, 2002
Couples' book challenges teens' sexual lifestyle
They advocate monogamy in a committed lifestyle.
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Like most parents, Stephen and Shelagh Genuis are concerned about their youngsters. But this couple, blessed with four children, is also concerned about others' children.
So they co-authored a book called Teen Sex Reality Check: Sexual Behavior and STDs in the 21st century.
The book, aimed at parents and educators, is a follow-up of the book for teens, Risky Sex, that Stephen wrote 10 years ago.
"Ultimately I feel that adults are the ones that are making the decisions in our society for the most part, said Stephen. "They are the parents, teachers, politicians that determine public policy. So I think if we want to make a difference, we have to impress the leaders of our society as well as the parents."
A practicing obstetrician and gynecologist, he said, "Over and over in my practice, I have seen many people who suffered a lot because of the decisions they made as teenagers."
Statistics of young people contracting STDs have gone up and Stephen is convinced "education is the best tool that we have" to address the problem.
But instead of just saying that there's a real problem with STDs, the book goes on to state what are the different lifestyles people could live, explained Shelagh.
"It's very much from the scientific point of view and we do that because we think that there is a gap to be filled there. There is certainly a moral imperative -- don't do this and don't do that. But what the book tries to do is to fill in the gap why."
"I have seen many people who suffered a lot because of the decisions they made as teenagers."
- Dr. Stephen Genuis
Christine Foisy-Erickson, director of Mi Casa Ministries, reviewed the book and said, "This book, which is steeped in medical facts and without explicitly intending to do so, leads one to seriously consider a sexual life based on Gospel values."
She made the following conclusions:
The book offers suggestions and presents medical research in terms of what can health workers do. It is also written for teachers to empower them with information to share some of the important facts and to discuss lifestyle options.
- Involvement in sex at an early age is dangerous for many reasons.
- This behaviour can have life-long, devastating consequences that bring about much suffering for oneself and for others.
- Considering the medical facts, postponing early sexual involvement is the responsible choice.
- Deciding for a monogamous life-long sexual partner in a committed relationship is the optimal choice for sexually active people.
Other sections in the book discuss strategies with parents so they can effectively tackle the sexuality topic with their children.
Shelagh grew up in a Christian home and agrees, "In a way there is a moral framework within the book, but it is presented in a scientific way in terms of facts.
"The book presents choices for adolescents not just for a particular phase in their lives, but for life."
The book, which is also available in cassette and CD, can be ordered by calling toll free (888) 404-9419 or online at www.winfieldhouse.com.