By Selina Affram
Sex is an emotional and physical way of expressing someone’s love for another; it is a pleasurable experience that is blessed through a sacred union, but also can be a risky activity that may lead to consequences in life.
The Methodist Student Center provides sessions about Human Sexuality: God’s gift at 12:10 on Tuesdays in the Methodist Student Center, 102 Belknap Place.
Dr. David L. Semrad, minister for the United Methodist Student Center on campus, focused on the topic of the virtues of birth control and family planning.
Semrad said the Protestant religion has principles on sexuality.
He said, “We recognize sexuality as God’s good gift to all persons.”
“We believe persons may be fully human when that gift is acknowledged and affirmed by themselves, the church, and society; we also recognize our limited understanding of this complex gift and encourage the medical, theological and social science disciplines to combine in a determined effort to understand human sexuality more completely.”
Based on these principles, students and Paula Daggett, R.N., coordinator of the college health center, held an in-depth session about birth control, STDs and relationships and love.
He said in the past large families were produced for agrarian lifestyles, but in today’s society a child is a financial responsibility that tends to increase poverty.
Daggett said there are many forms of birth control available for women, but only two forms for men, the condom and a vasectomy.
Women can use different forms of birth control to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, but the best form of birth control is abstinence.
Marcus Freeman, English freshman, 33, commented on the session.
Freeman said, “It is important to find yourself, know who you are and what God made you to be.”
He suggested that college students should collect as much information as possible and attain knowledge in this area.
Some forms of birth control are birth control pills, implants, hormone shots and hormone rings.
When using birth control, it is best to find a method that fits one’s lifestyle.
Some side effects of hormone methods may include nausea, headache, breast tenderness, weight gain, irregular bleeding and depression.
Daggett said making the decision to have sex is important and couples should have a shared responsibility about sex, meaning both people are responsible for using a form of birth control.
There needs to be conversation about making an important decision like having a method of birth control and knowledge about the female body.
She said some people decide to use the rhythm method.
The rhythm method is judging by a specific time in a month when a woman ovulates and abstaining from sex during that period to avoid pregnancy.
In using this method, it is essential to be meticulous and monitor the calendar for the time of ovulation each month.
Ovulation usually occurs about 14 days after the end of a menstrual cycle.
The window of timing can be about a week and around this time a woman is most susceptible to becoming pregnant, so partners must be careful.
“Why mess up your life for 15 minutes of fun, possibly, with an unexpected pregnancy or an STD,” Daggett said.
An STD is a sexually transmitted disease, which can be passed through vaginal, anal or oral sex and kissing and intimate touching.
STDs may also be transmitted through sharing needles for drugs, piercings and tattoos.
Some of the common STDs are chlamydia, herpes, HPV, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV. The effects can be infertility, cervical cancer and even death.
Semrad and Daggett agreed that those people who decide to wait and be abstinent, unfortunately, have been labeled as homosexual.
Dagget said, “It’s important to find a happy ground in life.”
The Protestant principle indicates that every individual should have the opportunities and freedom to love and be loved, to seek and receive justice and to practice ethical self-determination.
The women’s center in the first floor of Moody Learning Center is in the Balditt Counseling Center and provides support for college students.
For information about making sex decisions and how to handle oneself in a pressured situation, visit the college health center in Room 119 of Chance Academic Center or call 733-2790.