The other thing about the "safe" sex message SHOULD be, is that you are 1) willing to risk and hope that a condom will protect you against a life-long STD or life-threatening; 2) that this thin, "flawlessly" manufactured piece of latex will protect you; 3) That EVERY condom you ever use will likewise protect you (ever here of manufacturing errors?); And 4) that without prior testing and allowing a time period for any potential incubation, that you have NO idea whether you are at least potentially exposing yourself/will be testing the "firewall" of the condom.
So, why doesn't the safe sex message ALSO include emphasizing that one ALWAYS have thorough, comprehensive STD/HIV, etc. testing done by BOTH sexual partners before beginning such a relationship? That is virtually never stated. No, few kids would ever do that, as most are very impulsive - but if they are to truly know what it takes to be safe, that should be a no-brainer to emphasize.
That there ARE manufacturing defects, that condoms DO break, that they are often used incorrectly or not during the entire act - are kids being strongly warned about the small but immensely terrible consequences if the condom or its use DOESN'T protect them? Is the risk of a child - or God forbid, an abortion - or acquiring a life-long or even fatal disease worth ignoring even the small percentage chance that it will happen? Does the safe sex message ever emphasize dangers in the small percentage chance of failure? Mostly, NO. They never emphasize that a kid is taking a calculated - and implied, ACCEPTABLE - level of risk. And while it's an UNNECESSARY risk, the insinuation is that it is a risk that kids will take anyway, and thus it's better to limit the odds of danger with the "safe" sex message.
My strategy for hopefully keeping my own kids from pre-marital sex have been the following:
1) I've made sure they understand God's desire for how they are to spiritually conduct their sexual lives, and what His declared boundaries are - and that they will need to prayerfully navigate how to honor those; 2) I've made them aware that God wants them to end up with a Christian spouse - and that without this, there are immense likely problems that will result - so, that they should NEVER date a person that is not also a Christian (yes, I realize that's sometimes tough to adhere to) - not nearly enough Christian parents emphasize this; 3) I've made them aware of protective options, but also that to go down that pathway is fraught with potentially devastating things - that A) are sinning against God and B) simply not worth the potential consequences, and that the risks expand over time; 4) I've immersed them in a really good church youth program that offers accountability from peers, leaders, and mentors - all that help to strongly re-enforce what I myself have taught them; 5) I'm always praying for their protection and guidance in leading Godly lives; 6) I don't micro-manage what they read or movies they see, but I do try to stay aware. And I've emphasized that they need to have a constant spiritual SELF filter as to what they take into their minds, eyes and ears - that if they constantly absorb junk, they won't be immune to the influence of such. No, these things are no guarantee, but they are my responsibility to do my part in protecting my precious sons.
Many of us that are in our mid-30s or even older (
) may fail to realize that the sexual landscapes of our youths were FAR less dangerous, as to the percentages of the various dangers that are now out there. STDs, for the sexually active with others so likewise, are just about a given, as they are nowadays almost merely a matter of time. What a horrific thing, catching a life-long STD (or worse). A pregnancy with another youthful lover - a nightmare, on multiple levels! "Safe" sex, indeed!