Sunday, March 30, 2014

Comprehensive Sex Ed for the Future of Youth

Note: The following is a research paper I wrote for school. I am using as part as an online portfolio to garner more freelance work. I received an "A" on this paper.  Also, this paper has been turned in through school through a 3rd party app called "turnit-in" so if someone decides to use this as their own work and a teacher runs it for plagiarism the outcome will not be good for that person.

The CDC writes in the article HIV Among Youth in US that, "one in four new HIV infections occur in youth ages 13-24 and about 12,000 youth in 2010 or about 1,000 per month were infected with HIV" ("HIV"). These are staggering finds and with all the available information about HIV and how to protect oneself against this fatal illness, why are these numbers so high? In many schools, students are exposed to an abstinence-only sex education. While abstinence is key in preventing unwanted pregnancy and disease, there are still young people who participate in sexual activity. Schools should teach comprehensive sexual education including information on contraceptive use, sexually transmitted disease/infections in addition to abstinence, to teach sexual responsibility in all stages of a youth’s life.

Comprehensive sexual education is much more than using condoms and learning about birth control. Planned Parenthood recommends on their website that a comprehensive sex education is one that starts in kindergarten and goes until twelfth grade. The information is made for the student’s age group and is based on facts and science. Some of the topics in a comprehensive sex education program are the biology of sexuality, relationships, information and prevention about disease, topics about self-image, and perhaps orientation and pleasure (Planned Parenthood). With this program, students will learn ways to protect their bodies from harm and will learn how to deal with sexual pressures. An abstinence-only education has only one message: no sex until marriage. This program neglects the fact that there are many people who have pre-marital sexual relations or has an alternative lifestyle. Thus, many students are not educated in how to protect themselves in the real world.

Furthermore, comprehensive sex education programs work to decrease unwanted pregnancy. In schools or communities where there is comprehensive sex education, Advocates for Youth, compiled research that states, "The National Survey of Family Growth determined the impact of sexuality education on youth risk taking for young people ages 15-19 and found teens 50% less likely to experience pregnancy than those who received abstinence-only education" (Advocates for Youth). These programs give a young woman the knowledge about birth control to lead a sexually active and responsible life without becoming pregnant at an early age. In March 2013, the CDC declared in "Reducing Teen Pregnancy in the United States" that teen births are at the lowest point in 70 years and state, "prevention of teen pregnancy requires broad-based efforts including evidence-based sexual health education" ("Pregnancy"). Teen pregnancy affects everyone because; it increases the need for public assistance for health care and other federal aid programs. Also, lower teen pregnancy rates also might mean a lower abortion rate. Students in an abstinence-only program do not learn anything about available birth control options. While some people may not believe in contraceptive uses, it is better to prevent the pregnancy than to abort it. Young women in a comprehensive sexual education program will learn the best methods of birth control and make the right choice for them.

Not only does a comprehensive sex education program help reduce teen pregnancy, it also gives scientific information on prevention that decreases the chances for the youth becoming infected with sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, which is fatal. A comprehensive sex education program teaches about the effectiveness of condoms and how to properly use a condom. Brigid McKeon, a writer for the organization Advocates for Youth claims students enrolled in a comprehensive sex education program have lower infection rates than those enrolled in an abstinence-only sex education program ("Effective"). Teens who choose to have sexual relations will be better prepared to have safe sex thus lowering their chances for becoming infected with a sexually transmitted disease. Another writer for Advocates for Youth, Sue Alford writes in "Science and Success, Second Edition: Sex Education and Other Programs That Prevent Teen Pregnancy, HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections" that several comprehensive sexual education programs showed significant decreases in sexually transmitted infections (2-3).

Conversely, there are many people who believe a comprehensive sex education curriculum actually encourages young people to have sexual relations. Christine Kim, policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation and Robert Rector, research fellow at the Heritage Foundation state in "The Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Curriculum is Effective" that sexually active teens hurt not just themselves their but society as a whole and programs that teach abstinence only are much more effective in preventing teen birth and infection ("Abstinence" np). While no expert disagrees that abstinence is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and disease, the information provided in a comprehensive sex education program gives the students the knowledge to maturely deal with sex. According to research conducted by the Guttmacher Institute and Columbia University, it states that "95% Americans had sex before marriage" (Boonstra, np). Any man or woman who decide to have sex for the first time are faced with choices and with a comprehensive sex education, he or she will know to use either condoms, birth control, or use both. In addition, a man and a woman who are married to each other may not want children right away, he or she should know what is available to them.

When comprehensive sexual education is taught in schools, it does help lower teen pregnancy, help lower infection rates among teens and help teens make safer sexual health choices. Nurse practitioner Margaret Tonelli, states in Time for Comprehensive Sex Education, that "research has shown that providing information does not increase sexual behaviors but it reduces unwanted pregnancy, and it delays sexual inanition and prevents STI’s" (57). A comprehensive sexual education program, in conjunction with teaching abstinence, creates responsible and mature teens and adults. It will give future youth the information on birth control and proper condom use to protect themselves from disease and unwanted pregnancy should they choose to have sexual relations. Some teens will have sex early, some will wait until later, some will wait until they are married, but the information provided in a comprehensive sexual education program will guide them through their adult lives to make good sexual choices.

Works Cited
Advocates for Youth. "Comprehensive Sex Education: Research and Results." Advocates for Youth. Sept. 2009. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.

Alford, Sue, MLS. "Science and Success, Second Edition: Sex Education and Other Programs That Work to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, HIV, and Sexually Transmitted Infections." Advocatesfor Advocates for Youth (2008): 2-3. Web PDF. 11 Feb. 2014.

Boonstra, Heather D. "The Case for a New Approach to Sex Education Mounts; Will Policy Makers Heed the Message?" Guttmacher Policy Review, Guttmacher Institute.10.2 (Spring 2007): n.pag. Web PDF. 11 Feb. 2014.

CDC. "HIV Among Youth in the US." CDC Vital Signs. CDC. Nov. 2012 Web. 01 Feb. 2014.

CDC. " Reducing Teen Pregnancy in the United States." Public Health Grand Rounds. CDC. 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 1 Feb. 2014.

Kim, Christine, and Robert Rector. "The Abstinence-Only Sex Education Curriculum Is Effective." Are Textbooks Biased? Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Rpt. from "Evidence on the Effectiveness of Abstinence Education: An Update." Heritage Foundation. 2010. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 1 Feb. 2014.

McKeon, Brigid. "Effective Sex Education." Advocates for Youth. Advocates for Youth. 2006. Web. 01. Feb. 2014.

Planned Parenthood. "Implementing Sex Education." Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.

Tonelli, Margaret, MSN AP. "Time for Comprehensive Sex Education." Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology 22.1 (2009): 57. Summons. Web. 1 Feb. 2014.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Afterlife of Tanya Madera by JM Scott On Sale Now

Sorry this is late but the latest ebook I wrote, The Afterlife of Tanya Madera, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Countdown Deals. This is only for sale in the US market for another 3 days. To make it on sale through the UK market I would need to raise the price and I don't want to do that.

So here is the one liner: Jackie and Bill Crocker go hiking in the woods and find the remains of teenaged girl who then takes Jackie hostage in a ghost coma. Bill and a parapsychologist rush to find out who she is before time runs out and Jackie is lost forever. Right now it is $1.99 for this book. It is a mystery/thriller/ supernatural horror/ coming of age story that is perfect for reading right now!

If you get the book I thank you in advance.

Here are some other tidbits of info:

Nickolaus  a short story available on Kindle is free for a limited time in all markets. I am just not making a big hoopy do who because it is a Christmas story.

I am still working on the romance novelette. School has me real busy right now but once I get the two papers written, I will have more time for working on the ebook. It does have a title and it is called Mickayla Margarella.

Until next time when we shall meet under the fiery rains and the ocean turns to acid, I will be the streak in the sky.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Heart of a Goddess byJM Scott FREE

Hello all. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary for my first self-published ebook on Kindle, Heart of a Goddess and I decided to celebrate by offering the book for FREE!!!! This book is free on all markets and will be free until March 14, 2014. For the US market just click here to get your free copy. All other markets just search for the title or you can find it by searching for my name JM Scott.

I am proud of this book and the book cover. Originally, it was supposed to be sold to a third party where they would put my name on it but they kept the rights but it was rejected because adult content. There is blood, gore, sex and a break from reality. I drew everything on the cover including the lettering. My husband put it all together and colored it in and voila it's a pretty awesome book cover.

What it's about: Leonard is a lonely copywriter who stumbles upon a poorly dressed woman in a snow storm. It is a whirlwind romance (I use this term loosely) and she tells him everything he wants to hear from a beautiful woman that she loves him. In fact, he will do anything and does by bringing her beating human hearts for her to consume. But there is much more to the story. SO check it out today.

And now let's pretend I am talking to you, this is where I am begging.... please read this book and then review this book on Amazon. Your reviews will mean the world to me. Please just make them honest. An honest review will do one of two things- If there is something wrong, I will fix it and become a better writer or if you love the book I will sell more books. Either way, you are helping me out.

My thoughts on KDP: I have been with KDP for a year now and I think it is one of the best decisions I have made to advance my writing career. At first it was daunting and scary with creating a book cover and formatting the book but now after I have self-published several, I love doing it. I actually plan what my next ebook is going to be and start planning the cover. I am a writer that needs a kick in the ass sometimes and now with KDP I have a goal: I am going to make sure I have a boat load of ebooks on Kindle so I can not be ignored. I have faith that eventually, the reviews will come in. Actually I have a very positive review for one of my other books in the UK Market.

As always, I thank you for your continued support.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hey It's March

And it's about time for March as well. To me this seemed like an extra long winter with too much snow.  Today, is the day for winter storm Tritan and I am thinking that it won't be as bad here as it will for other places. Enough about the weather, I am looking forward to spring.

My first term at college ended and I am happy to report that I have very good grades. More than likely straight A's. I took English Composition 1 and an online success class. I was dreading taking the English class because I didn't have the best luck with English. I probably should explain that more. I love writing and the work isn't hard but I hard time getting good grades because I had no idea what was wrong. This school has an online writing lab which I used extensively. This gave my essays more eyes and the people pointed out what was wrong. Even my English teacher said she could see a difference in my writing from the beginning until now and we are only talking eight weeks. I am one of those kinds of people that need to be shown what's wrong and not told.

On other news, I am working a on a new ebook. This is a romance story that follows the life of  a young woman who becomes an actress and who she hurts in the process. In true romance fashion, there is a happy ending. I wrote the story several years ago and I actually thought it was worthy of publishing since I sent it to a bunch of places. Of course it was rejected every single time. It is a good story and I wanted to make an ebook since it is already over 10,000 words. WOW the first time I read this story in awhile and I can't believe I thought it was good enough to send away. I found so many mistakes: grammar, story, and just everything. My style has improved over the years and I've already started working on this story and I am spending a lot of time editing the story, fixing the grammar issues and making the story more smooth, adding more details (more in depth sex scenes). I have no idea when it will be done. I also have to think of a title but I think I have one.  This will be another novelette because it's over 13,000 words right now.

I have other writing projects to work on such as a kid's book series that has a magical pen, finish typing up the haiku from my project from two years ago plus writing and more writing. I haven't written very much poetry lately so that is also on my to do list as well.

Okay folks, enough for right now. Take a joke and light a smoke, I'll be back soon enough.