8 MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH SCHOOL ORACLE focus | Cerys Holstege [email protected] graphics by Jack Marquez Three words, eight letters Claire Johnson [email protected] Just as there are the cliched high school cliques (the jocks, the drama kids, the Oracle kids), Mountain View High School is filled with teenage hormones--and subsequently cliched high school relationships. The couples that celebrate anything and everything over Facebook Expect a lot of meaningless posts about their two week anniversaries and that cute thing he does with his nose and oh, I luv u baby!!!1!!1” Also, that was the first time they said “I love you.” Couples who have been dating for a bagillion years These are the people who marry their high school sweethearts. They got together in middle school and are still going strong. Odds are they already know what they want to name their kids. Couples who enjoy each other’s company--a little too much Their friends frequently tell them to get a room, and everyone else is thinking it. These couples are so into each other that their PDA makes everyone--except for them--uncomfortable. Couples who are constantly on-again-off-again These couples only like each other when they’re not dating, which leads to an endless, disfuctional, and ultimately unhealthy cycle that hurts everyone in the end. Just friends. Really. Best friends who everyone thinks should go out, but they really are just friends. They might be pressured into dating, but that just makes it weird. Love is a concept that people of all ages struggle to define. In attempt to ward Mountain View High School couples from becoming just another Taylor Swift ballad, this article aims to discuss sophisticated theories drawing the difference between infatuation and genuine love, so that young adults may develop a higher wisdom about love as a whole. “Love is divine only and difficult always,” Pulitzerprize winning author Toni Morrison said. “It is a learned application. You can only earn - by practice and careful contemplations - the right to express it.” Love is not easy, discriminatory, or natural. To know it we must let go of whatever the media has taught us about it and look within ourselves to first define it. Philosopher Erich Fromm calls love “the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. Love is an act of will -- namely, both an intention and an action.” In Plato’s The Symposium, Pausanias labels Fromm’s definition of love as “Heavenly Love.” It is a combination of agape (unconditional spiritual love), philia (friendship), and eros (romance). This is considered genuine long-term love, which many humans strive for but don’t always understand. Often we confuse Heavenly Love with “cathexis,” a term coined by psychiatrist Scott Peck to describe common love. Cathexis is feeling the chemistry that people often misinterpret as love at first sight. It is the feeling of being connected to someone, but it lacks the essential ingredients of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, or trust. bell hooks* distinguishes these apart: of fostering emotional intimacy.” To have love, we must emulate love within ourselves. As such, we should have a strong sense of who we are, what we seek in relationships, and what our boundaries are. “ B e aware o f what t h e other person brings to your life,” English teacher Esther Wu said. “Let go of love when the cost outweighs the benefit. If it makes you a better, stronger version of yourself to work out the conflict, then stay.” Healthy relationships can help you discover your identity, although it is imperative not to let your partner define you. A loving companion is excited to grow and change along with you throughout every stage of your life. Through trials and experiences, one day each of us may be able to fully understand love, and it will be worth all the joy and heartbreak. Don’t be afraid of love, but know how to foster and nurture it. There is no perfect relationship. Love is a capability everyone has, but how we tap into that depends on how we come to love ourselves. No one can value you more than you value yourself. Happiness and love first spark from within ourselves, how we share them with others is based off our own accord. Unfortunately, when people mistake passion for love or when we are not emotionally prepared to act upon love, we get hurt. “We can only move from perfect passion to perfect love when the illusions pass and we are able to use the energy generated by spiritual bonding to heighten selfdiscovery,” hooks wrote in her book entitled All About Love. “Perfect love is a personal revolution: takes your ideas, your desires, and your actions and welds them together in one experience and one living reality which is a new you.” Unfortunately, when people mistake passion for love or when we are not emotionally prepared to act upon love, we get hurt. Relationships without a strong emotional foundation reveal a desire to find a partner rather than to know love. “Young people aren’t completely comfortable with themselves yet, and they don’t know how to communicate that,” MVHS teacher William Blair said. “They tend to jump into romantic intimacy instead *Gloria Jean Watkins uses the nom de plume of “bell hooks,” which is intentionally uncapitalized. Go to mvhsoracle.com for the complete article What they teach you in health, and wh As a young adult at Mountain View High School, I know that my body is changing, and that it’s natural to have u at the same time I’m not at the point where looking at pictures of vaginas doesn’t make me squirm for a good two informative sexual health facts. (Facts are from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy A sexually active teen girl who does not use contraception has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year. If you decide to become sexually active, be responsible. Two in wish t to hav MILD If you didn’t plan ahead but end up in a sticky situation, the morningafter pill is effective for five days after sex, according to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is located at 225 San Antonio Rd in Mountain View and is a great resource for anyone looking for birth control. There is an act called Family PACT which ensures that everyone in California has access to birth control, and it will be provided for free if you have something preventing you from paying for birth control. For many teenagers this means that they wouldn’t want their parents to know, so they can get birth control for free with a short medical exam. Walk-ins are accepted, so you don’t have an excuse to be irresponsible. Not sure if you’re ready to ha had waited, it seems like we c high school guys are often v obvious alternative to sex, the to a study by Northwestern U aroused by all types of porn. masturbating women tend to physical and emotional stress fessor of psychiatry at Case W MOUNTAIN VIEW HIGH SCHOOL ORACLE 9 | focus Sex poll undresses assumptions Michelle Rubinstein [email protected] The Oracle asked a random sampling of 375 Mountain View High School students about their perceptions of and feelings toward sexual activity. While the results proved somewhat predictable, its implications remain suggestive of potential action. 1) Humans are biologically inclined to respond to sexual urges, so the fact that approximately half of polled students attribute sex to hormones is neither surprising nor concerning. Meanwhile, the percentage of students that chose “pressure” as the primary reason for sexual activity among teens is high and therefore problematic. A highly possible source of this pressure is the fact that about half of students rely on friends for information about sex, as indicated by the third question. 2) We must remember that the ages at which students believe sex is acceptable do not necessarily correlate with the ages at which students are sexually active. According to our poll, approximately 60 percent of students feel that sex as a minor is acceptable. However, according to a 2011 national survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, just 43 percent of teenage girls and 42 percent of teenage boys (up to 19 years old) have had sex at least once. Presumably, Who would you most likely talk to if you had a question about sex? Editorial Abstinence only? Please, girl. Cerys Holstege [email protected] Don’t have sex. Or you will get pregnant. And die. The familiar Mean Girls mantra isn’t far off from what many states require be Friends taught in Siblings sex education classes. Parents/other Abstinence-only sex-ed programs family member that either prohibit contraceptive information or limit its mention to brief Pediatrician/health statements about the ineffectiveness professional of birth control are still prevalent in I would research online our country, but they are neither realistic nor effective at preventing teen the 18 and 19-year-old subjects in- by Googling the commonly asked pregnancy. cluded in this number drive up the question, “Is it safe to have sex on While it is true that abstinence is percentage of sexually active teens. your period?” We chose the top the only one hundred percent effecEvidently, our beliefs about sexual hit (from drlauraberman.com) and tive way to prevent unwanted pregengagement, likely influenced read the first sentence: “Having sex nancy, its inherent flaw is that it only by pressure, are not necessar- on your period is absolutely safe.” works when people are completely ily related to our actual behavior. It wasn’t until the end of the third sexually inactive, which is usually 3) About 50 percent of MVHS paragraph that the author made it not the case with teenagers. students would most likely ask clear that pregnancy is still a posAccording to the U.S. Department their friends about sex before con- sibility when a woman has sex of Health, on average young people sulting any other sources. We can during her menstruation. The most have sex around the age of 17 with therefore assume that those friends likely website to be chosen by a about fifty percent of teenagers havmost likely gain their knowledge student refers to “safe sex” as sex ing sex before their 19th birthday. from their friends. The next most that is not harmful rather than sex Most, however, do not marry until chosen answer to this question that does not lead to pregnancy. In their mid to late twenties. In the interwas the Internet. We decided to reality, sex is never a hundred per- vening period, a young adult taught take the matter into our own hands cent “safe” in regards to pregnancy. abstinence-only sex-ed in school is left unprepared for the adult decisions they face that require maturity Never and responsibility. Pressure When it comes to prohibiting Under 15 In love or limiting information about con15 Hormones traception, the results are obvious. 16 States that teach abstinence-only sexTo feel ed in public school have higher rates 17 grown up of teen pregnancy: New Mexico and 18+ Arkansas have the highest rate, at Other 56/1000 teens ages 15-19 per year. Married States with the seven highest teen Of these 375 subjects, 12 were considered outliers for the entire poll, based on lack of seriousness. Additionally, some sub- pregnancy rates don’t require schools jects were considered outliers for specific questions if they provided more than one response. While we understand that mul- to teach about contraception. These tiple answers could apply, the poll asked specifically for the primary reasons or most likely possibilities, so these responses were excluded from the results. hat you really need to know Abby Cunniff [email protected] urges. The trite phrases used and reused by my teachers over the years have not really given me much insight, but o minutes. So without getting too scientific, I want to enlighten the MVHS population with some spicy but equally y.) n three teenagers they had waited ve sex. One in two sexually active young people will get an STD by the age of 25. ave sex? Seeing as most teenagers wished they could learn a lesson from their mistakes. While very comfortable discussing masturbation, an e same cannot be said for most girls. According University, women, unlike men, are generally . Masturbation is scary for a lot of women, but o have higher self-esteem and significantly less s, Kathleen Segraves, Ph. D., an associate proWestern Reserve University, said. It’s important to clearly communicate your limits, expectations, definition of sex, and to be sure you understand theirs. CONTROVERSIAL The Mountain View Planned Parenthood has literally fourteen types of birth control, so c’mon GYT (get yourself tested) and use protection. All types of sexual activity usually go through phases of desire, excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. But Planned Parenthood says that people “do not need to complete the cycle to be sexually fulfilled.” Basically, don’t be upset plainly because you didn’t orgasm. Let your body feel the way it does, and you might feel perfectly fine after missing the climax (assuming you don’t have blue balls). rates are compared to states like Vermont, which requires the sex-ed curriculum to cover contraception, where the rate is 18/1000 teens. This is compounded by limited access in these states to clinics where they can gain comprehensive information about birth control and other topics not necessarily covered by their school sex-ed. Arkansas, the state with the highest teen pregnancy rate, has only three Planned Parenthoods in all, and New Mexico six. In contrast, Vermont has 19 and California has 134. Advocacy groups for abstinenceonly sex-ed perpetuate this ignorance by promoting misconceptions about comprehensive sex-ed. Abstinence Works, an organization run by the National Abstinence Education Foundation, claims that comprehensive sex-ed classes teach lessons that advocate “showering together as a no risk activity” and suggest that “teens wear shades or disguises when shopping for condoms so adults and parents won’t recognize them.” However, these are not lessons included in the curriculum of any sex-ed program. Abstinence-only sex-ed doesn’t only keep the youth ignorant; it also does not increase the likelihood of teens remaining abstinent. A study conducted in 2008 by U.S. researchers even suggested that a comprehensive sex-ed course slightly reduced the likelihood of teens having sex. Sex does require maturity and responsibility, and abstinence is the safest and most effective approach. However, it is important for us to educate students so that when they are faced with this decision, they are prepared. Depriving our youth of vital information has consequences that will continue to be felt until we stop promoting ignorance. Teens need to be educated and aware of the risks of sex so they have the tools necessary to make the mature decisions they will need to make.
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