A young lady stayed after class to speak with me recently. She wanted to let me know how good it felt to hear from an adult who believed that it was possible for teens to abstain from sex. She then shared a very disturbing conversation she had with her pediatrician. I was so shocked by what she told me that I asked if she would include the story in her letter to me.
Her letter is below:
Dear Ms. Jackie,
Thank you so much for coming to our class! It is such a relief to have an adult believe in us.
Just a couple of weeks ago I was at the doctor’s office for a physical. As is the routine, he asked if I was a virgin. I replied that I was. He then proceeded to ask me how long I plan on staying [a virgin]. After my reply of “until marriage,” he told me I was a fool. I was told that since I’m going to college next year, there is no way I’ll be able to wait that long so I might as well accept it now. I again tried to tell him that I have no intention of having sex before marriage, and again he told me I was foolish. He then turned to my mother and said, “She is only saying these things because you are in the room.”
My mom and I changed the subject and quickly left the office. I had never before felt so annoyed. The doctor had not only called me stupid, but he [also] informed me that my choice of abstinence would never last. The doctor destroyed my self worth in one visit. I hope others don’t have to go through what I did because there is nothing worse than being told waiting is foolish. I’m so grateful for the advice you give people and for the courage you gave me. So, again I would like to thank you.
I’m not exactly sure what her doctor wanted to accomplish by his approach. But I am appalled that he would think it was acceptable to speak to this young lady as he did.
The young lady informed me that she and her mom decided not to return to this doctor. Good for them! But I wonder how many of his other female patients have made a decision to have sex because he has told them that it is foolish to wait?!
In an age when teens who choose NOT to have sex are made to feel abnormal by their peers and the media, the last thing they need is to have their doctor also jump on that bandwagon.
Parents, please make sure your child has a pediatrician who would support his/her decision to abstain, and at the very least one who would not criticize his/her choice. If your child’s doctor is unwilling to do either of the above, then take a cue from this mother and hire a replacement.