Relationship expert says its her mission to stop the spread of STDs
By Deborah Gyapong
Canadian Catholic News
Pam Stenzel, who calls herself “the Sex Lady” has made it her mission to make sure no teenager or young woman ends up with a sexually-transmitted disease or unwanted pregnancy.
She told more than 800 high school age youth that she did not want any of them leaving saying, “Nobody told me,” about the consequences of sex outside marriage at a Youth Conference associated with the National March for life rally, May 10.
Stenzel said her mission began when as a counselor at a crisis pregnancy centre she encountered too many women who said, “I didn’t know,” after they ended up with an incurable sexually-transmitted disease (STD).
She also encountered too many women who, after having engaged in pre-marital sex, are now married and trying to have a baby, only to find that a STD has destroyed her reproductive system. Others have developed cervical cancer and had their uterus removed because they got the HPV virus through genital from a sexual partner.
Stenzel said God created sex, and “it’s awesome,” but He put boundaries around it. He also gave men and women freedom to choose whether to follow the rules or to “shake our fist in his face” and disobey. A path, she warned that leads to disease, pain, and death.
God didn’t make a “bunch of rules to ruin your life,” she said. Stenzel stated God created sex for marriage, not for love. She said love is not a reason to have sex. “Either you are married or you are not. A or B. Just like you can’t be sort of pregnant. You are either pregnant or you are not.”
“If you are married, go for it! With the person you are married to,” she said. But “sex has a price tag. Is it worth it?”
When working at the crisis pregnancy centre Stenzel found young women who were scared to death of being pregnant. The girls had no awareness that they are at a four times greater risk of contracting an STD. If the STD is bacterial, it can be cured. But a viral STD, such as Herpes or HPV, will be with woman for life. Stenzel said some diseases like chlamydia, a bacterial infection, are asymptomatic, but cause pelvic inflammatory disease and sterility for women. There are now more than 30 known STDs, she said, not just HIV, syphilis and gonorrhea. She said young people who have had sex outside of marriage, 67 per cent have an STD. Stenzel added that more young women have died of cancer caused by an STD than have died of AIDs.
She said the attitude about STDs has become “everybody gets them” the way everyone gets the chicken pox.
Some STDs come from skin to skin contact and condoms provide no protection against them, she said.
Stenzel said many think that because they have no symptoms they are disease-free. “Oh, he didn’t have that on Friday!”
“Nobody’s going to say over the public address system, I got herpes today."
The focus birth control has become about avoiding pregnancy rather than disease prevention. After a pregnancy scare, girls go on the pill or take a hormone shot that will make them ten times more likely to get an STD. “This little girl is going to end up sterile or dead,” Stenzel said.
“Pregnancy is not a disease, it's survivable,” she added. She said pregnancy is not the problem. “The behavior that got you pregnant is the problem.”
Stenzel believes unwanted pregnancy gives a young unmarried woman options that range from “bad, terrible or even worse."
Abortion is not like having a tooth extracted, she said. Women still suffer from the consequences five, ten years later. She said raising a child alone is not a good solution either. She has seen pregnant 12-years olds with twins and met grandmothers who are 24, who had a child at 12, who has given birth at 12. “It’s not easy to raise a child,” she said. “The number one indicator of poverty is a single parent household.”
“A baby is not a game, a new puppy or somebody to love you.”
She said adoption is the best option but it takes tremendous courage and maturity to give a child up.
Stenzel said her own mother was the victim of rape at the age of 15 and decided to carry her to term in a state that allowed abortion in cases of rape.
“My biological father is a rapist,” she said. “I am still human. I don’t believe I deserved a death penalty because of the crime of my biological father.”
Stenzel stressed that if a woman finds herself pregnant to get help at a crisis pregnancy centre. “I have held children I have saved from the death camps of our nation.”
Teens also need to know sex includes: hand/genital contact; oral/genital contact; and genital/genital contact, she added. No sex outside of marriage includes oral sex, she stressed.
Stenzel also stressed the difference males and females have to sex. Girls need to be taught their worth and that each one is a princess, a daughter of God, somebody’s daughter who deserves to be respected. Whereas Some young men plan on being "players" and experimenting.
A young man should tell a young woman, “I would never ask you to put your life on the line to satisfy my momentary need.”
“While opposites attract when it comes to personality, opposites never attract when it comes to character,” she said.