July 14, 2014
Last Saturday marked the beginning of a brand new Escojo Mi Vida course, which will be co-facilitated by 4 girls who graduated from my first course here. We kicked off the class with an explanation of Escojo, and then administered a pre-test to assess the kids’ starting knowledge.
I just finished grading the pretests, and the results were dismal, leading me to think that as much as the high rate of teen pregnancy here is a consequence of machismo, poverty, and a lot of other complicated factors, it’s also a reflection of the fact that kids just don’t know how to avoid getting pregnant. (Hopefully Escojo can help change that, even if it’s not possible to address the larger social structures that are also contributing to the problem.)
This isn’t just a Dominican thing, though. The 2 American volunteers here for the summer came to the meeting, and even they didn’t pass the pretest. At first this surprised me, but in reflecting I’m not sure that as a high school student I would have done much better.
With this in mind, I thought I’d give y’all a crack at the test. Questions are below, followed by their answers. Suerte!
1. Give an example of a value, and explain how this value can influence decision-making.
2. Give an example of a factor that can influence self-esteem.
3.Give a specific suggestion to improve self-esteem.
4. Give an example of a change during puberty. Is it an emotional or physical change? Does it happen in males, females, or in both genders?
5. Why does menstruation happen?
6. What is abstinence?
7. What is a reason a young person would choose abstinence?
8. What is a consequence of teen pregnancy? Is it a consequence for the mom, her child, or society?
9. What methods of family planning do you know of?
10. What is an advantage of using condoms if you have sexual relations?
11. A woman can get pregnant …
- On any day of her menstrual cycle. True/False
- If she has sex in water. True/False
- If she has sex standing up. True/False
- If she urinates immediately after sex. True/False
- The first time she has sex. True/False
- If the man ejaculates outside the vagina. True/False
12. What sexually transmitted infections do you know of?
13. What are the ABCs of preventing sexually transmitted infections?
14. Through what fluids is HIV transmitted?
15. How is HIV transmitted?
16. Is it possible to prevent HIV by having only one partner who is faithful? Yes/No
17. Is it possible to prevent HIV by using a condom in every sexual relationship?
18. Is it possible that a person who looks/seems healthy has HIV/AIDS?
19. Is it possible to contract HIV through a mosquito bite?
20. Is it possible to contract HIV by sharing plates or silverware with an infected person?
21. How can you prevent the transmission of HIV or a sexually transmitted infection?
22. What can you do to combat discrimination?
23. What is a consequence of violence?
24. What is a strategy young people can use to say “no” to alcohol?
1. Examples of values include: Humility, respect, tolerance, friendship, education, love, money, time, honesty, justice, family, productivity, etc.
If a person values tolerance, then they will treat all people equally and with respect, regardless of their race/religion/sexual orientation/social class.
2. Examples of factors include: Family, school, television/movies/the media, friends, neighbors, the church
3. Examples of suggestions include: Make a list of the things you do well, speak well of yourself at least 3 times a day, remember and try to accept that there are aspects of ourselves that it’s not possible to change (skin color, hair type, height, etc.)
4. Changes include: The growth of pubic hair and hair in the armpits and face, deepening of voice (boys), the growth of pubic hair and hair in the armpits, the development of breasts, the widening of the waist, beginning to menstruate (girls), general growth and the appearance of acne (both genders), and emotional changes like a desire for more independence and a heightened interest in physical appearance and in sex
5. Women menstruate because they are not pregnant. Each month an egg is released from a woman’s ovary, and the body prepares for a baby to grow by building a lining of blood/other tissue in the uterus. However, if a sperm does not fertilize the egg, the body sheds this lining for which it no longer has need (menstruation), and the process starts over again.
6. Not having sexual relations.
7. Examples include: Because the want to avoid pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, because they are waiting until marriage to have sex, because they don’t feel prepared to have sex
8. Consequences include: High risk pregnancies and health risks for babies, stress, depression, low self esteem, being forced to abandon plans for work or education, continued poverty or financial struggles, etc.
9. Methods of family planning include: Condoms, the pill, injections, sterilization, IUDs, abstinence
10. Condoms are the only method of family planning besides abstinence that offer protection from sexually transmitted infections.
11. A woman can get pregnant…
12. Sexually transmitted infections include: HIV, herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, HP, chlamydia, genital warts
B-Be faithful (have only 1 partner who is also faithful to you)
14. Vaginal fluids, semen, blood, breast milk
15. Sexual transmission (vaginal, anal, and oral sex), blood-to-blood contact (sharing needles, etc.), mother-to-child/vertical transmission (during pregnancy or childbirth or through breast milk)
16. Yes (though this one is tricky because it’s contingent on your partner also being faithful, and it can be hard to be certain of this)
21. Abstain from sexual relations, have only 1 partner who has tested negative for HIV/AIDS, use condoms in every sexual relation
22. Examples include: Set an example for others by treating everyone equally regardless of their race/region/sexual orientation, etc.
23. Examples include: Continued cycles of violence, low self esteem for victims, physical harm to victims, rejection from families or communities, higher cost for criminal justice system, etc.
24. Examples include: Just saying “No”, avoiding places where people are drinking, suggesting an alternative activity, like eating ice cream!