What About Guys And Sex?

raillingThere are many stereotypes about guys and sex. Some stereotypes say guys will do anything to get sex. This is not true of most guys. It is perfectly normal for guys – particularly teenagers – to be very interested in sex. But most guys want to grow up and be loving partners or/and fathers. This section talks about things you should know so that you can have the best chance of becoming the husband, dad or partner that you want to be when you grow up.

When a male and a female decide to have sex the female could get pregnant. A male whose sperm creates a child can be named a legal father. A legal father is responsible for his child legally and financially. Males who do not want to become fathers at this time in their lives can choose not to. The most effective way for a male to keep from becoming a legal father is to not have sex. You may also want to look at the section “Am I ready to have sex?”

If you and your partner have decided that you are both ready to have sex, remember these steps you can take to protect both of you from an unintended pregnancy and from sexually transmitted infections.

BIRTH CONTROL: Your Responsible Choice!

USE BIRTH CONTROL AND HELP YOUR PARTNER USE IT

What do you need to know about birth control?

What can you do to make the responsible choice?

  • Learn more about birth control
  • Talk about using birth control with your partner
  • Go to the doctor or clinic (click on each of the three clinics). They will help your partner and you decide which birth control method is best for you.
  • Offer to pay or at least share in paying for the birth control
  • Ask your partner how you can help her stay on the birth control method
  • Use condoms in addition to a hormonal (prescription) method. Condoms will protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STI).
  • EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION “The morning after pill” If you have sex before you have taken all these steps, your partner may want to try emergency contraception. A female takes this pill right after having unprotected sex or up to 5 days later. It prevents about 90% of pregnancies that would have happened with out taking emergency contraception. especially if taken right after unprotected sex. (ECP). In some cases it can cause nausea, vomiting or cramps. This is a great option if you’ve had unprotected sex, but it’s not the best as an ongoing form of birth control.West Suburban Teen Clinic, The Annex and Teen Age Medical Services encourage male partners to be involved with preventing pregnancy. We welcome your involvement in birth control education and making decisions that are right for you and her. You have a lot to loose by becoming a biological father before you are ready to be a dad. You have a lot to gain by waiting until you are really ready. So be a Responsible Guy – avoid pregnancy.

What if my girlfriend is pregnant?

If your girlfriend is pregnant you may have many questions. You may be worried or excited or both. This is normal. If your girlfriend is pregnant, it is important that you understand that she, not you, has the right to decide what to do about the pregnancy. If your girlfriend is pregnant, its really important that you-

  • Don’t go away – your girlfriend needs you more than ever now
  • Listen – to your girlfriend talk about what she thinks would be best
  • Let your girlfriend know what your thoughts are – remember she decides what to do about the pregnancy
  • Seek an understanding adult to help you and her consider options.

You may want to look at the page entitled ‘What if I’m pregnant?’ for more information. This next section on legal rights describes her legal rights and yours:

HER LEGAL RIGHTS

When a young unmarried woman becomes pregnant, she, not you, has the right to decide what to do about the pregnancy. It is her choice to raise the child, put the baby up for adoption or get an abortion. Her choice decides her future, the future of the baby, AND your future too. If she decides to raise the baby, you will be paying child support for 18 years.

She also has the right to name the baby.

YOUR LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES

If your sperm ends up making a baby, (and the mother is not married to someone else) you are a legal father and according to the law you have legal responsibilities. The reality is, whether you choose to be a dad or you are just a biological father you have legal responsibilities that last until the child is 18 years old. If you fail to obey the laws, you will have problems.

First, unless you are living with the mother and child, you will have to contribute money to the cost of raising the child. If you don’t make monthly payments voluntarily, the court will decide how much you should pay. The court’s decision is based not on how much you can afford but the needs of the child. If you refuse to pay, money can be taken from your paycheck, income tax rebate, lottery winnings or even your bank account. The law also says your possessions (house, car, motorcycle etc.) may be sold to pay the child support.

Second, no matter what kind of father you want to be, it is your responsibility to legally acknowledge that you are the father. Recognition of Parentage (ROP) is the form you need.

WHY would you fill out the form that recognizes your parentage?

  • Recognition of Parentage will protect your rights to see the baby and be involved in his or her life.
  • Recognition of Parentage gives your child tribal rights.
  • A child who knows his or her father has a better sense of identity, and knows what health, ethnic and cultural background he or she has inherited from you.
  • If you have dental and health benefits, you can include the child on your plan.
  • By Recognizing your Parentage you and the baby’s mother can make arrangements to co-parent
  • The courts will recognize your parentage if you have to go to court to be allowed to see the child if the mother does not want you to visit.
  • Most of all, recognizing your parentage shows your child that you are committed to being his or her father.
  • It is the right thing to do for you,the baby and the mother.
  • YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS!A legal father (who is living up to his responsibilities) can see his child. That means that if you want to, you can become a dad!A legal father can also apply to the court for custody if the mother can’t or won’t parent your baby. That would make you a full time dad. The courts will decide if you or someone else should have custody based on the best interests of the child.SO WHAT CAN I DO? MY GIRLFRIEND IS PREGNANT!BEING A PARENT: YOU HAVE FOUR CHOICES
    1. Biological Father – The man who genetically created his child from his sperm. You can choose not to be a parent by preventing pregnancy. You have two ways to do that: ABSTINENCE – abstain from sexual intercourse USING BIRTH CONTROL – There are several birth control methods . You can pick which one is best for you and your partner.
    2. Legal Father – The man responsible for his child legally and financially. An adoptive father is also a legal father. You can choose not to be a legal father. If your sperm makes a baby, you don’t have to admit or take responsibility for your part in it. But a child without a father and a mother without the help of the father will suffer. And in the end, the court may force you to take legal responsibility. So, the choice is yours. Birth Control or choosing not to have sex can give you the choice.
    3. Dad – The man who nurtures, guides, and supports his child. This is your choice. No one can force you to be a dad. But you may have heard that “Anyone can make a baby but it takes a real man to be its dad”. Being a Dad means making sure your child does not have any of the risk factors
    4. Responsible Fathering Taking real responsibility for your child means waiting to have a baby until you are emotionally, and financially ready. A father can be any one, or all of these – biological father, legal father or dad – or all of them. It is important to begin thinking ahead about what you want to be for your child. Remember you can’t control your past but you can plan for a healthy future. Does a father need to live with his child to be a good dad? NO but it takes more planning and coordination to take the time to nurture your child. By supporting the child emotionally and financially, all fathers can be a good influence on their children – be a Dad.

    TAKE ME TO THE TOP!

    TEN WAYS TO BE A DAD

    1. Respect your children’s mother.
    2. Spend quality time with your child or children.
    3. Earn the right to be heard. You can do this by putting in the quality time, respect and financial support that is needed to help pay for food, shelter, clothing, toys and books for your child.
    4. Discipline with love. Childhood is a time of learning. That means making mistakes. Discipline means giving your child the needed feedback when he or she acts up. A dad first finds ways to control his own reaction. He then explains the error to the child and imposes discipline that will foster understanding. A dad NEVER NEVER NEVER hits, threatens to hit, physically punishes or scares his child.
    5. Be a role model. Children learn by watching. A dad is a role model by acting in ways they want their child to act. So, be sure to choose your actions, words and activities carefully knowing that your child will learn what you do.
    6. Be a teacher. Be gentle, willing, have fun, laugh with your child and celebrate lessons learned.
    7. Eat together as a family. You might even occasionally cook and do the dishes.
    8. Read to your children.
    9. Show affection, give it and accept it.
    10. Realize that a dad’s job is never done!!!!!

    WHERE YOUNG DADS CAN FIND HELP

    Annex Teen Clinic Confidential medical, health education and counseling services. Young parent support groups. 763-533-1316
    West Suburban Teen Clinic Confidential medical, health education and counseling services. 952-474-3251
    Teen Age Medical Services Confidential medical, health education and counseling services 612-813-6125
    To Face Counseling and Clinic Confidential medical, health education and counseling services 1165 Arcade St.St. Paul MN 55404 651-772-5555
    Health Start Confidential medical and health education services (based in many St. Paul schools491 West University Ave.St. Paul MN 55103-1936 651-312-1995
    National Fatherhood Initiative National organization promoting fatherhood. 1-800-790-DADS
    Fathers Resource Center 5701 Shingle Creek ParkwayBrooklyn Center, MN 55430 Many helpful services for young father (612) 560-8656
    Red Door Clinic Confidential medical and referral services 612-348-3307
    Northwest YMCA Individual and group counseling for young men ages 10-18 535-4800
    Carver-Scott County Educational Cooperative, Young Dads Program Outreach, groups and legal advice for young dads 952-368-8800
    MELD Young Fathers Program Weekly peer support and information groups for young fathers 332-7563
    Employment Action Center, Young Dads Program GED instruction, job placement, parenting group, and paternity information for young dads 871-6002
    East Side Neighborhood Services, Inc., Young Parent Services Short-term and group counseling, parent education and home visits 781-6011
    Neighborhood Health Care Network Referral service for low cost and free health care. A community clinic in every neighborhood. 651-489-care
    State Registrar of Vital Statistics at Minnesota Department of Health 717 Delaware Street SE Minneapolis, MN 55414 To pick up and file any forms needed for you to legally state that you are the father of the baby
    Minnesota State Bar Association, Attorney Referral 1-800-292-4152
    Department of Human Services To find out where the nearest child support agency is (612) 296-2542

    TAKE ME TO THE TOP!

    DEFINITIONS

    Biological father The man who created his child with his sperm
    Child support Money paid by a parent for the support of the child.
    Co-parenting When both mother and father, whether living together or not, collaborate as a team, using their strengths and skills to raise healthy, well-adjusted children.
    Custody Physical Custody The parent who maintains the child’s home and makes sure the child’s day-to-day needs are met. The parent with physical custody is responsible for making sure the child receives daily food, clothing, shelter, supervision, medical attention, and all other physical care. Legal Custody: The parent who has the legal right to make decisions about the child’s education, medical care, religious upbringing, and financial affairs. Usually, the parent who has physical custody of the child also has legal custody of the child. Shared Custody: Sometimes the parent who has physical custody of the child and the parent who does not have physical custody of the child will share legal custody. In cases of shared legal custody, the parents cooperate with each other in making decisions about a child’s basic needs. Shared physical custody means the parents share in the daily care of the child. They may arrange to co-parent their child.
    Legal Father According to law, the man who is responsible for his child legally and financially.
    Paternity Legal fatherhood. If the parents of the child are married to each other, the husband is the legal father of any child conceived or born while the parents are married. If the parents are not married to each other, it is important that paternity be legally established so the child has a legal father. Establishing legal fatherhood gives certain right and benefits to the father, the mother and the child.
    Recognition of Parentage Form ROP A form signed by parents who are not married to each other, but who have a child together. The Recognition of Parentage is voluntary and is as valid as a court order that established paternity. The form can be signed at the hospital, courthouse, or local child support office.
    Risk Factors Major experiences in a child’s life that undermine healthy development including: racism, high mobility, substance abuse, single parenthood or father absence, economic stresses, inadequate health care, parental history of abuse, work pressures, social isolation, exposure to violence in the home, neighborhood, or media, and /or chronic health problems.
    Responsible Fathering A man who behaves responsibly toward his child

    • Waits to make a baby until he is prepared emotionally and financially to support his child; he establishes legal paternity;
    • He actively shares with the child’s mother in the continuing emotional and physical care of their child; and
    • He shares with the child’s mother in the continuing financial support of their child.

    WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR MALES TO TAKE RESPONSIBLITY IN PREGNANCY PREVENTION?

  • In 1998, 32% of children born in Minnesota to unmarried parents did not have their father legally established.
  • Children living with only one parent are more are more likely to live in poverty than other children are.
  • Non-custodial parents in Minnesota owed over $827 million dollars in overdue child support as of September 1998.Social Costs of Father Absence
  • 63% of youth suicides are form fatherless homes
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
  • 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes
  • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home TAKE ME TO THE TOP!ABOUT THE DADS MAKE A DIFFERENCE PROGRAMWest Suburban Teen Clinic and The Annex cooperate in providing a Peer Education Program – Dads Make A Difference (DMAD). This program was developed in 1994 and has gained popularity across the state and nation.
  • Dads Make a Difference program trains high school students, ages 15-18, to be peer educators for young people in middle school.
  • Peer Educators who are recruited from High Schools and Church groups learn how to teach the four lesson DMAD curriculum that includes information on paternity, legal fatherhood, responsible parenting,
  • Peer Educators attend a two-day training. Groups of peer education gather from all over the Twin Cities and surrounding area to get the information, learn and practice how to teach the curriculum and to have fun.
  • Once trained Peer Educators, with the help of Teachers and Church Leaders and Program Coordinators from Annex and West Suburban Teen Clinic then teach the four lessons in Middle School classrooms and to similar age church and community groups. Schools involved in the program excuse Peer Educators from their classes for them to teach the four DMD lessons.
  • Groups of Peer Educators periodically celebrate their accomplishments. Pizza is often involved.Why do we have the Dads Make A Difference Program?(1) To help young males and females understand that being a parent is a huge life-changing responsibility. Being a young parent will probably prevent you from reaching your own goals in life. We know that young people who understand what it takes to be a dad or mom will avoid actions that could lead to pregnancy.(2) To help those who are already fathers, understand what it takes to be a responsible parent to his child – to be a Dad that makes a difference.