Parents and teens sometimes have a hard time talking about topics like healthy relationships and sexual choices. To help start the conversation, local ministry Life’s Choices is hosting the Explicit Truth Tour in Hamburg on Nov. 14.
Heidi Young, community education coordinator for Life’s Choices, has attended similar events in Schuylkill County.
“We brought it to Hamburg because we felt the message was one worth sharing in our community,” Young said, adding that the concert-style experience is relevant for teens and the adults in their lives.
“People should attend this event because it gives relevant information about sex in our culture and its effects on youth in an engaging, informative atmosphere.”
The Explicit Truth Tour is presented nationwide by Silver Ring Thing, a youth ministry based in Allegheny County, and featuring a dozen young adults performers. The concert-style event includes music, skits, true-life stories and multi-media elements. It also includes relevant information about making the best choices.
Silver Ring Thing staff, most in their early 20s, encourage teens to make positive choices for their future, including sexual abstinence.
“Our culture is dealing with an epidemic of sexual brokenness,” said Silver Ring Thing President Jason Burtt. “Our children are victims of an ideology of misinformation and mistruth. It’s time to give real, honest answers to the questions being asked and challenge this generation to live with great dignity and worth.”
Silver Ring Thing sites current statistics to underscore their point: By the age of 14, 94 percent of children are exposed to pornography. Over 50 percent of teenagers have engaged in sexual intercourse by the time they are 18. One third of teens who get pregnant seek an abortion. Sexually-transmitted diseases are on the rise, especially in youth age 15 to 24, per the Centers for Disease Control. And between 100,000 and 300,000 underage girls are sold for sex in the U.S. every year.
Parents and youth workers are encouraged to attend the tour event on Nov. 14. Adults will have a parallel session designed to help parents open a discussion.
“Parents gain helpful information on how to talk to their teens about sex,” Young said, noting that the session was valuable to her personally as a parent. “We got factual information about how to communicate with teens about sex and are given references for gaining further information.
“They validate the fact that parents are the biggest influence on their teens’ lives and SRT wants parents to feel empowered to be the ones their teens talk about sex,” she explained.
Silver Ring Thing’s Explicit Truth Tour will be at Hamburg Area High School, 701 Windsor Street, Hamburg, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 14. Advance tickets are available for a reduced price online at www.SilverRingThing.com under the event tab. Tickets will also be sold at the door.
Local enquires about the event on Nov. 14 can also be directed to Life’s Choices with offices in Kutztown, 443 West Main St., or Hamburg, 326 State St. Visit www.LifesChoicesSupport.org.