The principles of critical thinking are “1) be skeptical 2) examine definitions of terms 3) examine the assumptions or premises of arguments 4) be cautious in drawing conclusions from evidence 5) consider interpretations of research evidence 6) consider the kinds of evidence on which conclusions are based and 7) do not oversimplify” (Rathus, Nevid, Fichner-Rathus. 2011, pgs. 9-10).
Decisions that we make in regards to sex should always be thought about in a critical manner. Sexual decisions affect not only our physical wellbeing but our mental and even spiritual wellbeing too. Positive sexual experiences can make us more confident in how we see ourselves, raise our self-esteem, and make us hold ourselves in a generally higher regard. Negative sexual experiences can sometimes irreparably damage our self-esteem and self-image, making us perpetually insecure and unsure, making it difficult for us to have healthy personal relationships both platonic and sexual. It is up to us to decide which decisions will be for our ultimate benefit or loss, and running it through the filter of critical thinking is a way to judge this.
In my own life I used critical thinking perhaps less often than I should have when making sexual decisions, however, there was one area that I am proud to say I always exhibited control over- contraception. From an early age I was taught about sex and equally about contraception and why it was needed. Nothing was taboo, I could ask my mother about anything and be welcomed with honesty, maturity, and calm. So I knew early on that I did not want to have children before I decided to have them, there would be no unplanned teenage pregnancy for me!
When I became sexually active I made absolutely sure that we had protection (being skeptical of my partner’s assurances), sometimes providing condoms myself. I was on the pill as soon as I had my first partner. I did not let myself drawn the wrong conclusions about someone simply on my perception of them...