Doctors talk to students about chastity

By Deborah Sederberg, The News-Dispatch

Dr. Groovy sang songs, played his guitar and jumped up and down for seventh- and eighth-grade students at St. Stanislaus School. And then he talked with them about chastity.

Dr. Groovy, of Dr. Groovy and the Soul Surgeons fame, a not-for-profit band of physician-musicians, in real life is Dr. Charlie Groves.

He and his wife, Dr. Valerie Maguire, based their presentation on statistical research Groves completed and on Pope John Paul II's “Theology of the Body.”

Most of the statistics he cited came from the United Nations, Groves said, noting that they are not uniquely “Catholic statistics.”

Citing recent population figures, Groves told students each married couple should produce an average of 2.1 children to keep the population stable. That is just about what U.S. citizens are doing, he said.

In other countries, including Italy, Iran, Ireland and Germany, the population is falling because the birth rate is low, from 1.3 in Italy to 1.9 in Iran. The rate in Ireland and Germany is 1.4, he said.

Using those numbers and others to dispute the notion of an overpopulated world and the need for what he calls “technological birth control,” he said several times, “Children are an asset.”

Western European countries these days are recruiting doctors, nurses and scientists from other parts of the world such as India, Groves said, because they can't produce enough of their own.

Maguire and Groves also spoke about sexually transmitted disease, including AIDS.

Overall, Groves said, the pregnancy rate among those who use condoms for birth control is about 15 percent.

Although statistics are not available, he said it makes sense that condoms would be even less effective at preventing AIDS.

“First, a woman is fertile for a few days a month,” he said.

In addition, the AIDS virus is much smaller than a sperm. “A sperm is huge in comparison to the AIDS virus,” he said.

A family practice physician, Groves does not prescribe “technological birth control” in his solo practice in LaPorte. Maguire, also a family practice physician, works in Merrillville with a plastic surgeon and seldom, if ever, has an opportunity to discuss birth control with patients, but said she would not prescribe artificial birth control.

He uses what is known as the Creighton University Model of Fertility Care, Groves said, “because it's best for a woman's body.”

The method, which teaches women to identify the fertile and infertile days in their cycle based on certain characteristics of cervical fluid which changes during the cycle, can be used to avoid or to achieve pregnancy, he said.

Its failure rate, when used to avoid pregnancy, is 3 percent, he said.

Abstinence, both Groves and Maguire said, is the best way to prevent AIDS and pregnancy. The Church, Maguire said, prohibits sexual relationships outside of marriage.

In a conversation about respecting their bodies, Maguire told students, “Your body belongs to God.”

Contact reporter Deborah Sederberg at