The Social Impact of Birth Control in Germany

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Positive impacts of access to sexuality education, public information, and medical services are available to young people in Germany. In Germany, adolescent sexuality is regarded as a health issue, not a political or religious one. An overwhelmingly majority of the people and institutions in this country support sexual health. Teens are educated about safer sex and have access to both birth control pills and condoms if they have sexual intercourse.

German adolescents are valued, respected, and expected to act responsibly. The adults trust adolescents to make responsible choices because they see young people as assets, and not problems. Teen abortion rates are much lower in Germany than in the United States. For Germany, the abortion rate is 8.7 for women ages 15 to 49 (Kelly, MeGee 1998/1999). The reality of this is that teens in Germany have intercourse without as many negative consequences as teens in the United States. These teens get flooded with positive messages aimed at helping them to avoid unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. The messages sent to German teens are not designed to ask them to refrain from sex until marriage, but educates them on the safety precautions involved with the act itself.

The movement to provide access to contraception, condoms, and comprehensive sexuality education is based on the desire to further reduce abortions and sexually transmitted diseases. In Germany, there is a national sexuality education policy, but individual states determine which curricula to use. They also have massive public education campaigns targeting safer sex behaviors and condom use.

Media are engaged in helping young people make healthy sexual choices and not simply titillating audiences with sexual content for the sake of advertisers' money. These countries also appear to have little concern that sexually explicit media messages will encourage young people to have...
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