Teenage Pregnancy and a Way to Prevent It
Teenage pregnancy it can't happen to me. This is the mindset that most teenagers have these days. Teenagers feel that they are invincible and that things, such as pregnancy, happens to others, but that they are immune to it. A lot of teenagers believe that you can't get pregnant the first time you have sex, if a girl is on her period, pregnancy cannot occur, among other myths. The reason teens believe this is that the education on sex isn't teaching them. Whether it is from their parents or school, teenagers aren't being educated on sex and pregnancy properly. The facts aren't being given to them; the risks aren't imbedded into their minds, and the statistics on what does happen aren't given to them straight. Without being taught effectively, teenagers don't realize that they don't have to have sex to be cool, that pregnancy can happen to them, and the consequences that can happen could possibly forever change their lives.
Eight hundred and twenty thousand teen girls become pregnant each year (The National.) Some may be planned, but for the most part, those 820,000 are unwanted, unplanned pregnancies. Teens that become pregnant are pregnant because they either didn't know about the preventative measures or they just chose not to use them. Either way, it is now a problem for them and something that is going to have to be dealt with. If the teens didn't know, it is not just their problem; it is society's problem as well for not properly teaching. It should be part of a parent's job, but some believe that only roughly 5% of all children are given any sex education in the home (Bolmeier 14.) "The responsibility for sex education should be shared by the parents, social services in the community and particularly, the schools. Unfortunately, however, sex information to youth is provided by peers. . ." (Bolmeier 12-13.) And that information from peers is usually from music, movies, and television, which, all three, like to fabricate. Those venues don't show the real-life consequences of having sex, and if they do, it shows the family living happily ever after, like having a baby is no big deal and doesn't change lives that much. If we want teenagers to realize the dangers and responsibilities of being sexually active, then society needs to do something about it. Yes, parents should teach their children the risks and consequences of engaging in sexual activity, but let's face it, parents don't always do what is best for their children. So if the parents aren't going to teach them, schools need to have programs to ensure that teens receive the information. What the teens choose to do with it is something no one but they can decide, but at least the phrase "I was never taught" won't hold any value or truth.
Some teenagers I'm sure are smart enough and have learned enough from basic knowledge what may happen when two people have sex, unprotected or not. But what I'm sure most don't realize are the emotional problems that can occur. Teens, as we all know, watch television and movies. In the movie "How To Deal", a young girl becomes pregnant. She decides to keep the baby and the movie shows her trying to get through school and her life. What the movie doesn't show are the emotional issues that the girl goes through. The movie paints a rosy picture of her having her baby and being happy in the end. But the truth is, with a baby, someone's life will never be the same. The young girl, which is usually the only one taking care of the baby since only 20% of fathers stick around (The National), can go through postpartum depression, can have resentment towards the child, not to mention the stress. But movies do not show this. The only way teenagers can fully realize the responsibility and how much their life will change with having a baby is being taught but someone non-fictional; and that is either parents or teachers. Without a sex education class in schools,...
Cited: Advocates for Youth. "Adolescent Pregnancy and Childbearing in the United States." 17 April 2005. http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/factsheet/fsprechd.htm
Bolmeier, E.C. Sex Litigation and the Public Schools. Charlottesville, Virginia: The Miche Company: 1975.
Halstead, J. Mark and Michael J. Reiss. Values in Sex Education – from Principles to Practice. New York: RoutledgeFalmer: 2003
McFeely, Siobhan. "Helping Prevent Teenage Pregnancy." Practice Nurse. 11 March 2005: 37. Academic Search Planner. EBSCOHost. 5 April 2005.
The National Campaign To Prevent Teenage Pregnancy. 2004. Teen Pregnancy. www.teenpregnancy.org/resources/teens/facts/fact1.asp
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