Birth Control is the Best Way to Fight with Teenage Pregnancy Teen pregnancy is frequently discussed all over the country and the efforts have not reduced the numbers, as teens continue to have unsafe sex which eventually leads to pregnancy. These developments led different experts to consider the issue of abstinence, abortion, and general sex education in order to reduce the rates of pregnancy among teens. The average teen will be curious about sex when he or she starts puberty and begins to be aware of his or her body. There are different strategies for dealing with teenage pregnancy such as sex education, abstinence, or abortion but the most effective strategy involves the careful use of birth controls. There are lots of factors that lead to teenage pregnancy. The first factor arises from a lack of parental guidance. Most parents evade their children when it comes time to talk about sex. In some cases, they provide false information regarding sex and discourage their children to participate in any informative discussion about sex. However, in other cases, teenagers are not well educated about sex before they get pregnant.
This then leads to lack of communication between parents and their children. A second cause of teenage pregnancy is due to the adolescent’s sex behavior. In this case, peer pressure is a major factor that encourages teenagers to engage in sexual activities. Early dating is also another behavior that can cause unwanted pregnancy in teenagers. “According to research, 29% of teens were pressurized to have sex, 33% of teens were sexually active and that they felt things moving fast sexually (What are the Causes of teenage Pregnancy? 2009).” A third cause of teenage pregnancy is not having enough knowledge about safe sex. Most adolescents are unaware about safe sex.
They have little or no information about how to prevent pregnancy. The main reason behind that is that they are too embarrassed or shy to seek information about it. “Research found that there are more than 80% of teenage pregnancies are unplanned (What are the Causes of teenage Pregnancy? 2009).” A fourth cause of teenage pregnancy is due to social economic factors. In this case, teenagers who belong to poor families are more likely to become pregnant because they do not usually get enough education about sex and birth control. Another cause of teenage pregnancy is contraceptive failure. This is a very common cause of teenage pregnancies today. There are many brands and types of contraceptives and birth control pills that are available in the market, but they are not guaranteed for complete safety.
Sometimes, not knowing how to use a contraceptive properly can lead to unwanted teenage pregnancy. There are also many side effects from contraception including physical changes in the body which can sometimes result in miscarriage or newborn defects; “emotional trauma of handling a child at such an early age, changes in life styles, and also termination of pregnancy affects the general health (Admin).” So, one should think about all this before he or she gets involved in sex. In addition, there are many ways to help prevent teenage pregnancy. The advice for parents and other groups that directly work with teens is to educate them on the dangers of sex before marriage and that abstinence is the best way to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
Abstinence is now a trend in the states and different studies have been conducted to evaluate the usefulness and results of abstaining from sex before marriage. A University of Pennsylvania sociologist, John Jemmott, explained the result of the different abstinence sessions conducted on the teen pregnancy issues. “In a sample this size, the difference between the comprehensive class and the abstinence class – Thirty-three percent vs. Forty-one percent – was not statistically significant”, said Jemmott, “so it is accurate to say they perform comparably. The issue of abstinence is being challenged by some groups who say that abstinence only makes teenagers less aware of safe sex if they find themselves in such situations, and that the rate of teenage pregnancy is not high enough to make abstinence the major direction discussed in sex education (Flam, 2010).”
Bill Albert, the chief program officer of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy says even adults who know better about pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases still have sex before marriage, “Studies shows that only eight percent of adults wait until marriage (Flam, 2010).” Abortion is another major factor in the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy. Abortion can be described as the elimination of a zygote before it develops to its full stage. Teens have changed their attitude towards sex because of the availability of abortion and this has led to an increase of more teens becoming pregnant. According to Collison, “the teenagers, who were abstaining from premarital sex before the introduction of abortion, are now engaging in it because they know that if they happen to get pregnant, there is a way to get out of such a situation.
Some other experts argue that abortion is a positive factor that has to be put in place if teenage pregnancies are to be reduced, because most of these teens do not have the financial or moral standard to take care of their babies in the normal way (Collison, 2001).” “From 1995 to 1997, the abortion rate decreased 3.9 percent among females younger than 15 years of age (from 2.8 to 2.7 per 1,000), 10.1 percent among females 15 to 17 years of age (from 18.2 to 16.3 per 1,000), and 5.4 percent among females 18 to 19 years of age (from 39.6 to 37.5 per 1,000) (Teenage pregnancy, birth, and abortion. (2002) (Fact 52)” Furthermore, the bad name given to abortion has made it almost impossible for teens to get rid of unwanted pregnancies which could ruin their lives.
Research has shown that some teens who cannot abort unwanted pregnancies decide to kill the baby after birth, which is infanticide. “An example of this kind of situation is the story of two college students, Amy and Brian who drove from New Jersey to Delaware and rented a motel room. There, Amy gave birth to a baby boy. Brian, it was reported, beat the baby to death, stuffed him in a plastic bag, and threw him in a trash container. (Collison, 2001).” Birth control has its negative and positive effects, but one thing is for sure, it is a very effective way of preventing pregnancy. “For the first time in fourteen years teen pregnancy rose in the year 2007 (Stacey, 2009).” Researchers are discovering that there are certain patterns in teen’s behaviors that are connected to a higher and more consistent birth control use. “A study in 2007 published in the journal “Demography”, Contraceptive Use Patterns across Teen’s Sexual relationships: The Role of Relationships, Partners, and sexual histories provides information on teen birth control usage. According to the study many teens use birth control inconsistently (Manlove, Ryan, Franzetta, 2007).” In fact, four out of ten teens do not use contraceptives properly.
Teens that have used birth control in the past are shown to be more likely to use it in the future. This proves that teens may learn from their past relationship experiences. However, teens in romantic relationships are more likely to use birth control for the first time, but fail to use it anytime after that. “Approximately 67 percent of teens 12 to 19 years of age feel that if they were to offer advice to leaders in Washington regarding teen pregnancy, they would suggest greater emphasis on both encouraging teens not to have sexual relations and on birth control or protection (Teenage pregnancy, birth, and abortion, 2002 (Fact 71).” Forty percent of women who use birth control experience side effects for the first three months. After the first three months, side effects seem to diminish (Theresa, 2001).
Mild negative side effects of the pill include: irregular menstrual bleeding, missed periods, spotting between periods, nausea, weight gain or weight loss, headaches, dizziness, breast tenderness, mood changes, and an increase in vaginal infections. The more serious negative effects of the pill include: blood clots, stroke, heart attack, worsening of migraine headaches, gall bladder disease, increase in blood pressure, and a rare liver tumor. Any person who smokes, is older than thirty-five, has diabetes, high blood pressure, heart or vascular disease, high cholesterol and triglyceride abnormalities is at a much higher risk for the birth control side effects. Even though there may seem to be negative side effects, not all are harmful. “Many women in fact are put on the pill to help with cycle problems rather than to prevent pregnancy (Theresa, 2001).”
Positive side effects of the pill include: lighter menstruation, reduction of cramps, improvement of acne, protection against non-cancerous breast growth, reduction in anemia and ovarian cysts, decreased risk of uterine cancer, decreased risk of infection of the fallopian tubes, decreased risk of ectopic pregnancy and less incidence of rheumatoid arthritis. The bad side effects of the pill are very rare. Using birth control pills is a reliable way to prevent teen pregnancy, and has a success rate of 99.9%. When a young teen weighs the pros and cons of birth control, most see the pros out weighing the cons. Abstinence is the only way to be completely sure to not get pregnant and to be 100% safe, however birth control is the next best method. Teen pregnancy is a very hot topic that concerns many people and organizations, who are trying to slow the epidemic. There are many reasons why teen pregnancy needs to be reduced in America.
Many pregnancies are not planned which lead to a number of problems for the mother and family members. “88% of teens 12 to 19 years of age think the number of teenage pregnancies in the United States is a serious problem (Teenage pregnancy, birth, and abortion (2002) (Fact 67).” The United States has almost double the amount of teen pregnancies that Canada has. This is reflected by the many programs and ways that U.S. organizations are trying to lower teen pregnancy rates. One of the most popular programs that are used to reduce teen pregnancy is sex education in schools. According to Finger, sex education is the best way to reduce teen pregnancy. “Sex education needs to be taught to every child starting at a young age by trained professionals in school (Finger, 2002).” In a study done in a low income rural neighborhood, children from five to eighteen years of age were put through sex education classes over a three year period.
“After three years, pregnancies in teens fell from sixty out of every 1,000 kids to twenty-five out of every 1,000 kids (Finger, 2002).” This is a good sign that sex education can help lower teen pregnancy by more than half. Most students are taught at an average age of sixteen and a half. This is too late; at that point many kids have already experimented sexually and have formed their own opinions about sex. “From kindergarten to twelfth grade kids only spend forty-six hours in health classes which is where sex education is taught (Roleff).” One of the largest issues is training professionals to teach sex education. “Training teachers is a key element of successful sex education programs, and the lack of good training has been a big problem” says Dr. Waszak (Finger, 2002). Sex education is the best way to prevent teen pregnancy and with these few adjustments it can be very effective. On the other side are people that say teens will have sex no matter what they are told and do not want to waste the time and money.
This point is validated in a study which is done every twelve years. “In 1980, federal and state governments spent $350 million in sex education. In 1992, that number has risen to 645 million dollars (Kasun, 2000).” No numbers were available from 2004, but were estimated to have grown in cost. That is a lot of tax money being spent on such a controversial topic. A large problem is there is no time in school for sex education. With Math and English classes taking importance over most subjects in a college and career based school system there is no room for sex education. The last problem is where to get professionals to teach sex education classes.
This will cost tax payers even more money to hire a professional or to train a current teacher. The most important thing is to just educate kids about sex and teen pregnancy. Sex education, abstinence, and abortion are the ways to lower teen pregnancy rates. There are different strategies for dealing with teenage pregnancy such as sex education, abstinence, and abortion, but the most effective strategy involves the careful use of birth controls. Some of these are very expensive ventures, but teenage pregnancies have cost our society billions of dollars in the last thirty years. “Divorce, single parent families, teen suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, juvenile crime, child abuse, and abortion, have all at least doubled from thirty years ago (Collison, 2001).” Knowledge is power and the awareness that different options are available gives power to teens to make the right decisions.
Collison, Joseph. (2001). The Legalization of abortion had influenced teen attitudes toward sex. Flam, Faye. (2010, February 22). Study offers nuanced view of abstinence education. Finger, James. (2002). Teenage pregnancy is a serious problem [Vol I]. (Adobe Digital Edition Version). Kasun, Jacqueline. (2000). Sex education promotes teen pregnancy. Manlove, Jennifer; Suzanne, Ryan; & Kerry, Franzetta. (2007). Contraceptive use patterns across teens’ sexual relationships: the role of relationship, partners, and sexual histories. [pp. 603-621]. (Adobe Digital Edition Version), Doi: Demography 44. Roleff, Mark. (n.d.). Sex education can prevent teenage pregnancy. Stacey, Dawn. (2009). “Teen birth control- Teen pregnancy prevention and contraception decision –making”. 2 “Teenage pregnancy, birth control and abortion.”(Fact Sheet). (2002), SIECUS Report 30.0. 39+ Academic One File. 22. Theresa, H. (2001). Love to know pregnancy [pp 34-36]. (Adobe Digital Edication Version). “What are the causes of teenage pregnancy?” (2009, March 12).
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