Sexual education during adolescence years is a wide controversial topic whether it helps prevent teen pregnancy and other issues involved. Teen pregnancy is a problem that can affect not only the teen’s future but also the child’s life and family. Decreasing the numbers of teen pregnancy can promote teens to stay out of poverty and succeed to have a better education and career. By changing the way sex education is taught and increasing sexual education programs to promote young teenagers to learn how to protect themselves against premature pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases can help teenagers in many ways.
There are prevention programs that can help prevent teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, or sexual risk behaviors. With a variety of diverse programs including sexual education, clinic-based, youth development, and abstinence programs teens are able to make healthy choices about the relationship, sex, and contraception.
Adolescent pregnancy also called teenage pregnancy can be difficult for the soon to be mother and family on both sides.
When pregnancy is unexpected or unwanted while being a teenager can put a huge amount of stress on the partner, the young mother, and the family. With different emotions, the young mother must be wise in making her choices. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) girls ages, fifteen to nineteen of age are at a high risk of death due to complications during pregnancy or childbirth. The risks that involve the baby that the mother must decide are possible premature birth, low birth weight, anemia (low iron levels) high blood pressure which can lead to preeclampsia, and possible cephalopelvic disproportion (the baby’s head being wider than the pelvic opening).
There are other issues that are involved while making the choice of being a teenage parent. It can be difficult for teenagers to get an education or find a job. Other responsibilities that are involved that can be challenging is juggling work, school, and social life. Being a teen parent takes a sacrifice of social life that can lead to depression. Having the right affordable childcare can also be difficult financially that can be stressful on the family. As for the young men they must accept the decision of the outcome whether the young girl continues and also accept the role of being a father. For the relationship of both partners, questions will arise in a part of making choices for themselves. For instance, will they have the support from family or a partner, what it means to be a parent, will they be able to have the financial support, and most importantly how it will affect their future plans? Parents of the young teenagers would also be affected in the outcome. These parents may be in shock of the whole unexpected situation that arises, disappointment, anxiety, sometimes anger. The parents may also feel the loss of hope and take on the extra burden to help out, so what dreams or goals they had for their daughter or son still can be available as options.
With the challenges that are involved, there are ways to prevent adolescent pregnancy. Sex Education and the way it is educated to students in school is a hugely controversial topic among parents and school officials. According to the CDC (center of disease and control), there is a decline in teen pregnancy and birth rates among teens age fifteen to nineteen years of age. It is not clear whether the decline is due to teens abstaining from sexual activity, or simply because sexually active teens are using safer practices by using contraception with the information they gained from sex education. Even with the decline teens do need help understanding the consequences of being a teen parent either with abstinence education, or comprehensive sex education that helps guide them to a more healthy direction for safer practices and contraception. Since the United States is still ranked as one of the highest countries with high rates of teen pregnancy still today, and what might help reduce the rate is comprehensive sex education.
Increasing the number of comprehensive sex education could help teens in many ways. It can be very effective when it is taught properly. The different approach would help the young teens to learn how to protect themselves instead of going to one approach abstinence approach where teens are taught to just say no until marriage. When it comes to funding education to the school the only issue that may arise is that the schools can lose their funding due to the federal legislation only provides curriculums to abstinence-only programs. In an article from science daily a program manager at the University of Washington in Seattle Pamela Kohler quoted “It is not harmful to teach teens about birth control in addition to abstinence”. With that said I truly believe that teaching teens sex education with a combination of abstinence and comprehensive sex education is the right direction to go, informing teens about sexual intercourse or the underlining diseases that are involved. Abstinence and comprehensive are two different approaches to teach sex education.
Even though there is no research proving one works better than the other there is no harm in teaching students the benefits of both. Parents may disagree with school officials’ approach to teaching sex education, while this is a controversial topic and debate. If the benefits of sex education do help the prevention why not just give the information to teens since it might help teen pregnancy and students from dropping out of school. Many adolescents are ignorant about contraception or think they’re invulnerable, or they just feel embarrassed and don’t have any idea where to obtain contraception. If students are not given the information they are looking for they will find a way to gather their information about sexuality either from friends, television shows or movies, and the internet from search engines or social media.
One final approach that can help teens beyond the responsibility of the schools and educators comes down to the parents. Part of being a parent is taking on the responsibility and being involved in their adolescent’s development whether the child is a male or female. Parents should not be embarrassed about talking sexuality to their child, but instead, be open-minded. Why don’t we face it, we all would not be here today without someone having sex to reproduce offsprings. It is a normal human trait that should be discussed about human anatomy. Some parents might wait too long until it is too late since they feel the discomfort about the topic with their child. It is not just talking about sex to the child, but the key importance is if you want a child to make the smart choices for themselves about sex and diseases that are transmitted they need information about this topic. It can be a hard topic to talk about and with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) that can lead to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), herpes, HPV (human papillomavirus), chlamydia all scary risks of diseases, if left untreated, should be a wakeup call for parents to get involved about talking sexuality and contraception to their children.
Finally to conclude helping teenage youth making healthier and smarter choices about sex, relationships, and the threats of the underlining disease are involved, the life skills that are needed can be taught to build higher self-esteem and safer sex practices. Giving adolescents the information they need during early development is not harmful and can help in many ways as stated earlier. With the issues and challenges of being a teenage parent, sex education programs, and parents being involved during adolescent development are the best approaches in preventing teenage pregnancy. Sex education can empower teens equally to ensure that they are given the proper information they need and helping to reduce teenage pregnancy. Giving teens information about comprehensive sex education is not harmful, and will give teenagers the opportunity to make smarter choices about abstaining from sex or simply have a better picture of contraception for safer sex practices all of which will help prevent teenage pregnancy.
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