Pages 6 (1448 words)
A recent article from Parents Magazine stated that, “a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that one-third of teenage mothers didn’t use birth control because they didn’t think they could get pregnant” (Rossi, 2012). Researchers found that moms often thought they couldn’t get pregnant the first time they had sex or at a specific time of the month. With the amount of glorified pregnancies and sexual content in the media today we really need to take time to analyze this conflict.
I would like to talk to you today about the conflict of teen pregnancy. I will provide you with background information on the teen pregnancy along with what is currently happening with the conflict. By analyzing the desired out comes and communication strategies of the opposing sides we can take the steps towards resolving these conflicts.
My credibly on the topic comes from my research and personal experience.
I was drawn to this topic because I had a lot of friends in high school that dealt with conflicts surrounding teen pregnancies and abortions.
Transition: I would like to begin by clarifying the conflict of teen pregnancy.
What is this conflict about?
Transition: Television is known for exaggerating societies flaws and teen pregnancy is one of it’s most recent targets.
What is currently going on in the conflict?
Currently, the media and our society is some what obsessed with teen pregnancy.
- In last weeks cable ratings “Teen Mom 2 the Check Up” ranked 7 out of a 100, surprisingly enough, this was a decline from last week. “The Secret Life of an American Teenager” and “16 and Pregnant” are two more examples of shows dealing with pregnancy that account for the highest viewer ratings for their networks.
- The increase of sex and teen pregnancy on television may have a direct collation to how sexually active teens are.
In 2008, according to The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, “data from a national longitudinal survey of teens (12–17 years of age, monitored for 15–20 years of age) were used to assess whether exposure to televised sexual content predicted subsequent pregnancy for girls or responsibility for pregnancy for boys (Chandra et al., 2008)”.
- The results of this study showed that exposure of sexual content predicted an increase in teen pregnancy. Teens who were exposed to high levels of television sexual content (90th percentile) were twice as likely to experience a pregnancy in the subsequent 3 years, compared with those with lower levels of exposure (10th percentile) (Chandra et al., 2008)”.
- Even though this was one of the first study’s that demonstrated a correlation between the media and teen pregnancy, it is somewhat alarming.
Transition: Because the media can be so influential, we need to really analyze the valued outcomes of parties involved in the conflict.
What does each side want as an out come?
- For the most part, teens don’t plan on becoming pregnant. There are numerous conflicts that arise from becoming pregnant as a teen. The lives of the mother and the child often suffer immensely. According to the book Teenage Pregnancy and Poverty, “a child born to a teenage dropout is ten times more likely to live in poverty by the time he or she is eight to twelve years old” (Miller, 1997, p. 57). (Book)
- The scary side of this conflict is the small number of girls who are intentionally getting pregnant in hopes of becoming a television star. These girls are deliberately getting pregnant to pursue the medias gloried presentation of being a teen mom.
Transition: Teens need to know the truth about the responsibilities related with being a mother and the consequences of having a child too young. How to educate these teens is where the conflict truly resides.
Why isn’t communication working between one side and the other?
The two sides of the conflict are disagreeing on how to achieve their mutual goal of lowering teen pregnancy rates.
- The liberal version emphasizes the use of contraceptives and believes that the more access and control women have regarding contraceptives the less likely they are to become pregnant or have an abortion.
- “Liberal” Contraceptive advertisement
- According to an article published in The New York Times, “the conservative narrative argues that it’s more important to promote chastity, monogamy and fidelity than to worry about whether there is a prophylactic in every bedroom drawer”(Douthat, 2012). (Newspaper)
- Abortion rates are frequently higher in liberal states where access to abortions is less restricted. Conservative states often practice “safe, legal and rare” when it comes to abortions, this causes teen pregnancy rates to increase.
Despite their opposing viewpoints, the communication between the two sides is improving.
- According to absitenanceworks.org, “a recent national poll of parents demonstrated that 90% want their children to know about the risks associated with casual sex and the limitations of contraception” (NAEA office, 2011). (Website)
Transition: This encouraging data shows that both sides of the conflict are somewhat willing to find common ground.
What would it take to resolve this conflict?
Resolving teen pregnancy is something I truly believe our society can achieve through education.
- We need to provide education to teens and young adults in their 20’s that encourages them to take sex and pregnancy seriously. This includes encouraging healthy relationships and personal responsibility along with extensional information on contraceptives.
- Along with education on contraceptives we must illuminate the option of abstinence. Many people are quick to deny abstinence education because it seems close-minded, but in reality, todays abstinence education curriculum includes additional contraceptive methods.
As a society we must strive to strengthen our culture of personal responsibility regarding sex, pregnancy and raising a child.
- In order to do so, contraceptives need to be a common practice for people who are sexually active and not ready for a child.
- Due to the fact that sex is so prominent on television today we have to adjust the promotion of contraceptives. If teen mom is what is popular with the youth, we need to work that much harder to insure that using contraceptives is a general practice for teens choosing to be sexually active.
- Summary Statement: In summary, the conflict surrounding teen pregnancy is a disagreement over what and how to teach teens about sex. Teen pregnancy is on the decline but with todays presentation of sex in the media we need to be prepared for what the future may entail.
- Reinforce central idea statement: This conflict is associated with the lack of education on the consequences of teen pregnancy. In order to solve this conflict, both sides must work together to find the best means of sexual education for teens.
- Clincher: Is our current sexual education enough? As a society we need to take responsibility, and take sex education to another level. Every child deserves the highest quality a life possible and together we can make that happen.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Producer). (2010). Teen pregnancy data. [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/TeenPregnancy/LongDescriptors.htm (Graph)
- Chandra, A., Martino, S., Collins, R., Elliot, M., Berry, S., Kanouse, D., & Miu, A. (2008). Does watching sex on television predict teen pregnancy? findings from a national longitudinal survey of youth. Retrieved from http://www.pediatricsdigest.mobi/content/122/5/1047.short (Journal)
- Douthat, R. (2012, February 18). The ‘safe, legal, rare’ illusion. The York Times, p. SR12. (Newspaper)
- Miller, B. (1997). Teenage pregnancy and poverty: The economic realities. (p. 57). New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group. (Book)
MTV. (Producer). (2011). Teen mom 2 after show. [Print Photo]. Retrieved from http://remotecontrol.mtv.com/category/shows/teen_mom_2/page/9/ (Photo)
NAEA office. (2011). F.A.Q. Retrieved from http://www.abstinenceworks.org/stats-and-facts-mainmenu-52 (Website)
- PSA. (Producer) (2011). Unplanned pregnancy prevention – awkward times [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm5YXaELbkI (video)
- Rossi, H. (2012, January 20). Teen moms uneducated about pregnancy risk Parents, Retrieved from http://www.parents.com/blogs/parents-news-now/2012/01/20/pregnancy/cdc-teen-moms-uneducated-about-pregnancy-risk/ (Magazine)
- Sarah. (Producer) (2009). Sarah’s journey through teen pregnancy. [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.littlepreggie.com/2010/11/true-stories-behind-the-scene/ (Photo)
- Unplanned Pregnancy Prevention. (Producer). (2011). The too-skinny jean. [Print Photo]. Retrieved from http://bedsider.adcouncil.org/print-and-outdoor/ (Photo)
- Walt Disney. (Producer). (2011). The secret life of the american teenager. [Print Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.dvdreleaseshop.com/products/The-Secret-Life-of-the-American-Teenager-DVD-Season-2-Boxset-DVDS-2063.html (Photo)