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Closer Look on the Effects of Promoting Abstinence and Birth Control to Teens
Should U.S. schools educate students about birth control, or promote sexual abstinence instead?
is defined as the act of abstaining from sexual intercourse. This is being
taught to many teenagers to protect them from unwanted pregnancies, which has
escalated at an alarming rate over the past decade (Males, 2010). The number of
young adults with sexually transmitted diseases also increases, making the
issue on pre-marital sex one of the debates in the society. In many countries,
teenagers are being given sex education with an emphasis on abstinence to
lessen the rate of early and unwanted pregnancies.
are a lot of reasons why teens are encouraged to be abstinent until they are
married. Aside from unwanted pregnancy and the idea that pre-marital sex is
morally wrong, sexual intercourse even before marriage may also cause them
diseases like STD and HIV AIDS. Education on abstinence does not focus on
information about different methods of birth control because those who promote
abstinence believe that this technique is already effective in discouraging the
youth to engage in pre-marital sex.
the other hand, many people disagree. Those who oppose the promotion of
abstinence believe that there is no guarantee that teens will engage in
pre-marital sex even if they say that they won’t. Many of the young adults have
in fact started to experiment with sex at younger ages. Further, by telling the
teens to be abstinent would only make them more curious and interested to have
educating the youth about birth control, they become aware of the options that
are available if they will choose to have sexual intercourse. The youth will be
able to learn about the different methods of preventing pregnancy and even
provided with lots of information about their possible choices. Abstinence
education, on the other hand, does not involve information on contraception.
Teens, in abstinence education, are spared the emotional and psychological
trauma that comes with unwanted pregnancy. Young girls who became pregnant at a
very young age affirm the unhappiness, regret, and depression incurred during
and after the pregnancy.
both ways of saving the teens from having kids at a very young age and getting
diseases from engaging in pre-marital sex have advantages and disadvantages.
But looking at the bigger picture, one could say that the evolution of the
world in terms of technology, fashion, and other trends affect this societal
problem. Every day, teenagers see hundreds of product advertisements on
television, magazines, and billboards that convey sexual messages. They see
movies or television show with people doing or even depicting sex, making them
more aware and interested about it.
though dispositions towards media may vary, research shows that the media
portrayal of sex influence the young audience’s perceptions on sexual
activities (Gunter, 2002). Sex is used to sell products and portrayed as a way
to attain a status in the group or society. The teen idols are even portrayed
as objects for sexual pleasure. The products being sold in the market are
associated with sex. With all these around, adolescent find it hard to get away
from it. Teens that are exposed to sex through the mainstream media are
absolutely more likely to engage in sexual activity (Jones, 2006).
young adults to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases
will be a shared responsibility of parents, peers, school, and society. Teens
can only be encouraged to be abstinent if they are not exposed to a lot of
information from media and community that these teens belong to. But with
availability of sources on sexual information, teens must also be taught the importance
of birth control. This important information is not meant to encourage them to
engage to pre-marital sex but rather help them to have an informed choice.
B. (2002). Media Sex: What Are The
Issues? USA: Routledge