Yes, Contraception Should be Available to Teenagers-To Think Otherwise is NOT Being Smart
Yes, I'D Give My Teen Birth Control
There were those who were wholly aghast and/or dismayed of the fact that Kris Jenner a/k/a Mrs. Kardashian put her daughter, Kim, on birth control at 14. Well, say what you will or want about Mrs. Kardashian, at least she was savvy and intelligent enough to know that teenagers are going to have sex if involved in a relationship. There is no skirting the issue at hand. Mrs. Kardashian was one mother who refused to keep her head in the head regaring the issue of teenage sex. One thing can be said-at least Kim never had an unplanned and/or unwanted teenage pregnancy.
Why is it that many parents, especially in the United States, are highly evasive when it comes to discuss sex with their teenagers. They view their teenagers as total asexual beings. They are totally aghast at the prospect that their teenagers are burgeoning adults and that means that their sexual feelings are nascent. It is during the teenage years where children are interested in and entering relationships with the opposite gender. They are exploring their newly adult feelings in these relationships. Many of these relationships are oftentimes non-romantic in nature.
Many American parents are horrified and nonplussed at the fact that their teenagers have sexual feelings and are curious regarding their sexuality. Such parents are further loathe to have THAT talk with their teenagers. If they do decide to discuss sex with their teenagers, it is only at the most rudimentary level. Many refuse to discuss complex issues relating to sex such as birth control and what to expect in relationships. Let's correct the last part, many parents do discuss relationships with the teenagers but only in a prohibitive way. They elect not to discuss the positive aspects of the male-female relationship.
These American parents strongly believe that if they not broach the more complex aspects of sex and relationships with their teenagers, the issue at hand will suddenly become insignificant. They contend that the less the issue of sex/relationships are mentioned, the better for them and especially their teenagers. Some parents even believe that their teenager is too young to know about sex, particularly the more complex aspects. To them, their teenagers are still children although evidence clearly indicates otherwise.
These are the parents who feel that sex is an adult matter and no chiid, regardless of age, is to be interested in such. Some even go as far to state that teenagers are emotionally, mentally, and/or psychologically capable and/or mature enough to know about and to handle the intricates of sex and relationships. They see that as the purview of adults. They view their teenagers as still developing children whose main concerns at this point should be educational and career preparation, not relationships.
Then there are parents who ultraconservative and/or ultratraditional religious views see all types of sex, except for marriage and/or procreative process, totally abhorrent. Many of them contend that sex should never be mentioned and/or discussed with their teenagers until they are ready to get married. When they do bring up the subject of sex and/or relationships with their teenagers, they emphasize only the religious/procreative aspects of sex and relationships.
Many parents, religious and nonreligious, are quite apprehensive discussing sex and/or relationships with their teenagers, particularly the more complex and intricate aspects. Many parents are quite loathe to bring up the subject of contraception with their teenagers. They subconsciously feel that their teenager is either too young and have not business in that arena. A few contend that to bring up the subject entirely is a license to encourage teenagers to indulge in sex. Yes, there are parents who deny and/or ignore the issue of contraceptive education regarding their teenagers. They feel that if they do not bring up the subject of contraception, like sex and relationships, it will "just go away."
Such is not necessary the case. What parents often do not teach, teenagers will seek knowledge from other sources. Many of these sources will be from reliable sources- teachers, other adult educators, and noted books pertaining to the subject. However, there will be less reliable sources such as other teenagers and same age peers, many who have the same or less knowledge about the subject at hand. A few will relay the wrong information.
In other words, what the parents DO NOT and/or WILL NOT teach, the teenager will definitely learn elsewhere and the information will NOT be reliable and authenticated. Many parents are totally aghast at the taught of educating their teenager about contraception, let alone providing them with contraception when they become sexually active. They do not want to face that fact that their teenagers will be sexually active if in a relationship. They furthermore do not want to face the fact that their teenagers are no longer children but are protoadults with burgeoning sexual desires. That mere fact is enough to say some parents into an absolute tizzy.
So many American parents adopt the denial mentality and consciousness relating to the combined issues of birth control and sexuality. If their teenagers express the desire to wanting protection and/or birth control because they are sexually active, they are told to use self-control and they are not ready to be sexually involved with anyone as of yet. Some teenagers are given stern warnings that if they have sex, they will get pregnant or will be in an emotional, psychological, and/or physical quagmire. Many parents feel that to educate in addition to providing their teenagers with contraception and protection is giving them sexual freedom and license. They are NOT about to do it whatsoever.
Not only parents, many schools do not offer teenagers a thoroughly comprehensive sex education which include the use of birth control and protection in order to prevent pregnancy. There are schools who go as far as to teach absistence only education as it is believed that teenagers have NO business being interested in the more intricate aspects of sex and relationships. The prevailing attitude is NO TEACH, NO KNOW, NO INTEREST. Yes, it is widely felt that if teenagers are not taught about the more complex parts of sex, relationships, and birth control, then they cannot possibly know so they will lose interest and curiosity.
Well, it does not go that way. Teenagers are going to seek, know, and do regardless. Because of the hesitance of many parents and teachers to fully teach their teenagers about sex and birth control, there is a high percentage of unplanned and unwanted teenage pregnancies. American teenagers have the highest rate of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies of any Western nation in the world. Of course, teenagers not ready to be parents as they are still developing. Many teenagers resort to terminating their pregnancies as they are not ready to be parents. There are some who continue with the pregnancy, becoming parents, curtailing their educational and career aspirations.
Studies have shown that teenage mothers have the highest poverty rate with its correlative pathologies. They oftentimes do not possess the emotional, mental, and psychological wherewithal to be effective parents. They are often overwhelmed with being a mother with its responsibilities. They feel left out, seeing their youth and future finished. This often causes resentment on the part of the teenage mother towards her child which often leads to abuse whether emotional, mental, and/or physical. They are doomed from the start.
Despite the high teenage pregnancy rate in America, many parents still prefer to remain in denial and in the closet as far as their teenager's sexuality goes. However, there are intelligent and enlightened parents such as Mrs. Kardashian who realize that contraceptive education is an important part of sex education. These parents also realize that when teenagers enter into a relationship, especially if it is serious, they are bound to have sex. That is a part of life. Knowing this, these parents believe that contraceptives are important and put their teenagers on birth control. They smartly know that it is better to this than to pretend that this aspect of their teenager's life does not exist and facing dire consequences down the line.
Many parents in the developed Western countries, particularly in Scandinavian countries, accept and acknowledge the fact that teenagers are going to be sexually active. The motion that teenagers are not interested in sex is quite an anathema to such parents. In many European countries, contraceptive education is an integral of sex education in schools. European teenagers are equipped with contraceptive knowledge. If they elect and decide to have sex, there is a less likelihood that they will become pregnant. Many European parents are quite comfortable discussing all the aspects of sex education, including contraceptives, with their teenage children.
As a result of this enlightened approach to sex education, teen pregnancy rates in Western Europe is more lower than that in the United States. Many American parents are adapting a more mature, reasonable, and enlightened approach regarding their teenager's sex education. They are beginning that a comprehensive sex education is very important. They know that teenagers must be knowledgeable in terms of sex which besides rudimentary knowledge, the context of relationships, protection against unwanted pregnancies, and the idea of sexual responsibility.
These parents contend that the typical American approach and attitude towards their teenager's sex education, including contraception, is quite atavistically primeval to say the least. They see the inane and utter futility in avoiding the seemingly contentious issue of teenage sexuality and its surrounding issues. They see what happened to teenagers whose parents refuse to address and/or discuss the issue of mature and intelligent, comprehensive sex education. They decide NEVER to do that to their teenagers. They assert that their teenagers can come to them discussing myriad sexual issues, including contraception.
These parents further maintain that when their teenage children decide that the time is right for contraception, they are ready to discuss it and even get contraceptive protection for the latter. They believe that doing this is teaching the latter sexual responsibility. They feel not to do so is denying the reality that their teenage children are burgeoning adults with sexual feelings. They further contend not to face this issues can result in perilous consequences for their teenager down the line.
In summation, many parents of teenage children in America are quite uncomfortable with the issue and sex and contraception. They feel that their teenagers are still children and have no business even thinking about, let alone be interested in sexual matters. Many such parents adapt the premise that they only discuss the mere rudiments of sex education and not the more intricate aspects that often includes relationships and contraception, somehow mysteriously the issue will go.......away.
However, this is NOT the case. Teenagers are going to find a way to obtain information relating to sexual issues. Such information can either be positive or negative. More often or not, the information that many teenagers obtain is negative. Not only parents but educators have adapt the principle that teenagers should receive only the bare rudiments regarding sex education. The policy is often no teach, no know, and no interest. Well, the results of such policies is the high rate of unplanned and unwanted teenage pregnancies in America.
Many smart parents know this and are adapting a more enlightened approach to the sex education of their teenagers. This education includes contraceptive education which these parents feel is an integral part of a thoroughly comprehensive sex education. These parents are of the school that if their teenagers are going to indulge in sex, they should be protected against unwanted pregnancies. They believe that for many parents to avoid and pretend that teenagers do not have sex is mere folly. They, as Mrs. Kardashian, contend that teaching about and obtaining contraceptives when their teenagers are sexually active is a parameter for an intelligent, a smart, and a responsible parent.
© 2013 Grace Marguerite Williams
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