Although the numbers of teenage pregnancies have gone down in the last few years, there are no specific factors that have contributed to this decline.
Meanwhile, the lack of sex education still clearly leads to most unexpected pregnancies in teens. All they really know is that sex feels good, but not the consequences that can ultimately come from their actions.
What hurts these teens the most is not knowing what to expect after the feel-good aspect of sex subsides. That is where the problem lies: students just don’t know enough about it to make a conscious decision.
Truly educating students in middle school and early high school can help them make better choices when and if those opportunities do arise.
Regardless of whether they choose to abstain or to be sexually active, they can understand how their choices can affect them in the long run.
Most of what teens learn in sexual education classes are the basics: male and female body parts, abstinence and sexually transmitted diseases.
Unfortunately, the bulk of what they know about intercourse is what they learn in movies – that sex is “dirty” and “cool.”
The Advocates for Youth organization believe that the youth of America have the right to accurate and comprehensive sex education. Throughout the school year, they continue to bring awareness across the country by offering practical lesson plans for sex education teachers to use in their classrooms.
“No highly effective sex education or HIV prevention education program is eligible for federal funding because mandates prohibit educating youth about the benefits of condoms and contraception,” according to the organization’s website.
They were in full support of the Real Education for Healthy Youth act, which recognizes the rights of teens to receive in-depth sexual health information while at school.
This unfortunately was not enacted upon and it died in a previous session of congress in 2013.
Had this act been passed, it would have helped high schools all across the nation bring awareness and educate their students properly and perhaps the numbers of teen pregnancy could die down immensely.
Sadly, that is not the case since many parents and educators think that talking about sex will cause an influx of more sexually active teenagers, as if they will only know it exists when they are exposed to it. But as stated earlier, they may learn about it in the media as well.
It would be most beneficial if teens were educated about sex in an educational setting that depicts the reality, rather than what is fantasized about after watching what is depicted in movies.
Frankly, showing them the reality of sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancies at a young age and the affect sex can have on a premature relationship may just scare them enough to know its wrong until they’re old enough to fully comprehend responsibilities that come with sex in a relationship.
Perhaps the reality itself will help bring the numbers of sexually active teens and teenage pregnancies down even further, or at least, they will just be smarter about the choices they eventually make.