Every year, hundreds of thousands of American teenage girls become pregnant. According to the Guttmacher Institute (2006), a private research company in the field of teenage pregnancy studies, 821,810 teen girls, ages 15-19, became pregnant in the year 2000, and many more may occur, only not reported. Teenage pregnancy rates may be at the lowest point in the last ten years, but the problem still exists. Since a large number of girls are becoming pregnant every year, the programs that are supposed to be instilling lessons on how to prevent teen pregnancy, are in fact, actually not strong enough to prevent them. It takes two for the conception of a child, which means not only are the sexual education programs failing the 800,000 females a year, but also at least 800,000 males. Even though there are still large numbers of girls becoming pregnant, sexual education is very important in decreasing the number of teenage pregnancies.
[...] Because the parents are the first teachers of children and have the ability to start the children off with a view of sexuality that will foster a healthy sex life, they can be the ultimate defense in keeping teens from becoming pregnant. Works Cited Allen, Colin. "Absentee Fathers and Teen Pregnancy." Psychology Today 2764 (2003). Berman, Laura, Ph.D. "Teaching Your Kids Sex Ed." Yahoo Health July 2007. Berman Center Dec < http://health.yahoo.com/experts/ sexualhealing/17451/teaching- your-kids-sex-ed/>. Dowshen, MD, Steven. "Questions & Answers About Sex." KidsHealth. [...]
[...] Children at an early age of three or four will not understand the same material that a fourteen year old would understand. For example, if a young child were to ask about where babies come from, the parents say that when a man and a woman love each other, they like to be close to one another. Tell them that the man's sperm joins the woman's egg and then the baby begins to grow” (Dowshen). On the other hand, the fourteen year old should get the more detailed explanation of the process of sexual intercourse. [...]
[...] Some programs, such as “AIDS Prevention for Adolescents in Schools” and “Safer Choices,” are sexual education programs that are designed to not stop sexual intercourse between teens, but to help educate teens about safer sex practices. Safer sex practices include using condoms to make sex safer in regards to sexually transmitted infections (STI's) and avoiding multiple sex partners. Another kind of program, which is exemplified by “Postponing Sexual Involvement,” is a program that tries to discourage sex until either marriage, or at least until later in life. [...]
[...] It is important for the education process to begin at home from the child's own parents because children learn the most from their parents and this is seen in the child's development of their own sex life. In a twenty year study, the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (1986) saw children respond more positively when they have parental advice, and when parents are “unavailable physically and emotionally to supervise children who are thrust into a world of frightening and primitive street values [these children] show patterns of adolescent sexual behavior and of pregnancy.” Not only do these adolescents have sex, they fail to use contraception, or, if they do use contraception, they use poor or inaccurate methods. [...]
[...] In our own effort, the United States can look at the British governments program and see what works and how to develop something that can benefit the sexual education programs that we already have in place, or develop a completely new program that would also help teen pregnancy rates. Even though school programs are effective in increasing sexual awareness and decreasing early and teen pregnancies, many parents feel that a school based program that is aimed at teaching young children would start these children off at too early of an age. [...]
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