Essay on Let's Talk About Sex

Submitted By Savery_Avery
Words: 825
Pages: 4

Let’s Talk About Sex Compared to other European countries, American teens have been proven to have to lowest rate of contraceptive use and therefore increased pregnancy and abortion rates. Unprotected sexual activity leads to sexually transmitted infections, diseases and unplanned pregnancy, often resulting in abortion. All of these things are easily preventable, so why do they still happen? What factors influence teen pregnancy and risk of sexually transmitted infections? One reason would be pure ignorance. A survey was done on teenagers in Canada and showed that there were many gaps on a teen’s knowledge about sex and sexual health (Ipsos, 2006). Many teens revealed that they were unaware in the fact that sexually transmitted infections could be transmitted through oral sex, which two-thirds had engaged in. Teens also often over estimate the sexual activity that their peers are engaging in, this effects their own behavior (Child Trends, 2001). This could be referred to as the personal fable, the personal fable is a cognitive distortion in which adolescents believe that they are the focus of everyone else's attention and concern. In other words, the adolescent thinks that since others are so obviously fascinated by him (adolescent egocentrism), he must be a very unique individual (the personal fable). It creates the well-everyone-else-is-doing-it-so-that-makes-it-okay feeling. A World Health Organization report showed that sex education and the education of contraceptive use only increased the “intention” of practicing safer sex (Wellings et al., 2006) and there was no evidence to show that teens actually practiced safer sex after being educated. In teens today there is a lack of communication about birth control. Most teens feel that if they ask their parents about sex and the prevention of pregnancy then their parents will quickly assume that they’re sexually active. Many teenagers are uncomfortable talking about sex and contraceptive use to their parents, doctors, partners and peers. One study found that teenagers who are more comfortable talking about contraceptive use, are more likely to use contraceptives (Aspy et al., 2007; Milan & Kilmann, 1987). In one survey, 72% of sexually active 12 to 17 year old American girls said that they regretted having sexual intercourse (Reuters, 2000), showing that there is a lot of guilt that is related to sexual activity in teenage girls. See, teenagers tend to do this thing, where they don’t think about their actions, or the consequences of their actions. Ambivalence can reduce sexual activity, but sexual inhibitions may also reduce attempts at birth control if passion overwhelms intentions (Gerrard & Luus, 1995; MacDonald & Hynie, 2008). Here is the big one, alcohol. Many teens consume alcohol and alcohol using teens are typically sexually active teens (Albert, 2003; CASA, 2004). The consumption of alcohol by minors is nothing new and actually quite normal in American high school students. The age that students begin drinking alcohol goes hand in hand with the age that many of them begin having sex. These two numbers are getting younger each year. Alcohol depresses the brain centers that control judgment, inhibition and self-awareness. Alcohol tends to break down normal restraints. Those who use alcohol prior to engaging in sexual intercourse are less likely to use contraceptives