23 February 2015
Skipping Prom To Be A Mom: Preventing Teen Pregnancy Through Sex Education
Georgia’s teen pregnancy rate is 47.7% out of 1,000 adolescents, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “In 2012, a total number of 305,388 babies were born to women aged 15-19” (CDC). Though the rate of teens giving birth have decreased, teen pregnancy is still a growing concern in our society so much so that T.V producers created a television series, titled “16 and Pregnant”, this show depicts the lives of teenage girls enduring the challenges before, throughout, and after their prenatal-period. Majority of middle and high school students have a life without the worry, worry of buying diapers or managing school and caring for their baby, instead, their focusing on going to prom, getting their driver’s license, active in social activities, and graduation. Why are these young women giving birth at such an young age? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Children born to adolescents face particular challenges—they are more likely to have poorer educational, behavioral, and health outcomes throughout their lives, compared with children born to older parents” (DHH). This means that teenagers will most likely struggle most of their lives and/or face difficulties in their lifetime before hitting the age of twenty. Moreover, in the early 1970’s, HIV and AIDs were identified; the deadly disease began spreading rapidly across the nation, this prompted national a decision made within the educational system. Ultimately leading Georgia into passing a mandated law, this law made it mandatory for schools to teach sex education courses (sexetc). Sex education is primarily targeted towards youth, in order to learn human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, and sexual intercourse to raise the awareness of having a vigorous life by making healthy decisions. Furthermore, sex education is also a controversial issue; nonetheless, it is more acceptable amongst parents because of the decrease in rates. Seventeen percent of all United States abortions are from teenage girls and in addition, pregnancy is the leading cause of deaths for young women ages 15 through 19 (advocates for youths)! As there are many apparent reasons teens become pregnant, the consequences are heartbreaking. The leading reasons in why teens are becoming pregnant is that their undereducated about sex and sexuality, having sex too soon, peer pressured, and living in economics and social unequal neighborhoods. Teenage pregnancy can be prevented through sex education programs.
Lacking knowledge about sex is leading teens into becoming teenage moms. Sex education has become less and less significant in our public school systems, the information available is limited, when referencing, sexuality, puberty, and sexual transmitted infections (STI), the text in books are minimal. I recall the time I had taken sex education classes in middle school, the teacher merely showed us a video discussing abstinence, asked if we had any questions, and ended class. Instructors are reluctant about teaching on the subject of sex education, from the fear of giving outdated information. Some teachers are not charismatic and disregard proper terminology when identifying the reproductive system. In addition, parents are also hesitant about discussing sex and their entireties because they feel uncomfortable and lack education about sex themselves (Kirby). When parents are conversing with their teen(s) about sex it is typically a stern, “don’t have sex until you’re married”. However, the media is very comfortable in relaying the message to our younger generation; the media serves as a form of sex education. Media is impacting our teens because of their two-minute seductive commercials, sexual music videos, magazines, and easy access to pornography. Mass media has captivated the hearts our youth, technology has taken over and whatever