Teenage Pregnancy

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Liquinn
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Teenage Pregnancy

Post by Liquinn » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:50 pm

What are your thoughts and Opions on teenage pregnacy?
If they want to have sex at that age -- well, you can bet I'm not going to, but they should take precautions, just like everyone should take precautions, and there's no point pointing fingers at people. It's the decision for the woman to make, and also the other parties involved. I wish people would take more responsibility for said decisions, but humans are weak in that respect. Sometimes, although prevention would be ideal, all you can do is work on a cure. [Speaking metaphorically.]

It happens; I think society is at a point where we should stop being all horrified by it and accept it as a timeless happening, something we should aim to prevent ideally, but not something we should shun or judge others for. :/ I personally think pro-abstinence education is pretty stupid, as all it does is leave you unprepared.

And then there's rape. She doesn't always CHOOSE for this to happen. And, hey, birth control and other forms of contraception can fail. It's very easy to generalise and give a blanket dismissal, but there are so many possible situations that I don't think one 'universal solution' exists.

I do think education is the key here. Not lecturing, not moralising, but saying, 'here's how to use a condom'; sharing bath water does not make you pregnant; take health checks when commencing sexual activity and practise safe sex to avoid STDs or unwanted pregnancies'. A lot of teenagers are very... I guess I agree and disagree with it, to an extent. Here, you can't have sex till you're 16, but 16 is still young.
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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by Jim_UK » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:08 pm

Of course attitudes have changed considerably over the years.

In the early 1900's a girl falling pregnant was often shipped off to the local asylum as it was deemed that she was a moral degenerate and needed locking up for he own and others protection.

By the middle of the 1900's girls would be shipped off to visit a relative for a prolonged period (before baby was showing) and baby would be adopted - often by someone in the family.

Towards the end of the 1900's the girls and parents no longer seemed to care what others thought and might openly boast about the imminent arrival of the new family member.

Now many go out of their way to get pregnant as it can be a meal ticket for life (free housing, money in the pocket etc etc) and it is not uncommon to see 16/17 year old girls with two babies. A recent fact find showed that they could be better off than someone working on minimum wage.

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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by Liquinn » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:10 pm

I would not like to have a girlfriend, with two or three children, I don't see how both of us can work, and receive money to pay for the baby(s) clothes/food/cot or whatever.

That's my opinion.
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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by Techie-Micheal » Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:01 pm

I'm of the opinion that this is one of those things we shouldn't be so accepting about. Marriage first is my stance, and I stick by it.

I remember reading Reader's Digest oh so long ago. A parent was at a PTA (Parent Teacher Association) meeting where the discussion was about how keep girls from getting pregnant. It included the school investing in the morning after pill, passing out free birth control, and so on. How can people be accepting of taking a pill on a regular basis (or at any time for that matter) with the name RU486. Are you for 86. 86 meaning? To destroy. Are you for destroying? Really now. The parent then suggested something nobody else had - abstinence. Why is that such a hard concept to grasp and follow for both parents and teens?

I realize I'm not going to be popular (not that I am already ...), but I think a lot of it has to do with TV and such. Commercials showing girls scantily clad, chasing after a guy wearing some body spray. Or whatever the case may be. Then you have people moving in with each other and surprise surprise, suddenly pregnant. Didn't see that one coming. Take Jamie Lynn Spears. She is 16, living with her 19 year old boyfriend. And nobody saw her getting pregnant. Happens all the time.

Then there's the costs associated. Teenager, working mediocre jobs (no college degree, remember?), having to supply for not one, but 2 (or more ...)? No ... doesn't sit well with me.

Save it for marriage, when both of you are ready and mature enough.
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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by The Awesomest Dude » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:03 am

This is a very good topic of discussion.

Liquinn (OP) - I agree almost 100%.

Techie-Micheal - Yeah that comment might not make you popular, but what's important is that you are speaking your mind. Even when you disagree with the other person. (And doing it civilly.) That is a very good thing to do, and a very good way to be! Because then, if somebody, anybody, or everybody else happens to be wrong, as long as there is a group of people who listen to and respect each other, the truth will ALWAYS get out eventually! And that is definitely a good thing! :)

That's why Freedom Of Speach is so important. (Although that is a different discussion for a different time...)

I want to address some of your comments. I agree on much of that, believe it or not. (I'm pretty Libertarian, but not totally...)

Abstainance? It is a good thing to teach, but should it be taught as "the only way"? If so, what happens when they disobey? (And it would be very naive to think that would never happen. Would it not?) Other than that, I do believe that it should be taught as "the best way".

Honesty is really what it's about. If you aren't being real with kids, they can usually figure it out. But telling them the truth about things like what could happen to them if that happens, (for example, having to support a child at that age, as well as things like diseases, etc.), is really the best way to go, IMO. If the parents have built a loving and TRUSTING relationship with that child, they will usually listen, (and obey), for the most part. (Not always but mostly.)

Now about blaming it on TV, that I do have to disagree about. Who do I blame for it? PARENTS. (Schools do have a slight responsibility also, but mostly it is the parents.) In fact they should be teaching them not to ever do ANYTHING just because they saw somebody on TV do it. Or a friend/peer, or a parent/adult, etc. To think for themself, and only for themself.

BTW, I'm not trying to say that most are not already doing it right. I recently got into a discussion about that with somebody on another site I post on, who I believe was a teacher. I think he/she ("she" I think) agreed with me for the most part, but thought that I was trying to imply that most were not already doing so. I believe that MOST are (to some degree), but there are still MANY who don't. Which is what my point was, about that.


Anyway, ideally everybody should wait until they are either married or at least have somebody they are pretty sure they want to be with forever. That is what everybody SHOULD do. (BTW, I never said I was a saint, myself. I always try to do the best I can but I am a human being...)

And children should be taught that. But at the same time, teaching them, "...if not, you had BEST make SURE you do this..." is a very good thing to do, IMO. Consider it a "Plan B". ;)
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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by SamG » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:23 pm

A problem is that Plan B, whatever it might be, increases risk and expense. It introduces uncertainty. Uncertainty, of course, is part of life, but in the health field, at some point introducing uncertainty is called risk taking -- and that used to be a bad thing.

What I fear is that instead of helping people see that certain behaviors involve certain risks, we approach it from the point of view that it's entirely acceptable to posit risk reduction to the point of practical risk elimination. Sort of a don't worry, be happy approach. That seems like a potentially fragile foundation for healthy choices.

The dentist may tell me that if I insist on drinking Mountain Dew, at least drink it through a straw. But he has yet to tell me that if I'm drinking Mountain Dew through a straw he's satisfied with my health choices. And the straw advice comes after the fact, not before. It would be silly for the dentist to suggest that there is a safe way to drink Mountain Dew and so teach me that method while I'm young.

It's all complicated, and my Dew analogy fails to keep everything intact. But something is wrong with comprehensive sex education, or at least something has gone wrong for too many. If all was well, if the learning goals and outcomes were matching up in a satisfying way, books like Dr. Miriam Grossman's Unprotected would be irrelevant. My sense is that such books, whatever their shortcomings, are not irrelevant.

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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by The Awesomest Dude » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:58 pm

That's a good point, SamG, but I've got a question: What would be a better way to go about it?

You have a point. I do however, believe that most of it lies more in the way it has been proformed in the past, rather than the approach itsself. But you are correct that they often fail to show and teach that there are signifigant risks involved.

The Dew analogy is pretty much what I was aiming at. I could actually take it a step further. Something even closer. That would be Alcohol and Drugs. Those are not good things to do. (Although again, I'm not claiming to be a saint.) And even worse for a child to do them. (The child's body is still developing. And a bunch of other things... I'll elaborate if asked.)

But if anybody thinks that children (especially teenagers) doesn't do those things, I have some real estate for sale. ;)

So what do we do? What is the absolute best way (or ways) to handle things like that? What should be the first choice? And if that doesn't work, what should be attempted secondly?
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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by Techie-Micheal » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:09 pm

I'm of the opinion that you should aim high. Set for yourself a goal for abstinence until marriage, and only with the one you are married. Set for yourself a goal to never drink or do drugs.

Don't anticipate falling, but if you do, there are other avenues you can take. But if you aim low, you'll never get anything other than low.

People have forgotten about the word "No." Say no to sex. Say no to drugs. Say no to alcohol. If you concentrate on that, I promise the rest is easy. I'm going to be frank here, so if anybody is under the age of 18, cover your eyes. ;) Believe it or not, I have been approached once or twice by female friends to sleep with them ... All it took was a no. Although the occasion is rare that that happens (really rare), I've already decided for myself to not do that. I don't put myself in situations where I'm tempted to drink or do other drugs. And on the rare occasion that I was asked to smoke, all I had to do was say no.

I think that society is lowering its standards far too much, particularly when it comes to our children. They see their role models (parents, Disney stars, etc.) doing drugs, taking naked pictures of themselves, and so on and they think it is okay. They have little to aspire to.

Yes, there will always be drugs, there will always be extra-marital affairs, teenage pregnancy, but if we as a society keep lowering our standards, how can we expect the next generation to do better than what we did?
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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by SamG » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:34 pm

The Awesomest Dude wrote:What would be a better way to go about it?
Remember the public health fuss over the potentially serious public health risk presented by a single TB carrier? Why are carriers of potentially fatal STIs and STDs treated in a radically different way?

I'm guessing that the sole reason has something to do with sexual freedom. But that seems like a pretty shallow reason, so surely I must be guessing wrong. There must be some health benefit involved, right?

If not, then a first step in a better way to going about it would be to stop presenting sexual activity as a privileged, minimized risk between consenting individuals. Uninformed or misinformed consent can hardly be meaningful consent at all when it comes to health issues. If the bulk of the information I get is that various methods and appliances can make sex substantially health-risk free, then the implicit message is that the actual level of health risk is generally acceptable. But is that true?

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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by Techie-Micheal » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:10 pm

One thing I forgot to add:

I think there's not enough emphasis on abstinence-only. As I hinted at above, people are so engrossed at what happens after you make a bad choice, they don't consider not making the bad choice in the first place. Yes, teach birth-control, but not to the exclusion of not letting it happen in the first place.
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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by Anon » Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:52 pm

Techie-Micheal wrote:One thing I forgot to add:

I think there's not enough emphasis on abstinence-only. As I hinted at above, people are so engrossed at what happens after you make a bad choice, they don't consider not making the bad choice in the first place. Yes, teach birth-control, but not to the exclusion of not letting it happen in the first place.
Because abstinence-only is stupid. Yes, it can be useful in combination with birth control, but it just doesn't work by itself when trying to combat unwanted pregnancy or STDs.

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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by Techie-Micheal » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:03 am

Anon wrote:
Techie-Micheal wrote:One thing I forgot to add:

I think there's not enough emphasis on abstinence-only. As I hinted at above, people are so engrossed at what happens after you make a bad choice, they don't consider not making the bad choice in the first place. Yes, teach birth-control, but not to the exclusion of not letting it happen in the first place.
Because abstinence-only is stupid. Yes, it can be useful in combination with birth control, but it just doesn't work by itself when trying to combat unwanted pregnancy or STDs.
No it isn't stupid. If people actually followed it, there wouldn't be a need for emphasis on birth control.
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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by Anon » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:24 am

No, it's stupid because people aren't abstinent. People engage in premarital sex, to say they don't is highly ignorant. "Virginity pledges" do not work, and "youth enrolled in the abstinence-only programs were no more likelythan those not in the programs to delay sexual initiation, have fewer sexual partners, or abstain from sex entirely." [Source]. See also: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6927733.stm & http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/ ... -std-rates

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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by Techie-Micheal » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:38 am

Anon wrote:No, it's stupid because people aren't abstinent. People engage in premarital sex, to say they don't is highly ignorant. "Virginity pledges" do not work, and "youth enrolled in the abstinence-only programs were no more likelythan those not in the programs to delay sexual initiation, have fewer sexual partners, or abstain from sex entirely." [Source]. See also: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6927733.stm & http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/ ... -std-rates
No, it is not stupid. Encouraging people to not engage in risky people is not stupid. Giving people a free pass to engage in risky behavior because they have birth control is stupid. 100% protection is always better than 99%. Don't want to get STD's from a partner you don't know how many partners they've had? Don't engage in risky behavior.

I am not saying to not teach people about birth control and such, but don't exclude common sense just because you think people won't listen.
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Re: Teenage Pregnancy

Post by Anon » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:48 am

Techie-Micheal wrote:No, it is not stupid. Encouraging people to not engage in risky people is not stupid. Giving people a free pass to engage in risky behavior because they have birth control is stupid.
Teenpregnancy.org wrote:Teaching teens about contraception does not make them have sex. Research is clear on this point: sex education does not increase sexual activity. In fact, in some cases, teaching teens about contraception seems to delay their sexual activity.
You seem to have this idea that abstinence works because everyone follows what they've been told like good little boys and girls, who never get into situations out of their depth. I certainly hope you don't have this attitude toward law enforcement, where the only defence against crime ever needed is a sign saying "Please don't steal" :lol:

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