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Abstinence Is Not Always The Answer

2376 words - 10 pages

Teenage pregnancy is a new form of epidemic that is sweeping across the nation worldwide. No one can actually point fingers on who is to blame or why this situation has increased in numbers over the past years. As years progress and society changes, people have been adjusting to the fact that teenagers are getting pregnant, and that there is nothing we can do to change it. Although many think that teenagers make mistakes and that pregnancy is an automatic consequence, there is a way to prevent this outcome from happening. By introducing different kinds of sex education programs at an earlier age, the teenage pregnancy rate will decrease. Even though we cannot eliminate the problem, we can educate our teenagers so that this issue can be controlled.
Our babies are having babies. The United States (US) has the highest teenage pregnancy rate compared to any other country in the western hemisphere. More teenagers are becoming sexually active without considering the possible consequences that their actions might have. One of the consequences that are most likely to occur is teenage pregnancy, which results in approximately 750,000 pregnancies annually amongst teenagers between the ages of fifteen and nineteen (Guttmacher Institute). Most teenage pregnancy is unplanned, because of the lack of knowledge they receive from their family or educators. Due to all of the unintentional pregnancies, the US government spends nearly nine billion dollars annually.
When sex education is introduced into someone’s life, it can play an important role in the decisions they make later on in the future. Research studies show that if a student begins to learn something at an earlier age, they will be more likely to retain the information for a longer period of time. According to an article by Deborah Pan, “sex education should be continued to be supported in formal settings, such as schools, and to be the most effective, should occur before youth engage in sexual intercourse for the first time” (Pan). Therefore, sex education should be taught to students at the age of ten or in the fifth grade. Within the sex education curriculum, fifth graders should begin the journey by learning about their bodies and how it works. Since most kids in this age group start going through puberty, they should know why these changes are occurring. As they move onto middle school, their sex education courses should focus on the abstinent method. The reason is because most parents fear that if their child is exposed to a comprehensive method too early they will engage in that sort of activity. In the seventh grade, a more comprehensive method will be administered, rather than teaching solely about abstinence. According to Eli Coleman, director of the program in human sexuality at the University of Minnesota Medical School, “comprehensive sexuality education approaches are effective in delaying the onset of sexual activity and have the advantage of increasing the likelihood of individuals...

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