Contraceptives and the Teenage User
For years now a debate has been ongoing concerning teenagers and contraceptives. Some argue that giving contraceptives or even allowing teenagers to purchase them only encourages premarital sex. This attitude, however, denies the simple fact that premarital sex in adolescents has been common throughout the ages. It occurred before effective contraceptives were available, it occurs now despite the well publicized existence of untreatable and deadly diseases like AIDS, and it will continue regardless of public policies restricting access to contraceptives. I believe that to deny teenagers access to every available means of protecting themselves against unwanted pregnancy and disease can only result in more tragic abortions, increased infection of sexually transmitted diseases, and continued unnecessary fear and apprehension of sex.
Gordon Hugenberger, senior minister of the Park Street Pulpit acknowledges that premarital sex in ancient times was rare indeed. Was this due to a more pure morality? No. It was because the average age for marriage, especially among women, was the mid-teenage years. Premarital sex among teenagers is nearly unheard of in ancient times because they were typically already married by the time they become sexually active. Similarly, according to an article written in the Hindu Website (http://hinduwebsite.com) on the Hindu view premarital sex concedes, “In ancient times premarital sex was not an issue because the girls were mostly married before they reached puberty and sent to their husband’s homes where they would grow up under the careful attention of the elders of the families.” Teenage sex was commonplace, but teenagers were married!
To expect that adolescents will abstain from sexual exploration in mass basically due to the denial of access to contraceptives is to deny history as well as the fact that ignorance of the importance of contraceptive use at this age is still common. Marion Howard, author of Preventing Teenage Pregnancy, reflects this best, “Adults who wonder why adolescents do not use contraceptives often cannot conceptualize the world as it is experienced by adolescents. There is no advertising of contraceptives on television, even for adults. There is no role modeling of contraceptive use by adults in movies and...