Nearly two-thirds of teenagers are sexually active before they graduate high school (Berne 90). Many parents oppose the teaching of sexual education and prefer that their children share their views and abstain from sex. Because of this, teenagers often have unsafe sex to avoid situations that come along with asking their parents for contraception such as birth control and condoms. Not using or having access to contraceptives increases the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. According to studies sponsored by The Alan Guttmacher Institution, controlling teen access to contraceptives proves unsuccessful in lowering sexual activity and increases the chance of pregnancy and transmitting sexual diseases (Rosenthal 144). Making sexual education and contraceptives available to teenagers would lower the pregnancy rates of teenagers, allow them to make well informed decisions, and prevent health problems related to sexually transmitted diseases.
Nearly 850,000 teenagers become pregnant each year, of these pregnancies over three-fourths are unintentional (Abstinence-Only 91). While condoms are not restricted by age, only four states allow teenagers access to birth control without any restrictions. Other states have a minimum age requirement, a certain marital status, or a parent must be involved to purchase the birth control. Using contraceptives effectively can reduce the risk of accidental pregnancies. Research done by Centers for Disease Control Prevention says that improved use of contraception has cut the teenage pregnancy rate in half (Abstinence-Only 95). Allowing teenagers access to contraceptives without restrictions could lower the already decreasing amount of unintended pregnancy.
Parents are often in opposition to their children being taught sexual education in school (The Abstinence Clearinghouse 41). Several adults believe their teenagers should be taught information that complies with their own views on sexuality (Crouse 44). Parents often fail to recognize the large percentage of teenagers that are sexually active despite the overwhelming wishes their children would abstain from sex. When taught, teenagers are often given false or deceitful information. Some of this faulty information includes telling teenagers sexually transmitted diseases can be transferred by sweat and tears or that touching another person’s genitals can result in pregnancy (Berne 92-93). Proper sexual education allows teenagers to make well informed decisions for themselves. Teenagers’ views on sex are often modeled by the views of the adults around them. If contraceptives were not viewed negatively, but rather as the safe and smart alternative to pregnancy and STDs, teenagers would be more likely to adopt the use of contraception (Rosenthal 145).
Annually, three million teenagers acquire a sexually transmitted disease (Berne 91). Having more than one sexual partner can increase the risk of that person to...