by Kristen S '11

Does Teaching Sex Promote Teenage Pregnancy?

People have been wondering whether birth control and condom advertisements are promot­ing teenagers to have sex sooner.  Some argue that it helps reassure teens that if they do wish to engage in sexual activity, they can do so without half as much worry about getting pregnant.  Many are also arguing that compared to the generations before us, teenagers today feel much more comfortable speak­ing of and participating in sexual engagements due to the persistent educa­tion about sex and comfort being encouraged for children to be able to talk about such things with others.  With this in mind, more and more worries come out amongst many not only in regards to fear of unwanted pregnancies, but also sexually transmit­ted disease, many of which can not be cured.

Teenage pregnan­cies are a scary thought for most teenagers and parents, yet many feel as if it is much more likely in a time of today.  Statistics, however, say very much otherwise.  According to, compared to 1980’s 53 girls per every 1,000 giving birth, in 2006 about 41.9 teenage girls ages 15-19 in the U.S. had a baby.  Although the amount is only about 11 girls less, the 11 girls becomes much more of a significant num­ber when you view it as the whole country’s popula­tion.  Regardless if more and more teenagers are having sex, statistics prove that it is a good thing that teens are becoming much more aware that there are better, more intelligent op­tions that can help decide their future.  As

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the birth rates continue to decline, it becomes more and more evident that be­ing informed about things such as this helps teenag­ers make better decisions.  With now tons of forms of birth control, that including a condom, being encour­aged not only by media but schools and families, teens are much more aware of what types of choices to make.  Abstinence is also encouraged by many whom believe it is better to wait than put yourself at any risk at all.  It appears that some may have been listening, because “Teenag­ers seem to be waiting lon­ger to have intercourse. For example, the percentage of 12th-grade U.S. students who reported having had intercourse declined from 66.7% in 1991 to 60.5% in 2001” (  Without any form of proper knowl­edge, mistakes are at times inevitable.

Yet, as informed as we still find ourselves to be, teens are amongst the age group with the highest amount of people with sexually transmitted diseases.  With there being more than 12 million cases of sexually transmitted dis­eases in the United States, teenagers are responsible for at least 3 million of those cases.  Despite the declining amount of both births and teens admitting to have engaged in sex, STDs are still common due to those of a younger age are much more susceptible to become infected with them.  Yet, often kids are misinformed about STDs with the many myths go­ing around about them.  If teens were more informed of how they are at risk of receiving an STD, we could probably be much more aware as to how to try harder to prevent it. Perhaps knowing is the way to improve the future.

By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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