Posted: Friday, May 25, 2012 3:51:53 AM
Though the popularity of reality TV shows that glamorize teen pregnancy like "16 & Pregnant" or "Teen Mom" might make it seem like the teenage pregnancy rate is rising, statistics show that the number of babies born to teenage moms is actually going down. Though teens may be more sexually active than in the past, a wider range of options are available for teens to prevent pregnancy. To obtain birth control pills, a girl can simply walk into a center like Planned Parenthood where she can receive them for free. The accessibility of birth control that is free and stays confidential is very helpful in the prevention of teenage pregnancy, as many teens would feel very uncomfortable talking to their parents about their sexual activity. In addition, shows like the ones I mentioned earlier from MTV can also have the effect of exposing not only teenage girls but also teenage guys to the realities of parenthood. It encourages girls to be careful with their own bodies and encourages guys to use protection like condoms. The convenient and unrestricted accessibility of condoms (they're sold at almost any store with no age restrictions) makes the odds of one being used higher than if they were not so easily obtained. Also helpful in preventing teenage pregnancy is the education of teenagers in their health classes at school. Kids learn about pregnancy and also learn about STDs, exposing them to the dangers of unprotected sex. A combination of the fear of getting an STD and the fear of becoming a teenage parent both work to either scare kids away from sex during their teenage years or scare them into making sure they use contraceptives, no matter what. Many teens today are sexually active, but the easy accessibility of contraceptives combined with scare tactics have worked to encourage kids to practice safe sex, contributing to the currently declining teenage pregnancy rate.