Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 4:01:50 AM
The statistic is 46 percent of all high school students are engaging in sexual activity. It’s the naked truth – literally. No one is exceptionally reprehensible except for those who have contrived the ridiculous standard that this generation must be associated with sex; and along with sex comes pregnancy, if the proper precautions are not taken.
In 1990, the pregnancy rate among young women was 117 per 1,000. In 2008, the national birth rate was at approximately 68 births per 1,000 teen girls. The next year a decrease was found when the birth rate was calculated at 39 births per 1,000 teen girls. Another diminution then occurred later with the birth rate at 20 births per 1,000 teen girls. Researchers were shocked to discover such a drop and still find it somewhat difficult to determine the source of where the numbers of teen pregnancies in a steady decline are stemming from. Some opinions show that popular reality television shows targeting teen audiences such as MTV’s “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant” may have scared adolescent women out of the idea of sex and pregnancy risks. Other studies say these television shows “have been blamed for glorifying teen pregnancy by turning these teen moms into overnight celebrities… The mothers are often given thousands of dollars for their participation, and their faces cover tabloid magazines” (ABC News). A show produced by ABC called “What Would You Do?” featured a scenario taken from real life in which two actresses are portrayed reenacting a teen girl and her friend at a drug store discussing whether or not she should get pregnant. Bystanders are seen on hidden cameras silently reacting to the erotic discussion. The girl’s friend passively speaks against her decision yet the girl even brings up the tactics of the show “Teen Mom” and how “people get famous from it”. Several appalled witnesses that heard her remarks then spoke against her reasoning. This play-out of a legitimate occurrence and the reactions of real people aid in the argument that shows focusing on teen pregnancy are corrupt. A more likely cause of the drop in teen pregnancies is the improvement of sex education in schools and the availability of contraceptives. Another ABC News report says contraceptives are much more available than they were 10 to 20 years ago. Another factor could be that the percentage of schools educating on the risks of teen pregnancy and proper protection increased from 65 to 76 percent. A report in Emerging Answers 2007: Research Findings on Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases found that “two-thirds of the 48 comprehensive programs that supported both abstinence and the use of condoms and contraceptives for sexually active teens had… either delayed or reduced sexual activity or increased the use of condoms or other contraceptives”.
Whether or not some teens are having sex, contraceptives are becoming more available and formal sex education is improving, therefore affecting the decline in the number of teen pregnancies. Hopefully we can keep this up.