Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 6:34:46 AM
As revealed by the CDC, the latest teen pregnancy statistics report that US teen birth rates are currently at an all time low. Many factors are able to play a part in this overwhelming fact, yet the most influential and effective contributions are the increased knowledge of sex and health in schools as well as open access to contraceptives such as birth control, commonly known as the pill, and condoms. The open and in-depth analysis of sex and health education in schools across the nation further advances teens’ knowledge on the subject of sex and the consequences of not practicing the act safely. Health education outlines and informs students of the risks of sex and the damaging effects in can inflict upon their lives and valuable futures. Schools which try to hide and overlook sex, acting as if it isn’t an issue the modern teenager deals with, actually contribute to teen pregnancies instead of reducing the statistic. Without education systems teaching teenagers the consequences and outcomes of sex, such as STDs or teen pregnancy, students remain ignorant and clueless toward the topic, leading them to foolishly participate in sexual encounters that could ultimately destroy their future due to their inexperience. The knowledge of such dangers allows teenagers to make responsible decisions regarding sexual acts, such as practicing abstinence or obtaining contraceptives, both which healthily prevent teen pregnancy. Access to contraceptives is another factor which plays a great role in reducing the teen pregnancy statistic. More sexually active teens are educated and aware of contraceptives, including the birth control pill, condoms, and the morning-after pill, and make use of these items in order to prevent problems such as pregnancy at such a young age. Many teenagers are unprepared and unable to handle the difficulties that accompany the birth of a child, and use such methods to prevent teen pregnancy allow teenagers to maintain their youth and opportunities without the consequence of a child situation which could not only drastically alter their own lives, but their peers and family’s lives as well. The availability and easy access to these products contribute a great deal to the CDC statistic, as most teenagers today are fearful of confronting their parents or guardians about the subject of sex and protection. The privacy and acquisition of such contraceptives makes teenagers feel much more comfortable, as they can avoid awkward conversation and arguments and are able to participate in sexual actions. The advancement of contraceptives and the reliable effectiveness reassures sexually active teens and gives them greater options and choices, allowing them to reduce the risk of becoming pregnant. Without schools increasing and improving their health and sex education classes, along with contraceptives being available toward youth today, teen pregnancy would be skyrocketing. Schools across the nation that are currently educating their students on the dangers of teen pregnancy and the benefits of practicing abstinence, along with using birth control, actively participate in the decline of the US teen birth rate today.