Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 8:07:00 AM
Sex. No doubt this word has crossed the minds of every teenager throughout the ages. However, the difference between then and now is that it is no longer confined to just a thought. “Sex” is no longer a taboo that parents keep hush-hush about to “protect” their innocent children. Teens today are being exposed and educated about sex and its consequences more frequently than ever before, whether it be through their parents, sex-ed, or, in most prevalent cases, the media. It is this exposure and increased awareness that cause many teens to think twice.
For instance, those popular scare-tactic MTV shows like “Teen Mom” have no doubt frightened and warned many teens of the repercussions and major drawbacks of being a teen parent. After seeing those girls struggle with a baby while their life and future have been practically compromised by one stupid mistake, it is almost certain that no girl in their right mind would want to follow down the path of a teen mom. Through the media and all of its over-dramatization and exaggerations, shows like “Teen Mom” bring to light the extreme consequences of one’s actions. Sex is no longer seen as just a “fling”, but rather something with life-altering and serious penalties and the media is there to remind us time and time again the negativities of teen pregnancies.
Also, another factor that played into the tremendous decline of teen pregnancies could also be one’s obsession with image and social standing. Through repeated negative portrayals of teen parents and underage pregnancies, getting knocked-up in high school doesn’t exactly carry the best reputation. No one ever wants to be labeled “that pregnant girl” or “the baby daddy” for the rest of their high school careers, even more so with the rise of over dramatization and negative media portrayals of teen pregnancies through the media. It is probably this preoccupation with image and how others see them that has motivated teens to make more conscientious and thoughtful decisions.
Furthermore, the very fact that parents and sex-ed classes are becoming more relaxed and open about the subject also plays a major role in the increase in awareness. The more kids are exposed and the more they know, the more likely they are to make the right decisions when the time comes. Education in these things are key to not only a better understanding, but also to better awareness to what could happen if the right precautions are not taken.
Through scare-tactic like shows in the media along with the increased negative association with teen pregnancies as well as a more relaxed and open attitude toward addressing sex in general, the youths of today are better equipped with the knowledge and foresight needed to make smart and safe decisions, attributing to the recent decline in teen pregnancies. In the heat of the moment, it may be easy to forget the extreme penalties, but thanks to increased awareness, less and less teens are losing their futures to stupid mistakes.