Teenage pregnancy myth dismissed

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6279601.stm
    in all, 57% of the teenagers had not used contraception, and 51% of the older women - and this small difference was not statistically significant.
    roughly the same proportion in both groups had used condoms, or were taking the pill. dr marco gaudoin, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist from southern general hospital and an author of the paper said: "the findings demonstrate that not only do we have a long way to go in persuading teenagers to use reliable contraception but contraceptive education should also be continued in all women, regardless of their age."

    'debunks the myth
    professor phil steer, the editor-in-chief of the journal, said: "teenagers have been unfairly criticised for irresponsible behaviour when it comes to sex and contraception."
    toni belfield, from the sexual health charity fpa, said she "wasn't surprised" to see evidence of similar behaviour in women of different ages.
    "these are all human beings, who can get carried away in the passion of the moment and not use contraception.
    "it debunks the myth that teenagers are less responsible when it comes to contraception." she called for more investment in community contraception services to prevent the number of unwanted pregnancies increasing in all age groups.

    hopefully someone in washington will read this study. i think its time that we start assuming that our adolescents in the us are capable of making responsible decisions with accurate information. maybe its time to get back to the idea of science based decision making.
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   morte
    frankly, i think the 'study' stinks....you need a cross section, not a self selected group.....
  4. by   morte
    no else has any thoughts?
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    I don't think the study means that teens ARE responsible just because their stats are close to adult women . . . .it just means women in general are still being irresponsible with contraception. 57% and 51% is high amount of irresponsibility.

    Teens are inundated with information about sex and contraception today. They have plenty of information - they just don't use it.

    I wonder how much of this is related to the MEN who don't like to use condoms . . . . .looking back on my younger years I'd say most men hate condoms.

    What I've noticed, to my dismay, with my 17 year old daughter and all her friends is that they do not value themselves very highly. They put up with demeaning behavior from boys. They do not stand up for themselves. They give in to keep their boyfriends instead of listening to the little voice in their heads that says, maybe I should wait or maybe this is too soon or maybe I don't really want to do this or maybe I should think twice about sharing my body with someone who doesn't care enough to use a condom. (Just a glimpse at MTV's misogynistic music is enough to make a mom cry).

    I grew up in the 70's so I'm a part of the feminist ideology that taught me to not put up with being treated badly. I'm sad that this message seems to have been missed by our daughters . . .. . even though I've talked and talked to my daughter, she has had one boyfriend who treated her rather badly, became very possessive and controlling. I was so surprised by her behavior. And said boyfriend quickly was told that his behavior was wrong by my dh.

    In talking with some of the girls, our local school nurse was appalled at the girls who asked about anal sex . . . their boyfriends were pressuring them to have anal sex in order to avoid using condoms and to still protect themselves from pregnancy . . .this is not a good form of birth control and the fact that these 14, 15, 16 year old "girls" were being pressured is the key, I think. Also, the "hooking up" ideology - let's just get together for oral sex or intercourse and there are no "commitments" needed.

    THIS IS THE PROBLEM.

    I think the key here is to teach women to respect themselves again - they already know all about contraception. And STD's.

    AND we need to do a better job of teaching our boys how to treat women.
    steph
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Feb 1, '07
  6. by   OC_An Khe
    Where to begin.... It really is about personal responsibility. An aspect that our culture hasn't emphasized in many diverse areas for many years. There are many adults that are lacking in personal responsibility and given those as role models is it a wonder that many teenagers have so little.
    Sexual mores have changed to some degree since the legalization and availability of BC. On second thought maybe the behaviors haven't changed that much but rather the acceptance of the behaviors public display, discussion and the lessening of the old double standard has significantly effected our societies sexual mores. Anyone chaperone a teenage dance lately? MTV et al couldn't have been aired as it is today a few decades ago. By publically airing simulated and sometimes specific sexual behaviors the media in effect makes these behaviors reputable and acceptable. Monica and Bill is another example. The dalliances of other Presidents (Kennedy,Roosevelt,Eisenhower et. al) were kept out of the media because society wouldn't accept their public display. Which I guess is a topic in of itself.
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from ocankhe
    Where to begin.... It really is about personal responsibility. An aspect that our culture hasn't emphasized in many diverse areas for many years. There are many adults that are lacking in personal responsibility and given those as role models is it a wonder that many teenagers have so little.
    Sexual mores have changed to some degree since the legalization and availability of BC. On second thought maybe the behaviors haven't changed that much but rather the acceptance of the behaviors public display, discussion and the lessening of the old double standard has significantly effected our societies sexual mores. Anyone chaperone a teenage dance lately? MTV et al couldn't have been aired as it is today a few decades ago. By publically airing simulated and sometimes specific sexual behaviors the media in effect makes these behaviors reputable and acceptable. Monica and Bill is another example. The dalliances of other Presidents (Kennedy,Roosevelt,Eisenhower et. al) were kept out of the media because society wouldn't accept their public display. Which I guess is a topic in of itself.
    Oh my - yes, teen dances . . . .

    And adults too afraid to walk out there and separate those kids simulating sex on the dance floor. . . . .

    My daughter hates it when I chaperone . . . .

    Kids have the information - what they do with it is the problem - and your "personal responsibility" comment is right on.



    steph
  8. by   morte
    hmmm my point was, that this study was illogical in its conclussions because it had a biased study group.....those that did not want to be pregnant....rather than a cross section of all those who where
  9. by   rn/writer
    Quote from stevielynn
    I don't think the study means that teens ARE responsible just because their stats are close to adult women . . . .it just means women in general are still being irresponsible with contraception. 57% and 51% is high amount of irresponsibility.

    Teens are inundated with information about sex and contraception today. They have plenty of information - they just don't use it.

    I wonder how much of this is related to the MEN who don't like to use condoms . . . . .looking back on my younger years I'd say most men hate condoms.

    What I've noticed, to my dismay, with my 17 year old daughter and all her friends is that they do not value themselves very highly. They put up with demeaning behavior from boys. They do not stand up for themselves. They give in to keep their boyfriends instead of listening to the little voice in their heads that says, maybe I should wait or maybe this is too soon or maybe I don't really want to do this or maybe I should think twice about sharing my body with someone who doesn't care enough to use a condom. (Just a glimpse at MTV's misogynistic music is enough to make a mom cry).

    I grew up in the 70's so I'm a part of the feminist ideology that taught me to not put up with being treated badly. I'm sad that this message seems to have been missed by our daughters . . .. . even though I've talked and talked to my daughter, she has had one boyfriend who treated her rather badly, became very possessive and controlling. I was so surprised by her behavior. And said boyfriend quickly was told that his behavior was wrong by my dh.

    In talking with some of the girls, our local school nurse was appalled at the girls who asked about anal sex . . . their boyfriends were pressuring them to have anal sex in order to avoid using condoms and to still protect themselves from pregnancy . . .this is not a good form of birth control and the fact that these 14, 15, 16 year old "girls" were being pressured is the key, I think. Also, the "hooking up" ideology - let's just get together for oral sex or intercourse and there are no "commitments" needed.

    THIS IS THE PROBLEM.

    I think the key here is to teach women to respect themselves again - they already know all about contraception. And STD's.

    AND we need to do a better job of teaching our boys how to treat women.
    steph
    :yeahthat:
  10. by   rn/writer
    "teenagers have been unfairly criticised for irresponsible behaviour when it comes to sex and contraception."
    unfair, only in the sense that they have been singled out when they are obviously not alone in their irresponsibility.

    "it debunks the myth that teenagers are less responsible when it comes to contraception."
    the myth is not that teens are irresponsible when it comes to contraception. the myth is that only teens are irresponsible when it appears that lack of planning and self-control transcend age barriers.

    she called for more investment in community contraception services to prevent the number of unwanted pregnancies increasing in all age groups.
    there are programs on top of programs making information and contraception available to people of all ages. with school-based clinics and planned parenthood offices, it is probably easier for a young person to obtain contraceptive materials than for their older counterparts.

    what we really need is to teach both our young men and our young women the values that will help them make wise choices. self-respect. self-control. strategies that will help them think fast when temptation hits. we need to teach them how to count the cost of early sex. pregnancy is the obvious price that some will have to pay. but what about the emotional costs? what about abusive relationships that harm both the victim and the perpetrator? until they invent a condom for the heart, teaching only about the physical aspects of early and unprotected sex will be incomplete.

    i see the results of this where i work. and, while it hits teens the hardest, unplanned pregnancy certainly isn't limited to their age group.

    contraception is available, but until we connect with their hearts and minds and give them tools to protect themselves inside, no amount of external protection will do the whole job. the programs that have the best results focus on far more than just sexual details. they incorporate self-respect, goal-setting, mutual support and accountability, and other means to get young people to see the big picture.

    it's going to take a lot more than condoms on every street corner to prevent unwanted pregnancy and the other fallout from too-early sex in the lives of our young people.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from morte
    hmmm my point was, that this study was illogical in its conclussions because it had a biased study group.....those that did not want to be pregnant....rather than a cross section of all those who where
    Biased as in the following:

    "Doctors at a Glasgow hospital analysed the birth control attempted by nearly 1,000 women requesting abortions"

    And of that group of women requesting abortions:

    "They found the proportion of older women who had used no contraception at all was roughly similar to the percentage of teenagers."


    Yes, I agree with you morte.

    But what I find really really funny is that the findings from this small elect group that points out that women/teens in this group who are pregnant and wanting an abortion due to mostly lack of use of contraception then somehow means to the people conducting the study that:

    "It debunks the myth that teenagers are less responsible when it comes to contraception."


    WHEN WE OUGHT TO BE FOCUSED ON THE FACT THAT 51 % AND 57% OF 100% IS VERY VERY HIGH . . . . AND WHO CARES ABOUT WHETHER GROWN WOMEN OR TEENS ARE LESS OR MORE IRRESPONSIBLE?


    This highly select group of females are ALL irresponsible.

    steph



    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Feb 1, '07 : Reason: typo
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from rn/writer

    It's going to take a lot more than condoms on every street corner to prevent unwanted pregnancy and the other fallout from too-early sex in the lives of our young people.
    Exactly.


    steph
  13. by   PeachPie
    The scary truth is that many teens have planned pregnancies. I've read statistics of up to 50% (I'm looking for the journal that I did my report on that said this). I'll believe it. In high school, I'd hear some girls talk about getting pregnant so he'd stay around, or because they were infatuated with the thought of a cute little baby.
  14. by   rn/writer
    Quote from PeachPie
    The scary truth is that many teens have planned pregnancies. I've read statistics of up to 50% (I'm looking for the journal that I did my report on that said this). I'll believe it. In high school, I'd hear some girls talk about getting pregnant so he'd stay around, or because they were infatuated with the thought of a cute little baby.
    Debunking this kind of unrealistic thinking should be part of sex education. It isn't only the ins and outs of intercourse (pardon the pun) and the mechanics of contraception that need to be taught. What kids really need to learn is how needy and unfun a little baby is at two in the morning and what life is like when the babydaddy thinks being a good father is dropping off diapers every other week or so. And how she'll feel when he stops by to visit the baby while his new girlfriend is waiting in the car. And what she'll do when she finds out baby number two is on the way while baby number one is still toddling. And so much more. Sex education that doesn't include knowledge about the consequences in terms that really get through is insufficient and will not get the job done.

    Kids also need to be given the vision of what their lives could be like if they don't give in to early sex and pregnancy. They need to be given the hope of a decent education and all the choices that can buy. Where there is no vision, people perish.

    Sex ed is about so much more than sex.

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