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Birth Control and Teenagers


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Here is something different for us all to discuss. We all have heard about teenage pregnancy rates in this great nation, and while they have decreased, are still by far the highest in the developed world. I present to you the following information:

 

Source: http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-welfareblack.htm

 

And contrary to popular belief, teenage pregnancy has declined in the last several decades. Many are surprised to learn that the height of teenage pregnancy in the U.S. actually occurred in the 1950s - a decade known for its supposed conservative social values. Between 1960 and 1992, the number of births per 1,000 teenagers (aged 15-19) declined from 89 to 61. (2)

 

However, this was also an era when individual welfare benefits declined. Between 1970 and 1991, the purchasing power of benefits for the typical AFDC family fell 42 percent, primarily as a result of state and federal cuts. (3) Ironically, many conservatives will be surprised to learn that their correlation still stands, even if they thought it was in the other direction.

 

However, the period from 1946 to 1963 is known as the "Baby Boom," because all childbearing age groups - not just teenagers - were having children at unusually high rates. The teenage birth rate is not the only one that has declined in the decades since.

 

Furthermore, the socially conservative 50s featured much less sex education, and many sexually active teenagers were ignorant of birth control. The falling teenage birthrates in the last several decades could as well be correlated with better sex education as falling individual welfare payments.

 

And on that score, we should compare the U.S to Europe, which not only promotes early sex education to a far greater degree, but also has far greater welfare benefits for mothers with dependent children. And the success or failure of these two very different policies can be seen in the following statistics:

 

 

 

Now you can pretty much take all of that however you would like.

 

The following are the actual statistics:

 

Sexually active teenage population: (4)

 

Norway 66%

United States 65

United Kingdom 57

Germany 56

Canada 53

Italy 34

France 34

 

Percent who have not had intercourse by age 20:

 

Boys Girls

Belgium 61 63

Netherlands 58 62

Germany 33 28

Norway 33 25

United Kingdom 24 23

France 9 25

United States 12 16

 

Percent of sexually active single 15 to 19-year olds using

birth control:

 

 

Germany 95%

United Kingdom 92

Netherlands 88

Norway 87

Sweden 79

Denmark 70

United States 56

 

Teen pregnancies per 1,000 teenagers:

 

 

United States 98.0

United Kingdom 46.6

Norway 40.2

Canada 38.6

Finland 32.1

Sweden 28.3

Denmark 27.9

Netherlands 12.1

Japan 10.5

 

Teenage mothers per 1,000 teenagers

 

United States 54

United Kingdom 31

Canada 28

France 25

Norway 25

Germany 20

Finland 19

Denmark 16

Switzerland 10

Netherlands 9

Japan 4

 

 

 

What does this tell us?

 

As a society our teenagers are a very sexually active group of people. In addition, we have the lowest rate of girls on birth control in the nations surveyed by far. Coorelation? I have to say absolutely.

 

So here is what I pose to you.

 

How do we solve this problem?

 

 

For me I think the solution is quite complicated and you cannot simply go with it in black and white, but there are many varying shades of grey along the way. But maybe I'm wrong.

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Education and not condemnation.

 

Telling kids to go out and buy condoms and get birth control. Not to encourage, but to say, "Look, you're if you're going to do it, don't be retarded. Wear a rubber, take birth control, etc., etc."

 

But, a lot of weirdos are against this for a lot of reason(s), none of which rings true as a reason not to educate.

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Education and not condemnation.

 

Telling kids to go out and buy condoms and get birth control. Not to encourage, but to say, "Look, you're if you're going to do it, don't be retarded. Wear a rubber, take birth control, etc., etc."

 

But, a lot of weirdos are against this for a lot of reason(s), none of which rings true as a reason not to educate.

 

 

Isn't meeting in the middle GREAT?!

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I think there needs to be more sex education teaching. Start it early (4th-5th grade) and have it last through high school. Stress STDs and all means of contraception.

 

I think parents having a serious 'birds and the bees' talks is a joke as I never had one and pretty much everyone I know never did and I had parents that were 'involved'. Kids aren't going to get it at home, so force it in the public school system.

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Education and not condemnation.

 

Telling kids to go out and buy condoms and get birth control. Not to encourage, but to say, "Look, you're if you're going to do it, don't be retarded. Wear a rubber, take birth control, etc., etc."

 

But, a lot of weirdos are against this for a lot of reason(s), none of which rings true as a reason not to educate.

 

 

Those same weirdos now want girls to get cervical cancer. Seems there's a vaccine that can prevent the Human Papilloma Virus that is a cause of cervical cancer but it has to be given at a young age. James Dobson and his merry band of Neanderthals are having a fit. They are convinced 12 year old girls are going to turn into sluts...

 

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20050530/pollitt

 

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/10/6/173031/715

 

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w060306&s=groopman031006

 

http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/052206HB.shtml

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Education and not condemnation.

 

Telling kids to go out and buy condoms and get birth control. Not to encourage, but to say, "Look, you're if you're going to do it, don't be retarded. Wear a rubber, take birth control, etc., etc."

 

But, a lot of weirdos are against this for a lot of reason(s), none of which rings true as a reason not to educate.

 

 

Isn't meeting in the middle GREAT?!

 

I have no idea what you're talking about.

 

Care to elaborate?

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I hate to soung like an old fuddy-duddy, but since I teach in a middle school and have seen some extraordinary changes during the past 20 years, I feel like I need to put my $ .02 cents worth in.

 

As I've seen the media glorify pimps and hos in the music world and fashion - remember- these are the role models our teenagers want to emmulate- I've seen a steady decline of 'respect of self', especially for young girls.

 

Middle school, hell- even 4th and 5th graders all want to dance like strippers and be 'Promiscuous". Nelly Furtado has a hit with a song of that very nature. The music world makes it seem cool and acceptable to be a hoe. And young girls are lining up to be just that.

 

 

I don't blame young boys. Men are hardwired for procreation. And, if you're going to have tits and ass thrown into your face 24/7 (and other than STD's, there are no real consequences for guys), why not take a bit of the proverbial apple?

 

 

Education is the key, along with respect and values. I'm no saint, but what I consider respectful behavior is sometimes considered old fashioned. I don't think it's cool to call a girl a ho. When Brittney Spears got married and she & Kevin wore shirts that said Pimps and Hos, I thoght that that wasn't funny but disgusting that they think so little about the relationship between a husband and a wife, much less the importance of tine institution of marriage.

 

Maybe that's just me, but I don't think so. I think there's a lot more young folks out there that feel the way I do.

 

Case in point- last night we went to a Qunicenera ( a Latino celebration of a girl's 15th birthday). I was dressed in a gown and my husband in a suit and tie. I was astonished to see adults in jeans and tee shirts. WTF?? They weren't going to the movies- they were going to a formal party. I just don't get it.

 

 

Maybe I'm a dinosaur, but I don't think so.

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Well, in my opinion, I think that the Catholic Church is not helping the teenage pregnancy problem. The Church refuses to support contraception, which includes condoms. I have never been able to understand why my religion would not support that. Unfortunately it just adds to my belief that the Church is falling way behind the times. People need to use protection today, with the large number of STD's out there.

 

They only advocate absinence, which is not very effective anymore. It's hard for teenagers to control their urges for the most part.

 

I think it would be better if they promoted both.

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yenta - you are right on as well

 

one is a lack of parent involvement - and that goes beyond a discussion of sex - it has to do more with being available and knowing what your kids are up to - my wife used to teach at a school where there were a lot of 12 year old girls getting pregnant - often times they were the ones whose parents were working 2-3 jobs and never around - the girls would get their attention elsewhere (boys) and since no one is around to watch what is going on it's easy to take it to the next steps

 

also there are still many religious organizations that preach that birth control is sin - the population my wife was teaching was heavy, devout catholics - they were willing to sin with the premarital stuff, but birth control would be just too much

 

to me it's about responsibility - kind of like drinking and driving - in a perfect world teenagers wouldn't be drinking - but they are going to, so teach them to stay where they're at, not drive and be smart about it -same deal with sex - hope you decide not to, but if you do wear a rubber

 

make birth control be the burden of both parties - educate about the rate of STDs that is out there - also take some of the embarassment away from masturbation

 

a lot of the problem comes in that kids are just short sighted by nature - it's hard for them to figure out that life is long - on average the 12 year old kid has around 50-60 years left in them - don't blow the bulk of your life over a moment when your'e young

 

The reason the Catholic Church supports abstinence is probably that whole thing dealing with the Bible and the Ten Commandments.

 

 

even in the pre-marriage counseling the church requires you to do they reinforce that contraception is not to be used

 

they only advocate using thermometers and cycle charts to figure out when the women is most likely to conceive and avoiding sex during that time frame

 

they talked extensively about the pill being an abortifacients that does nothing but ruin your body (along with any IUD, etc) - they also spoke entensively about the unreliability of condoms and how it was unnatural

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Even with parental involvement and education, kids still want to f***. You can't stop it. Better they be educated than not. I find the Catholic Church and their position hilarious because wanting to have sex comes so naturally.

 

And saying the guy has no responsibility besides getting STD's is wrong. I'm just speaking for myself here, but if I have a kid I'm taking responsibility for it. I'm a man and if I have a kid, it's my mistake to live with (at this time; because I don't want kids). If I had a kid at this point in my life I'd feel a deep sense of regret and shame if I did walk out. Sure, there are dirtbags out there who will walk out, but that's not everybody and the same can be said for the mothers as well. There are moms who will dump the kid in the trash can and there are those who will swallow the responsibility of being a parent.

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Even with parental involvement and education, kids still want to f***. You can't stop it. Better they be educated than not. I find the Catholic Church and their position hilarious because wanting to have sex comes so naturally.

 

Bingo. We have a winner. :thumbup

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Well, in my opinion, I think that the Catholic Church is not helping the teenage pregnancy problem. The Church refuses to support contraception, which includes condoms. I have never been able to understand why my religion would not support that. Unfortunately it just adds to my belief that the Church is falling way behind the times. People need to use protection today, with the large number of STD's out there.

 

They only advocate absinence, which is not very effective anymore. It's hard for teenagers to control their urges for the most part.

 

I think it would be better if they promoted both.

 

 

 

To address the question of whether its because of the Church or not, I give you some statistics:

 

Catholics make up the following percentages of a nation's population per Wikipedia and the following link Link:

 

Germany 33% Catholic

Norway 1.19% Catholic

United Kingdom 8.45% Catholic

Canada 43% Catholic

France 83-89% Catholic

Italy 97% Catholic

United States 26% Catholic

 

This looks only at the Roman Catholic Church which I assume we are all talking about here.

 

So what do these numbers tell us?

 

4 of the nations have a higher concentration of Catholics with 2 of them miles away larger than the United States.

 

Yet we are still the ones with the real 'problem' We are more than doubled the French in teenage pregnancies, maybe the French sperm is just not as good as the American sperm and girls get lucky. There has to be some other rationality other than to blame the Church for our evils, even though they are a popular target and deserve a lot of the blame a lot of the time.

 

Like I said earlier, its not black and white. There are many shades of grey. I think most are along the lines of the Church isnt soley at fault, but you need to truly acknowledge the many different factors at play here.

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Instead of making this an argument about the catholic church i think whats most important is yenta's point about the way our society has comne to view sex. The pimp and ho stuff. The problem is that IMO women's rights are taking a step back with this new part of our culture. The degradation of women in music videos and the such, and the way that young girls ar enow viwing themselves is contrary to the advances women made in equality and self respect. We're back to the days where women are just pieces of meat.

 

I dont fully understand the articles brief mention of the decline in welfare benefits. Are they saying pregnancies decreased bc of it? And if so why? Too vague.

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