Let's talk about sex, Baby! Lol, does that bring back memories... I love that song! And here we are, near eighteen years since that song was released still listening to the news rattle on about teenage pregnancy, abstinence education, yadda, yadda, yadda.
So let's talk about sex. What? You don't believe in sex? Come on....Everybody believes in sex. Whether you choose to participate or not is another question. So why is sex still a taboo topic? Why are there still so many people out there who are scared to talk about it? Talking doesn't transmit disease nor cause babies. Nope! Just the opposite. NOT talking about it keeps the ignorant unknowledgeable which leads to that slippery slope of unwanted pregnancies and STD's. So let's talk about it.
Abstinence. Does it work? How many parents have told their children, "Just don't do it", then learned that their teenager had and is now expecting? Hmmm... (I'm not going to go retrieve the graphs. I'll leave that up to you, if you are so inclined.) Let's just say that there's a lot of people out there who have personal experience or know someone this happened to.
My first 'experience' of teenage pregnancy was when I was fourteen. An acquaintance of mine, who was thirteen, decided she wanted a boyfriend just like her older sister. She wooed my older brother's seventeen year old friend. Well, he only wanted one thing, and of course, protection wasn't his concern. She was pregnant and married before she was fourteen! (Angry fathers with shotguns can be convincing!) This same girl had two more children by the same fella before she was sixteen! She told me she didn't have a driver's license nor a vehicle and he wouldn't drive to the store and pick up her birth control pills.
Well, dear readers, if you've been reading my blog, you can guess my thoughts on that one. (They haven't changed much over the many years since that conversation.)
Want another true life story? When my daughter was a baby, there was this very nice family that came to our business every week. They had two young teenage girls. At some point, they told me of their younger daughter's pregnancy and they were devastated. They didn't even know she had a boyfriend! He would come over after school, sleep with their daughter, then leave before they got home from work. That's when I learned that most insurance companies will pay for the OB/GYN and delivery of their grandchild as long as the mother to be is under seventeen. WOW!
So in answer to the question, "Does abstinence work?" Well, yes! If it is applied. So how do you get teenagers (and others) to apply it?
Education. Personal Morals. If ya can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em.
Education needs to start and be a running dialogue through out a child's life. You just can't wait till the child is near adulthood to address the facts of life. Large families usually have the benefit of the older children seeing all that is involved in tending a younger one and that, all by itself has prevented many, many, young teen girls from venturing near that slippery slope. (Not all.)
Not teaching about birth control and STD's is irresponsible. Even if your children are above ever needing this information, they might have friends that do. By educating your children, you help get correct information out there into their generation and peer group. Besides, the facts of STD's (especially the pictures for a thick headed teen) will tend to scare them into at least using protection if not complete abstinence.
Morals. Teaching morals is extremely important. Having self respect, and a healthy long term view of how you want to live your life will have a great affect on the choices you make. So many people don't think about consequences but consequences do occur. It is wise to think about the out come before there's no turning back.
How you decide to teach your children is your choice. Make it an educated one, please.