Is One More Affective Than The Other?
If it isn't global warming, it's the rise in obesity. If not those two things, it's something else and more than half the time, there is little any single individual can do about it. However, teenage sexual activity and the educational programs in place to 'educate' and 'prevent' the unwanted result of such activities is always up for discussion, and incidentally it always ends in the blame game. It is my opinion that sexual education is lacking and thus inefficient as a result. Furthermore I believe there are a number of ways to correct the flaws (that which does not work) and that being, most importantly a proper, comprehensive program aimed at correctly informing parents and teenagers alike about sex and the results of its activities. This is a problem we can tackle and improve (with the hope of a full recovery) one by one.
Guttmacher Institution, a non-profit, nonpartisan research group has concluded that the decline in teen pregnancies has stopped and reversed despite government funding for sexual education programs. For as long as anyone has been able to complain about the information being taught in sexual education programs, the heated debated between Abstinence over Contraceptives wages on. However one begins to wonder just how affect the Abstinence campaign truly is due to the three percent increase in adolescent pregnancies. Abortion rates have also increased in numbers. The increase in unwanted teen-pregnancies is a widely debated subject. As with any debate, finger pointing is abundantly prevalent, though it manages no successful outcome to amend the problems at hand. "Several experts blamed the increase [in teen pregnancies] on sex education programs that focus on encouraging abstinence. Others said the reversal could be due to [a variety of factors including] increase in poverty, an influx of Hispanics and complacency about AIDS, promoting lax use of birth control such as condoms"(Stien). A notable contributing factor that has yet been mentioned is the media and its ever-successful 'Sex sells' campaign. Today, the media's shameless advertising industry of sexual content ranging from explicit to puppy romance, suggests an expectation of teen sexual practice.
"Supporters of abstinence programs, however, said the findings provided powerful evidence of the need to continue to encourage delayed sexual activity...(Stien)" And I question how much good do they (abstinence supporters) actually, expect? Consider the affect it has had up to this point and reason with your self logically. Though neither program (abstinence verses contraceptives) has extensively conclusive data to support one or the other, it is perhaps in the best interest of future generations to respectively honor both strategies (of pregnancy prevention) and apply them both into one program.
During the Bush administration, funding for Abstinence Only programs was increased significantly but showed little (affective) improvement. President Obama has openly stated the need for a new comprehensive sexual education program, but little has yet been done (with the exception of funding cuts in Abstinence programs). "The good news is that contraceptive use by married and unmarried adolescents is more common than in the past, and as a result, rates of adolescent childbearing have dropped significantly in most countries and regions over the last few decades (Boonstra)." Sadly, this statistic does not apply to America. " One day prior to the official start of the NGO (Nongovernmental Organization) in Berlin, [...] 70 young delegates [...] (made a statement that) strongly challenges policymakers and other decision makers to strengthen their commitment to the Cairo Program of Action "regardless of the political environment [or] donors" and country donors' agendas" [...] and recognize young people's rights (Boonstra)." "The youth symposium statement sets a goal of "accurate, timely and evidence-based" comprehensive sex education [...] (Boonstra)"
It is my opinion that should pro-life activists and religious leaders a-like desire to see less abortions, it would be in their best interest to consider an alternative sexual education program. Though one's personal faith may not condone sexual practice before matrimony, the reality is, adolescents are curious and eventually, begin to make decisions on their own, regardless of parental consequences and beyond! Abstinence colors intimate activity as taboo, which is only tantalizing bait to soothe the curiosity. I feel that 'Abstinence Only' advocates feel (aside from their religious belief) contraceptive education will only enforce the desire for sex outside of matrimony. Though I can see how one would see such a message, I don't believe any sex education class has ever openly or otherwise advocated sex is 'OK' outside of marriage. The message that sex is an activity reserved for (ideally married) responsible adults is mute to the ears of a hormone driven teenager. It is, in my opinion, disgustingly irresponsible to deny comprehensive sexual education that explains precautions necessary to engage in sex safely. It should also be our duty to provide accurate and safe options available to teenagers that have become pregnant, infected with an STD or victims of a sexual crime.
So few topics are cut and dry, sex and all things that fall under that category, being the least of which. The discussion of effective sexual education cannot and is not limited to the current programs taught in schools. Education and knowledge are not restricted to the academic facilities. Education has a birthplace; within the home. The use of the term 'home' is not limiting to a structure but generalizing it as the community in which you live. Promotion of sexual education should be broadened outside of the classroom and continued in the community and in the privacy of one's own home. Furthermore, sexual education should extend into sexuality, healthy relationships and avocation against sexual abuse (such as molestation) and sexual violence (rape).
It is a community effort starting with parents, positive roll models and the ability to access appropriate information about sex, sexuality, relationships and sexual health. Regardless of what people wish to think, sex is above all things a response to hormones, which have been evolving for millions of years that speak to us, encouraging procreation. Today, we're the largest generation to have existed in history! Procreation isn't that important right now but to curious adolescents, the carnal desire is a temptation hard to resist. No one is immune to temptation. I would much rather my future children be aware and educated about sex rather than jumping in head first with no clear view in sight. It just seems more practical, don't you think?