Involve Teens in the Conversation


Teen pregnancy may seem uncommon in our community but all over the United States “over a thousand babies are born to teen mothers every day” (CDC). Today’s teenagers have a basic knowledge of the use of contraceptives and other forms of birth control. More in-depth information about this topic is held back by adults, creating an unsafe setting to talk about these difficult situations. It is imperative that we communicate with teenagers and try to understand their perspectives.

The opposing argument includes abstinence-only education which focuses on giving the base-line information to teenagers to eliminate condoning physical actions. The Heritage Foundation discusses the importance of abstinence-only education because conventional programs that educate further, “strongly promote condom use and implicitly condone sexual activity among teens” (Heritage foundation). Any further education past stating the importance of abstinence can contain problems regarding parental views that may be disrespectful to their families beliefs.

A deeper understanding of sex education for teenagers from the more conventional programs prioritize “an approach that provides broad information to teenagers to help them make informed decisions about whether to engage in sex, and about using contraceptives if they do” (HHS, CDC). The idea of giving teenagers a choice in their bodies creates a sense of assurance and trust between adults and adolescents.

Many programs exist in today’s government to prevent teen pregnancies, some of these programs include, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPP), the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), the Title X Sexual Risk and Avoidance Education Program, and the Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Program. TPP and PREP encourage education on both abstinence and contraceptives whereas Title X and the Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Program focus just on abstinence based education. (Congressional research).

In 2017 research was conducted by Power to Decide and results displayed that, “most adults believe that teens should receive more information about abstinence and birth control” the survey also “indicated that respondents differed based on their political affiliation with regard to question on whether certain sexual education topics should be taught” (SSRS).

Each side of this argument agrees that teen pregnancies are dangerous and affect the lives of many families across the United States. The most effective way to prevent these situations from arising is to involve teenagers in the conversation and to hear what they believe would be the most effective way to prevent teen pregnancies as they are the subject of the conversation.

The debate between educating America’s youth and not is substantial. Though adults may believe they have complete control over teenagers, information based upon their own well-being and safety should be disclosed to them regardless of political and religious affiliation.