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How to Combat Teen Pregnancy

How to Combat Teen Pregnancy

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Published by MSK. SahaaDhevan

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Published by: MSK. SahaaDhevan on Feb 09, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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How to Combat TeenPregnancy 
ByMichelle Vermillion LawrenceFor many parents who become grandparents all tooquickly, it seems like yesterday that they were teachingtheirchildrenthe ABCs. Labeled as "children who arehaving children," teenpregnancynumbers are climbing. The Guttmacher Institute, a large non-profit healthorganization focused on reproductive statistics, said in arecent report that there were 71.5 pregnancies for every1,000 women under the age of 20 in 2006--a 3 percentincrease in teen pregnancies from 2005.Despite this increase, the Obama administration isproposing to cut funding to federally back abstinence-only education programs for lack of concreteeffectiveness. But the reproductive health organizationPlanned Parenthood survived a budget cut threat in July2009 when the bill to slash funding for many of itsprograms, including family planning, did not pass.But while schools, government groups and organizationsquibble over how to address teen pregnancy and sex
education, it is the parents of today's youth that mustremain steadfast in their approach to managing ouradolescents’ future.As parents and caregivers of teens, a new set of ABCsneeds to be taught: the ABCs of combating teenpregnancy.
1Advocate abstinence.Advocating abstinence can be a reverent religious belief or a strong moral value.A study conducted by Bradford Wilcox from the Universityof Virginia in 2008, "A Scientific Review of Abstinence andAbstinence Programs," found that abstinence is notmerely about avoiding pregnancy and sexuallytransmitted diseases, but more significantly it is abouthelping teens prepare for a future marriage and family. The study also concludes that adolescents who abstainfrom sex before marriage are significantly less likely tobecome enmeshed in a "problem behavior syndrome,"characterized by a range of antisocial behaviors fromdrinking to academic failure.Another reason cited in the Wilcox study to teachabstinence is that early sexual activity harms teenagersin that it tends to distance them from the influence of their parents and pushes teens towards the influence of their peers.Lastly, teaching abstinence offers health protection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention, each year an estimated 19 million new casesof sexually transmitted infections occur, with almost half occurring in young people ages 15-24.
2Be a book.Be your child's source of information and education on allthings sex related.Start explanations early and explain often. Teens whotalk to their parents about sex are more likely to delaytheir first sexual encounter and to practice safe sex whenthey do become sexually active. And, ironically, despitetheir apparent dread, kids really want to learn about sexfrom their parents, according to study after study on thetopic.Be their book about making a plan to get out of trickysexual situations. Often, teens say they had no intentionof having sex, but rather that is just happened, since theywere at certain level of physical intimacy, they felt theycouldn't stop or didn't know how to stop further sexualactivity. Role play with your teen, giving them wordsuggestions and actions to use to get out of an unwantedor sexually charged situation.Developmentally, teens' hormones are raging, their senseof curiosity is heightened and the thought of having sexhas an air of independence and maturity that isappealing. What teens cannot foresee is the aftermath of having sex. Yes, there is the pregnancy risk, but otherrisks can include sexually transmitted diseases or STDsand the social, emotional and psychological

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