Abstinence Only Programs
As if this may not the case, some federal policymakers have invested heavily in abstinence-only education and neglected the role of contraceptives. Texas, for example, has this policy; ignoring the fundamental rights that require this education needs to be balanced. According to the policy, the program should not in any way advocate for the use of contraceptives or in any way put it as a matter of discussion in order to ensure that abstinence out of marriage is promoted. This paper will put up claims against the abstinence-only program in Texas in comparison to the non-abstinence programs in other states. Abstinence-Only Programs and Teen Pregnancy A research published in 2007 showed that abstinence-only programs did not delay sexual initiations and reduce the rate of teen pregnancy.
However, when Douglas reviewed 10 studies that Rector cited he found out that nine of the references lacked credibility and had no evidence to prove that they delayed sex initiation and reduced cases of sex among the youths (Kantor et al, 2008). However, one of the studies suggested that there was the delay in initiating sex among the 15-year-old teenagers but not their 17-year-old counterparts. Delayed sex initiation and reduced cases of sexual intercourse among the youth reduce the teenage pregnancies (Stanger-Hall and Hall, 2011). Several studies have been conducted to find out whether abstinence-only programs led to the decline in teen pregnancy. Kathrin Stanger and David Hall study of the abstinence and Teen Pregnancy Rates in the United States and their work that was published in 2011 (Stanger-Hall and Hall, 2011).
Misinformation on reproductive health puts the teens in dangers of growing up uneducated. This is the reason as to why half of the pregnancies in the United States unplanned. Teen pregnancy is higher in the United States than other developed countries even though they share the same socioeconomic patterns (Ott and Santelli, 2007). The difference has been seen to result from sex education that discourages contraceptives. Abstinence-only program and teen pregnancy in Texas According to advocates for Youths in 2008, in Texas, about 53 per cent of high school students report having had sex in their lives. Cultural factors such as unemployment levels, poverty, and racial inequality contribute to higher pregnancies and birth rates in some states than others (Alford, 2008). In Texas, there are more African American and Latinos who live below the poverty line.
Teen under these races is at higher risk of pregnancy than their white counterparts. African American and the Latinos teens are more likely to give birth than the white teens (Alford, 2008). Another factor that contributes to the higher rates of pregnancies in Texas is the state’s abstinence-only programs which have proven ineffective and this is especially for the African and Hispanic youths (Breunig, 2017). Use of contraceptives and reduction of sexual activities can reduce the rate of adolescent pregnancies. A decrease in teen pregnancy was reported between 1995 and 2002 and this was attributable to an increase in age at the time of the first intercourse. The biggest decrease in the number of teen pregnancy was witnessed between 2008 and 2011 (Hoffman, 2008). The changes can be attributed to the changes in the sexual activity.
Teen pregnancy has decreased largely because of the increase in the use of contraceptives. However, when used consistently and correctly, there is no doubt that contraceptives are effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy among the teens and adults. There are 85 per cent chances to become pregnant when no contraceptive is used in one year. Regular use of the contraceptives reduces the chances of pregnancy. Failure of the contraceptives to yield results range between 0. 05 to 29 per cent (Secura, et al, 2014). The research question attempts to explain why there are more cases of teen pregnancy in Texas with the use of abstinence-only programs compared to other states such as Oregon’s use of comprehensive sex education. The research explains that the adolescents will exhibit similar sexual behavior when put under the same abstinence-only teachings in Texas and exhibit different sexual behaviors when put under the comprehensive sex education in a different state.
The teachings of abstinence-only have proved to be ineffective in reducing the rate of teen pregnancy in Texas despite heavy federal investment in the programs. On the other hand, the comprehensive sex education in other states such as Oregon has proved to yield positive results in reducing teen pregnancy. The primary idea behind the difference in sexual behavior and rates of pregnancy is in the adolescents’ strong attachment to social institutions such as schools and other areas where sex education is given. Social control in comprehensive sex education programs taught in schools also present beliefs that adolescents can use contraceptives alongside abstinence to reduce teen pregnancy rates. East, Barbra and Emily (2007) also give a different perspective of the social control theory.
According to the three scholars, teenagers born to teenage mothers stand high chances of giving birth early. According to them, such mothers usually lack parenting ability and are affected with socioeconomic conditions during the time of raising those children. There is a lack of emphasis on the education of the children born of the young mothers' something that contributes to teenage pregnancy and childbearing. Misinformation about contraceptives stems from cultural beliefs and lack of access to information among the African Americans and Latinos. Information motivation can be used to predict sexual behavior among the minority groups who are underserved with this information (Bazargan et al, 2010). In summary, reduced rate of teen pregnancy in states such as Oregon as compared to Texas has been attributed to their policies of comprehensive sex education.
Studies and reports have indicated that statistically, pregnancy rates are higher in Texas despite the huge investment in the Federal Government has put in place to lower the rates. However, the abstinence-only policy is to blame for the slowed rates of reducing the trend. Abstinence-Only Sex Education Fails African American Youth. Journal of Christian Nursing, 34(3), E41-E48. Crockett, L. J. , Bingham, C. Horn. "Association between adolescent pregnancy and a family history of teenage births. " Perspectives on sexual and reproductive health 39. Galloway, C. T. Kids having kids: Economic costs & social consequences of teen pregnancy. The Urban Insitute. Kantor, L. M. , Santelli, J. Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology, 19(5), 446. Secura, G. M. , Madden, T. , McNicholas, C. , & Hall, D. W. Abstinence-only education and teen pregnancy rates: why we need comprehensive sex education in the US.
From $10 to earn access
Only on Studyloop