Thursday, March 22, 2012

Teens and Sex- What Works?

Growing up in a small, very religious town, my high school offered abstinence only sex education. Of course, at the time, we didn't know that. Our health teacher, the girls' P.E. teacher, taught us about condoms. To this day I remember what we were taught, although I now doubt the truth of any of it. We were taught that condoms were a marketing scheme, that they didn't actually work for anything. All STDs, especially AIDS could get through the holes in them and if that was the case they would never work on Sperm.
Now, as an adult I can see that these tactics were used to encourage abstinence until marriage, but I did not, and I assume my peers didn't, understand that concept. I believe a lot of times we give teens more credit to connect the information together than they are capable of. Teens do not develop the cognitive abilities to create those concepts in their head until they are 15 or older and sex education needs to be focused on younger ages. Research shows that in countries where sex is more widely discussed and explained to teens, especially contraceptive options and access to them, there are fewer teen pregnancies and abortions which allows the teen more opportunities to succeed. As parents, all we want if to see our children succeed in life. So put on your big kid shoes and jump into the world of educating your teen about sex and all that goes with it. If you don't know it, be honest and open and have them help you find the answer. Yes, it is going to be awkward at first, for both of you, but just keep pushing through and you will make it. 
To this day, I am still scared to use condoms. I understand the inaccurate information I was taught and have learned since then, but still choose other methods of contraceptives. Don't let your child be afraid of their options like I was. Education is knowledge.

Hannah Neely


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  2. i like your post, it reminds me of my earlier years in high school. We were also thought about abstinence only sex education. The teachings were so ridiculous to the extend that we were afraid to play with our guy friends/classmates. We were tought that not only would we get pregnant if we have sex with boys, we would also get pregnant if we play with them or let them literary touch us. For years in high school a lot of us were afraid to come close to a boy because of the information were we were given. A lot of parents/teachers think than if they put fear in the teenage child it will prevent the child from getting pregnant. However, if the tenager finds out later on that the information is wrong he/she is most likely to make the wrong choice.
    Nkechi Anyanwu

  3. I think it's so important for teens and even middle school age kids to be knowledgeable on the topic of sex. I think parents should talk to their children about it, but in reality not all do. School is a familiar and safe environment for children and teens to learn about history, math, science, and important life lessons.
    -Jennifer Hancock

  4. We had an abstinence only program too but our teacher never said anything like that about the condoms. She really did not talk about condoms at all. I think they need to talk about all kinds of contraceptives because teens are going to do what they want to do so they should at least have the right knowledge about sex and protecting themselves.
    Kristyn Farrice