As you are aware, the recent news about the teenage pregnancy of the daughter of Sarah Palin, former Republican Vice-presidential candidate and governor of Alaska, shocked the political establishment in particular and the country in general. One would wonder at how the daughter of one of the prominent political families in the country would be so careless as to get pregnant at seventeen years of age…
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Is sex education the answer' There will be many who may disagree that the concept of sex education has any effect. There will also be others who say that this is the best way to make children aware of the ill effects of getting pregnant in one's teenage. I strongly feel and say that sex education is effective, but not in the way that it is taught in many schools across the country.
Before I come to that point let us have a look at the figures which will help me in proving my point. According to a report in the USA Today website, 42 girls out of 1000 between the ages of 15 and 19 get pregnant every year in the country. I know that it is difficult to understand the trauma and embarrassment of the girl who finds herself in such a situation, not to mention the feelings of her parents and family members. To some extent, I suppose this is shared by the offending boy (or man) and his parents also. Palin's daughter can be considered to be one among the lucky few in such instances because she had the support of her (shocked no doubt) parents and other family members. The boy responsible also owned up and they plan to get married once both reach legal marriageable age. But Bristol, Palin's daughter, had to stop her studies and is now a mother who is psychologically (and physically to some extent) not ready for the job. A case in England (another high statistics country) is much more poignant. A teenage girl found herself pregnant, but refused to abort the child even under pressure from the boy and her parents. The couple (if they can be addressed like that) lived together for a year after which the boy abandoned her. She had to move back to her parents and is now employed as a waitress in a local fast food joint. She had to stop her schooling also. Her child is left in a day care unit while she works at a time when she should have been a happy and studious student.
Coming back to my views on sex education, it can be taught in two ways namely abstinence education and abstinence - plus. The former way is quite apparent and clearly advocates boys and girls to stop indulging in such acts. It clearly educates the learner about the consequences of getting pregnant thereby bringing an element of fear and caution among boys and girls. The latter method actually encourages students to do so by educating them on how to practice safe sex. The only benefit (which I agree is good) is that it may help in preventing deadly sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS. In that sense, abstinence-plus only helps in preventing pregnancy without eliminating the sexual act. USA Today further reports that sex education programs in the country have had no significant effects. The report adds that our country which has sex education programs in schools has a much higher rate of teenage pregnancies when compared to Greece, a country where the program is not in existence. Clearly, only the abstinence program will succeed and only such a methodology should be followed universally in the country. Now some states and schools follow either of the methods. My view is that there should be no concept of safe sex among teenagers, only abstinence. Boys and girls get emboldened after the first experience and will grow careless in the future because they are unaware of the above mentioned trauma involved.
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