Canadian Teen Pregnancy Rate Falls, Essay Example

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Essay

Researchers in Canada reported a 37 percent decline in teenage pregnancies over the course of the past ten years. This was according to a study by the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality (Canada’s teen pregnancy rate falls, 2010). The researchers found a direct correlation between a decrease in teenage pregnancy and an increase in sex education as well as increased access to birth control options. This, according to the report published, helped encourage young teens to practice safer methods of birth control rather than engage in risky sexual practices and face the consequences of unintended pregnancies. The report also stated that young women feel more optimistic about educational and employment opportunities in their country now than in years before and this gives them a sense of responsibility for their actions. They do not want to have a child before they are ready. Also, by providing a counselor to speak with at some area clinics where birth control is accessible, the young women are able to talk to a licensed professional about various questions and concerns. This makes using contraception easier and also decreases unwanted pregnancies due to incorrect use (Canada’s teen pregnancy rate falls, 2010).

While many critics may believe having a more open approach to the subject of sexuality and contraceptive use in Canada grants permission at engaging in risky behaviors, this contraception actually provides a teenager with more options to be a responsible person and make choices that will positively impact his or her future because if a male teen is the person receiving contraception, he will have the opportunity to be proactive and stop an unwanted pregnancy before it can happen. This is a direct paradox to the common notion that males do not take responsibility for their sexual actions. Eight in ten males are reported to have used a condom during their first sexual encounter, even when the female reportedly was on some form of birth control (85% of male teens use condoms at first sexual encounter, USA, 2011). While it is uncertain if the trend continues as males continue to engage in sexual practices, it is important that they are responsible enough to know how important contraception is and use it the first time.

While many critics may believe having a more open approach to the subject of sexuality and contraceptive use in Canada grants permission at engaging in risky behaviors, this contraception actually provides a teenager with more options to be a responsible person and make choices that will positively impact his or her future because an unwanted pregnancy will have an increased chance at a teenager dropping out of high school to raise a child rather than attend college. Schuger (2012) reports that only 40% of teenage mothers finish high school and less than 2% of teenage mothers finish college before they are the age of 30. This is overwhelming when one considers how many babies are born to teens every year. Raising a child is a huge responsibility and with the added stress of school, it is no wonder that some young mothers become overwhelmed if there is not a support network available to help them during the critical early weeks and months of their child’s life. The teenage mother often will get a menial job wherever one can be found and this will lead to a life of low socioeconomic status and struggling to provide for subsequent children as the years pass.

While many critics may believe having a more open approach to the subject of sexuality and contraceptive use in Canada grants permission at engaging in risky behaviors, this contraception actually provides a teenager with more options to be a responsible person and make choices that will positively impact his or her future because an unwanted pregnancy results in having to make a decision whether or not to have an abortion. This will ultimately impact someone for the rest of her life no matter the decision made. The choice to have an abortion is one of large proportions. It will mentally affect a person for the rest of her life in some way even if no physical ramifications remain. This is not a decision that a young woman should have to make and not one she should make on her own, especially when emotions are already running high due to an unwanted pregnancy. Avoiding the circumstance of having to make this decision is the best case scenario and that can be most often achieved is abstinence or safe sex is practiced.

While many critics may believe having a more open approach to the subject of sexuality and contraceptive use in Canada grants permission at engaging in risky behaviors, this contraception actually provides a teenager with more options to be a responsible person and make choices that will positively impact his or her future. It gives males a chance at being proactive, it increases the chances that young women will stay in school, and decreases the numbers of abortions that are performed in Canada. This is highly significant to nursing because teenage pregnancy is an issue that has been around for years and is not going to disappear. It is important that we have the tools to educate teens on safe sex practices and the importance of making smart and responsible decisions because these will have a lifetime effect. Unwanted pregnancies can be prevented by taking responsibility for one’s actions. While talking openly about sex education and being proactive in terms of the importance of using contraception every time might not be the best idea in the eyes of some critics, it is, in this author’s opinion, a valid step towards solving a large problem and opens the door to other possible future solutions.

References

Canada’s teen pregnancy rate falls. (2010, May 26). Retrieved from CBS News Health: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2010/05/26/teen-pregnancy.html

85% of male teens use condoms at first sexual encounter, USA. (2011, October 12). Retrieved from Medical News Today: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/235884.php

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. (2012). Teen pregnancy in New York City: 2000-2009. Retrieved from New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/ms/ms-nyctp-97-07.shtml

Shuger, L. (2012). Teen pregnancy and high school dropout: What communities can do to address these issues. Washington, D.C.: America’s Promise Alliance.

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