Stats on Teen Moms

Jezebel has an interesting article up that gives some of the stats on why teen moms didn’t use birth control: as expected, many of the reasons are pretty atrocious and seem to stem from bad sex ed and harmful attitudes about sex. #1 is that they didn’t think they could get pregnant. Read that again. The #1 reason that teen girls get pregnant while not using birth control is because they think they can’t get pregnant. Girls deserve access to full information about their bodies and their lives so that they can make informed choices about how to treat their bodies and take care of themselves. This information illustrates that we owe more to our young people. But what took me aback even more was the fact that a quarter of teen mothers got pregnant simply because their partner didn’t want to use a condom. This is a hugely important issue: we should be teaching our young women that they can say no if their partner treats them in a way in which they feel uncomfortable, and that they shouldn’t risk their own health for the sake of someone else’s brief pleasure. More than that, we should be teaching young men that they are also responsible for birth control. Yes, the female has to bear the brunt of the repercussions, but that does not mean that she should exclusively be responsible for making sure she doesn’t get pregnant. Sex is a joint effort, and safety in sex should be a joint effort as well. This study illustrates clearly that we need to adjust the way we tell our young people about sex: clearly they’re not understanding the concept of mutual respect, or even the basic way their bodies function.

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Olivia is a giant pile of nerd who tends to freak out about linguistic prescriptivism, gender roles, and discrimination against the mentally ill. By day she writes things for the Autism Society of Minnesota, and by night she writes things everywhere else. Check out her ongoing screeds against jerkbrains at www.taikonenfea.wordpress.com

1 Comment

  1. February 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm —

    Absolutely. And this is of course one of the most harmful things our home grown religious fundamentalism is doing to the US–as well as old biases rooted in patriarchy that amount to misogyny *and* misandry in that they’re insulting to the entire human race on the basis of gender (females as helpless to males, males as helpless to their libido).

    And there’s another prejudice: age. This one actually seems to be relatively recent in the form we see it and I’m having a hard time tracing it’s origins (I’d appreciate any ideas on that). It’s why I roll my eyes whenever I see “think of the children!” especially when it essentially applies to teenagers. The best I can think of with the age prejudiced these days is the fundamentalist desire to further shelter their children as information grows more accessible in the word.

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