Sex education is paramount in modern world of socialization; the rate of teen pregnancy is based on the rise creating an urgent need to educate adolescence and teen concerning the dangers of becoming pregnant. To the certain extend, teen pregnancy is blamed for the lack of information among the teenagers. Early exposure to sex can originate from their peers or adults who want to take advantage of adolescence innocence.
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Secondary school teachers can play an important role in teaching sex education to adolescence, and this is likely to avert the increasing trend of teen pregnancy. Teen pregnancy should not be viewed only from the side of the girl; however, it should be analyzed regarding both the teen boy and the girl. This paper discusses how and to what extend sex education should be taught in secondary schools as a way of reducing teen pregnancy.
Teenage is the period from thirteen years to the age of nineteen. This is a stage of transition from childhood to adulthood. During this stage, a lot of changes are going in the life of a teenager. There are physical body changes as well as emotional ones. Girls are the most affected during this stage because they can be easily misused by their age mates or older men.
Today, there are a lot of dangers that result from irresponsible sexual behavior. There are sexually transmitted diseases, the most dangerous being HIV. However, another threat of this period is unwanted pregnancy. The society that we live in is immoral, that is why these problems are recurring. Research has been conducted in the right way through which an intervention can be made to reduce the early sex exposure for teens.
Some scholars suggest that teenagers should be taught sex education in high school. They should be encouraged to abstain from sexual behavior or practice safe sex (Friede, Hogue, Doyle, Hammerslough, Sniezek & Arrighi, 1986). There are numerous advantages of abstaining; they range from maintaining once dignity to prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
Abstinence and safe sex topology
When refereeing to the act of abstinence, teachers should stress on the need of remaining a virgin and free from sex. It is a dream of every parent that his or her child abstains and keeps away from sex. In traditional lifestyle, it was more practical for abstainance to take effect; the reason for this can be attributed to the severe attitude towards sex that the older generations had.
According to contemporary or modern way of life, the morality is changed though teenagers still get exposed to threaten abstinence. However, despite all the right morals, behavior, and virtues being advocated for, the act is still possible. Teenagers can wait until they get married to engage in sexual practices (East & Jacobson, 2003).
Safe sex is another issue that secondary teachers should take into account. Under this approach, the dangers of early sexual exposure are to be explained to students, but they should be given an option that if abstinence is not possible, they can have safe sex. Safe sex entails practices like using a condom when having an intercourse or using safe days to avoid pregnancy.
The education is not to be focused on making teenage life better for students; however, the life skills taught can be utilized later in the teen’s life. Teenagers spend most of their time at school. It is at this period that the girls risk being impregnated by either their mates or adults who take advantage of their innocence.
Teachers are at close proximity with adolescence; they are also aware of the changes that are likely to take place towards the adolescence life, thus they can advise the child accordingly. In some traditional settings, sex was forbidden to be talked about. It was considered that it was something for the adults, thus children were not supposed to know of the existence of such an activity.
With globalization and advancement in technology, children get exposed at very early ages. The kind of TV programs that are aired in national and international televisions concern the sex or has a sexual context. These make children become aware of the sexual orientation at an early age; the exposure has created the urge to have sex, thus increasing the chances of teen pregnancy.
In a noble situation, sex should be practiced at adulthood life. However, life is not ideal, and immorality has already spread all over the world. With realization and appreciation of this fact, parents, teachers, and the society in general should ensure that they explain all the necessary issues concerning sex to the children during the period of their adolescences.
One reason that has been quoted by teenagers for engaging in sex at an early age is that they feel the need to practice and try the act they hear so much about. With such an urge, they engage in unprotected sex because of interest, and that leads to getting sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
Teachers are expected to have materials and the knowledge that they can offer to their students about the need to abstain from sex, and if abstinence cannot be practical, then they should give them the option of engaging in safe sex.
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Teen’s minds are still developing, that is why children are willing to explore and do things that they think are pleasant, but they have never experienced before. Teachers are to be trained on how to manage and control teen desire to discover all the unknown, sex in particular, with the psychological training. They should have the materials and experiences that can assist students to learn on the merits and demerits of having a teen sex.
In the era of un-curable sexually transmitted diseases, teachers should be on the forefront teaching their students the right way to handle them, especially when it comes to sex matters. There are some methods that can be advocated to prevent someone from becoming pregnant or getting sexually transmitted diseases despite having enjoyed sex.
As technology continues promoting in the world, so the things do that we change, that is why there has been an increase in immorality in the society. Young girls and boys of the age of nine years engage in sexual behaviors. They do so willingly misled by other their mates or older people.
When a teen girl engages in sex without protection, there is a risk that she can become pregnant. This is a pregnancy that is not forced on the child. There are also other incidences of rape or statutory rape that may result in pregnancy of a girl. Whichever the cases is, it is a result of a rotten society since a statutory rape occurs before pregnancy (Kirby, 2001).
The effect of early abstinence and safe sex lessons
Avoidance of early pregnancy
Adolescent child involved in sex activities has a negative effect on all the parties concerned that are the parents, the child itself and his/her friends and circle; this also extends to the general society. The starting point in addressing the issue is interpolating the underlying factors that lead to this vice; teachers waste time with students which they could use addressing to the issues of early sexual behaviors.
There are studies that are conducted concerning the effect of a teen sex. They define the areas that need to be addressed. Such researches are aimed to give correlation between the certain factors in life which are related to a teen pregnancy. Teenagers from poor families are more likely to be pregnant at this stage than those who come from the well-to-do families. T
he explanation to this can be given by the fact that parents are busy with looking for live hood, thus not paying much attention to their children on issue of early sex. Teachers can thus intervene in such situations. The explanation that is developed by sociologists is the issue of self esteem.
Girls from poor families have a low self esteem and thus become an easy prey to irresponsible men. There is also a relation between the level of education that parents of a girl has and the possibility that the girl may become pregnant. The young ladies from educated families are not likely to get pregnant at this stage (East & Jacobson, 2003).
Shared risk factor
This theory establishes the relationship between the environs of a teenager and the possibility of engaging in premarital sex. Under this theory, the blame is not to be put on the adolescent or the parent alone but on the society, in general. As we have mentioned earlier, there is a relation between poverty and teen pregnancy.
It means that in the areas that are poor, this vice is more likely to be available; this includes slums, and the opposite is true. The surrounding environment exposes a child to early sex that may lead to pregnancy (Friede, Hogue, Doyle, Hammerslough, Sniezek & Arrighi, 1986). Under modeling theory, a great emphasis is laid on rearing of a child.
In this case, the parents and the people with whom the child socializes play a great role in his/her life. Socialization process is the one that influences the development of a certain character of a child. If the behaviors of his/her parents advocate for early sex, then the child is more likely to engage in it.
By encouraging, I mean that a parent may fail to stand strong to deter a child from engaging in teen sex, and thus the teen engages in it and gets pregnant. There is also the control that a parent should have on the exposure that the child has. He may limit the television programs that the child watches to ensure that his/her kid watches only those that are morally accepted.
It holds some sense to blame parents for the unacceptable behavior that their children have. This may come from a biological point of view and the way the parents raise their child.
The way the parents conduct themselves has an impact on the life of their child because the teen is more likely to follow the same example. The guidance that a child gets from the parents goes a long way in making a teen a respectable person, and the one who upholds moral behaviors. The blame is not entirely on the parents as there are other behaviors that a child can develop long after moving away from the parents (East, 1999).
Health belief model is the one that puts emphasis on a family healthy issues. It states that the family as a unit should be responsible of its own health concerning all the sides; the doctors and medical practitioners should only come in as support to the family. In our case, the issue of adolescent pregnancy can be prevented if a family as a unit of discipline upholds this role appropriately (Aaronld, 1998).
Family theory does not move far from health belief models because it tends to put more emphasis on the general situation not focusing on a single area like health. It analyses the family as the source of all the goods that a person can have in life, and thus all the areas of the family interaction and the way it does things should be considered (Becker, 1974).
This is a way that instead of looking for solution to the problem and then giving the solution to the teenagers, focuses on the changes that teenagers are actively involved in looking for the solution to this vice. Not many parents who communicate free with their teens to a point that they can discuss the issue of sex; they shy off and prefer to assume that their children do not engage in this activity or do not have questions to ask about it.
This is not true though. Studies show that teens are willing to talk about their fears when it comes to sex, especially if they are in a situation of sharing. By using this approach, the vice can be addressed. To administer this, there should be interactive sections with the teenagers in all the areas. This will help in having informed teenagers that can made decisions about sex on their own (Bryant-Lukosius, DiCenso, Browne, Pinelli, 2004).
Currently, there are no drugs that cure HIV; however, there are drugs that have been developed to boost the immune system of the body and thus assist the body in fighting the disease. They are called ARVs, antiviral drugs.
Their aim is to help the body to fight against the diseases that overcomes the body weak immune system. Otherwise, the diseases that attack the body are cured in the normal way, like in the case of a healthy person. Physicians are developing immunization medicines, but not much success has been achieved.
Sexual intercourse. There are different modes of sexual intercourses that human beings interact in; they are heterosexual, homosexual and lesbianism. In all the above mentioned sexual intercourses, they involve the mixing of body fluids of the parties concerned. If one of them is having the virus, it is transmitted to the other one during this process.
Blood transmission. In case of blood transmission, the blood of a person is given to another one, this is in medical situations. However, there has been circumstances where blood that is infected with the virus is given to a patient though this is a rare case. However, if it happens, a patient gets the virus (Aaronld, 1998).
School education should grow a child socially, academically and offer a teen skills of life. At high school, teens have the ability to comprehend and know what is going in their life. They should be exposed to sex education as doing this assists them when making decisions on their sexuality. In secondary school syllabuses, sex education that focuses on safe sex and abstinence should be included.
Aaronld, J. (1998). Health Promotion: Handbook. Boston, MA: Mosby.
Becker, M. (1974). The health belief model and personal health behavior. Thorofare, NJ: Slack
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East, P. (1999).The first teenage pregnancy in the family: Does it affect mothers’ parenting, attitudes, or mother-adolescent communication? Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61, 306-319
Friede, A., Hogue, C., Doyle, L.L., Hammerslough, C., Sniezek, J., & Arrighi, H. (1986). Do the sisters of childbearing teenagers have increased rates of childbearing? American Journal of Public Health, 76(10), 1221-1224. 4 Frost, J., & Oslak, S. (1999).
Kirby, D. (2001). Emerging answers: Research findings on programs to reduce teen pregnancy.Washington, DC:The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
East, P., & Jacobson, L. (2003). Mothers’ differential treatment of their adolescent childbearing and no childbearing children: Contrasts between and within families. Journal of Family Psychology, 17(3), 384-396.