Teen Pregnancy Rates… Dropping?

Teen pregnancy rates are… dropping? Don’t adjust your monitor– you’re seeing that clearly.

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It’s easy to think that there’s no possible way this could be happening. We’re cynical people. We always want to hear that things are worse than they actually are, that they aren’t like they used to be. Well, even in the days of Miley Cyrus’ twerking and the teen hook-up culture, they aren’t.

In fact, teen pregnancy rates are down among all racial and ethnic backgrounds, in all fifty United States  And contraception is to thank for it– because teens haven’t stopped having sex. Whether they’re receiving the info about contraception in schools, from the internet, or from family members, teens are choosing to use it. They’re also choosing to wait until they’re older before they have sex.

And things have actually been going well for a while. Unwanted teenage pregnancy hit its peak in 1990. It achieved a significant decline between 1993-1997, but the implementation of abstinence-only sex ed between 1999-2003 brought things to a standstill for quite a while.  Not only did these abstinence programs not teach kids how to have responsible sex, but they also taught facts on many subjects that were found to be incorrect, including: the risks of contraceptives and abortions, negative and unscientific facts about homosexuality, as well as religious beliefs and stereotypes about the differences between men and women.

Image from Getty Images.

Don’t look to blame Plan B for this one, even though it is now available to people of all ages and genders in the US. The report found that kids ages 18-19 are having more sex– but they’re also not giving birth or having abortions– both numbers have gone down greatly. They’re simply being smart by using contraception, be it hormonal, or condoms, like our popular Skinless Skins.

Banning teenagers from sex clearly not an option. It has nothing to do with this generation, nor does it have anything to do with a decline in morals or goodness. It has nothing to do with kids listening to that crazy new rock n’roll or smoking banana peels. Teens have been doing each other for as long as there’s been other teens to do– after all, there is nothing more tasty than that which is taboo, and sex is the ultimate taboo for teenagers.

So, let’s remove the notion of abstinence completely. Don’t get me wrong– I’m a complete supporter of abstinence. It’s a perfectly viable option, and it’s one that should be taught. There are plenty of kids who do remain abstinent and that’s awesome. But it isn’t the only way, because teens who are not abstinent know how to protect themselves using condoms, like Caution Wear’s Grande.

So, if our kids are just going to have sex anyway, do we teach them to be safe or do we leave them in ignorance to suffer disease and poverty? The choice seems pretty clear. Our kids have a right to educational, accurate, and unbiased information about their health. Advocating for safer sex education doesn’t teach kids how to have sex. It teaches them how to protect and respect their bodies. Let’s see this recent drop as a great step forward and continue to teach our teens how to stay safe.

If you’re a teen looking for some info, why not head over to our sister site, SpicyGear.com and read about Five Myths and Facts About Losing Your Virginity? You can also check out this handy guide to buying condoms for the first time, and how to be prepared for the first time you have sex.

[Sources: Advocates For Youth, Guttmacher.]

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