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Ask the Loveologist: What’s Happened to Teen Contraception?

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Ask the Loveologist: What’s Happened to Teen Contraception?

I was recently talking to some of my sonís friends who are all graduating from high school and they were telling me that no one uses birth control anymore. The boys said condoms kill all the feelings and the girls believe that the rhythm method is effective and less toxic than the pill. I was shocked and had no idea that the safe sex talk has reverted to the plan B pill in their mind.† Is this unusual or should the lack of sexual education we have offered our youth be ringing an alarm bell for us?

The lack of information that teens have received about their sexuality should be alarming for most adults. For much of the last decade, most sexual education in this country included limited anatomical lessons with an overriding emphasis on the contraception method of abstinence. In addition to a recent rise in teen pregnancy, many of the gains that had been previously made in safe sex education including disease awareness and prevention have been slowly eroding.

The most recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed 2800 teens and found that while sexual practices had not changed much since the previous survey in 2002, what had most dramatically shifted was the teen attitude towards the acceptance and approval of pregnancy for single young women. This change in attitude happened for both male and female populations, with over a 15 percent increase in the last five years.

This change in attitude in part translates from the celebrated teen pregnancies of Bristol Palin and Jamie Spears, which has served to glamorize the idea of teens raising babies. The decreased anxiety about teen pregnancy among the younger population is only one contributing factor to the now increasing birth rate among teens. Seventeen percent of young girls, up from 11 percent are now using the rhythm method as a form of birth control, a method† which is only 25 percent effective.

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Read more: Ask the Loveologist, Children, Gynecology, Health, Love, News & Issues, Obstetrics, Pregnancy, Relationships, Sex, Teens, , ,

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.† In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,† she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative advice.†It has been called "the essential guide for relationships." †The book is available on ebook.† Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

72 comments

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7:18AM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

selfish ignorance

6:43PM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

Thanks for the article.

6:03AM PST on Mar 7, 2011

Parents need to take a step further not only should the talk about the "birds and the bees" but also elaborate on safe sex.

5:44AM PST on Jan 9, 2011

Thanks for the info.

5:38AM PDT on Aug 21, 2010

Oh dear! Get these kids educated!

Unwanted pregnancies, abortions and SDTs all follow in the wake of ill-information.

5:37AM PDT on Aug 21, 2010

Oh dear! Get these kids educated!

Unwanted pregnancies, abortions and SDTs all follow in the wake of ill-information.

5:37AM PDT on Aug 21, 2010

Oh dear! Get these kids educated!

Unwanted pregnancies, abortions and SDTs all follow in the wake of ill-information.

5:45PM PDT on Aug 12, 2010

Call me what you will but whoever thinks that unprotected sex is ok and the rhythm method works or that you can care for a kid at 17 (or earlier) is retarded!

The "lack of education" excuse is ridiculous, sure there should be more of it but not having any is no reason to not know what is safe. Any idiot can open Google type in safe sex or birth control and find all the information the school system failed to give them.

4:08PM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

That's really bad. My teenage daughter (if I had one) would have been sex-educated at home and given birth control with her dinners, so to speak.

12:42AM PDT on Jul 3, 2010

scary. the plan-b pill doesn't prevent stds.

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