.. laws as of August of 1998 (Robinson, 1999). Illinois is among those 23. In some states, the legal age to have an abortion with no authorization is 17. That is too young to be deciding the life (or death) of an innocent human being. Another major concern for teenagers having sex is that some people feel that the teenager should have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies.
They, as people of the United States, are loyal abiders of the Constitution as well as adults. The Constitution states that we have the freedoms of speech, religion, the press and assembly. Freedom of choice is in there, too. Teenagers might listen to the advice of adults and peers, but they have to be able to make their own decisions. If teens want to go out and have sex, then so be it. Nobody can really stop them.
Sure, parents can lock them in their rooms or something worse, but a crafty teen will almost always find a way out. After a punishment like that, a teenager will often just run away from home. That is another issue. Teenagers sometimes are not the best at making their own decisions, especially when it comes to sex. Teenagers often worry that if they get married, then they can have sex all they want without any complaints.
In Japan, the legal age to be married without a parent’s authorization is over 18 in males and over 16 in females (Kasumigaseki, 1997). It is probably not much different in the United States. Teenagers think that by getting married, it will reduce the stress and pressures from having sex as opposed to not being married. Some teenagers already have it squared away in their heads that they are going to wait until they are married to have sex. Some of those just cannot seem to wait.
A lot of pressures go along with having sex; pressure from peers, classmates, people outside of the school setting. Around school, sex is usually a major topic of conversation. Students around are talking about how great sex is and how often they “do it”. Those same students are usually the ones who do not worry about protection. Teenagers find it to be some sort of competition nowadays to see who can have the most sex before they graduate. Boys often find that they are being pushed to prove themselves by “scoring” (Meier, 1994, p.
9). None of them think of the consequences. Some of them even end up getting pregnant. Some teenagers believe that if they have sex a lot, they will not get pregnant. Others believe that you cannot get pregnant in a hot tub, girls cannot get pregnant during their period, and that you cannot get pregnant the first time they have sex.
Some even believe that if birth control is taken right before intercourse, it will prevent a pregnancy. Those are all myths. Getting pregnant is easier than anybody would think. In fact, one out of every 20 girls becomes pregnant the first time having sex. Another statistic is that one out of every 5 becomes pregnant during the first month of sexual activity (Meier, 1994, p. 12).
There are positive influences out there offering advice and assistance to those teens in need. Parents, teachers and religious leaders tell teenagers that sex should be saved for marriage. Young people are caught between two sets of messages: one says, “Go!” and the other says, “Stop!” Most teens are too embarrassed to talk to their parents about sex, and many schools provide little or no sex education. Teenagers often rely on their friends for information, which is not always accurate. There are many teens that make a definite choice not to have sex until they are older because of religious beliefs or other reasons. Some realize that problems could get in the way of their plans for the future.
Still, others worry about diseases (Meier, 1994, p. 10). Some pressures come from other sources and not just their peers. When a young person becomes involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the couple may have to deal with the pressures directly. One might pressure the other to have sex.
This can often lead to break-ups causing more emotional problems. A girl is more likely to think of sex as something romantic but, however, have sex with boys with whom they have no real relationship (Meier, 1994, p. 10). Couples who have sex 12 times run a 50 percent chance of starting a pregnancy (Meier, 1994, p. 12). Teenagers should think of the consequences and read over the statistics before jumping into anything.
Alcohol or drugs also play a major role in the sexual activity of teenagers. Sometimes, alcohol and drugs play a part in the teenager’s decision to have sex. A person who is drinking alcohol or using drugs is less likely to be cautious and responsible about their behavior (Meier, 1994, p. 10). Teens will often go to parties and get so “smashed” that they have no control over what they are doing.
Some of them go back to school and brag about what happened at that party or gossip about what happened to someone else. That is where some people earn their reputation as sluts or whores. I do not know about you, but that is what I want people to remember me by when I graduate. Often, those same people are the ones not doing well in school, especially if they come from poor families. They may have few goals or little hope that things will get any better.
Some teenagers think that if they are drunk, they cannot get pregnant. That is yet another myth. Unless something is physically wrong, a boy and girl run the risk of beginning a pregnancy every time they have sex (Meier, 1994, p. 12). Many services deal with issues about teenage pregnancy directly.
Unlike many European countries, however, the United States does not have a nationwide program to deal with teen pregnancy. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter’s administration sponsored the Adolescent Health Services and Pregnancy Prevention and Care Act, which helped provide a variety of services for pregnant and parenting teens. Three years later, President Ronald Reagan eliminated this program and replaced it with the Adolescent Family Life Act, which focused on abstinence programs that encourage teens not to have sex (Meier, 1994, p. 77). With a little variety of social services and very little correct information from peers, some people say that children should get information about sex from their parents and only their parents. Studies show that teenagers who can talk to their parents about a lot of topics, including sex, are less likely to become sexually active at an early age (Meier, 1994, p.
79). Adults believe that children learn all they need to know about life in school and that if their children are not asking questions, then they are not thinking about it. Some parents think that if their son or daughter has a question or problem pertaining to sex, they will go directly to their parents. Some teens think that their peers know more about it than their parents, so they turn to them. Other parents think that if their son or daughter is getting into trouble, they would know about it. Teenagers will, however, keep lots of information from their parents that could possibly get them in trouble.
Parents often assume that their kids do not want to listen to their parents’ advice, when really they do. Some will not admit it, but most would like them to help out. The price that teenagers pay for being sexually active greatly outweighs any advantages. Teenage pregnancy, STDs, and emotional and physical problems are just a few examples of the disadvantages of having sex as a teenager. Teenagers pay a great price for being sexually active.
The risks are just too great for getting pregnant and contracting an STD. There are more important things in life to worry about than things a person has control over. Another disadvantage, and this is mainly a disadvantage to anyone working and paying taxes, is that society must pay for the children of teenage parents. The taxes are used to pay for welfare and housing for these children. Teenagers often fail to comply with any rules stating that they cannot do something.
These rules regarding teenage sex need to be more strict and re-enforced. A lot of parents need to get their own acts together before they start telling their children how and what to do. The parents are the ones we are arguing with here. They are not doing the job that society has handed them. We, as citizens of the same country, need to better the lives of our own kind.