Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

A new twist in the debate over health and sex education

Posted by sanityinjection on June 19, 2008

Not a lot of things shock me anymore in this day and age, but I have to admit this story did. In a suburban Boston high school, over a dozen high school girls under 17 deliberately got themselves pregnant, intending to raise their children together. It is speculated that the girls felt that having a baby would give them someone who would “love them unconditionally”.

Ironically, this is the same school where two of the staff at the school health center resigned because they were not allowed to prescribe birth control pills to students without parental permission. While anyone ought to be able to understand that school personnel do not have the right to replace parents in making medical decisions for children, apparently it never occurred to these geniuses that the girls had no interest in taking them.

This strikes me as a colossal failure in health education. Clearly, these girls understood how babies are made. But apparently at no point did anyone bother to instruct them about the difficult responsibilities of parenting, especially as an unmarried teenager, and the impact that a pregnancy would have on their education and indeed, their entire lives. (And let me be clear, the instruction should have been for both genders.)

I am not against sex education or discussion of contraception in school health curriculum. But what good does it do to teach teenagers how to put on a condom if you haven’t managed to convey why teenage pregnancy is undesirable in the first place? This is a school which has gone to great lengths to help teens who becomeĀ mothers to stay in school, which isn’t a bad thing. But when you have a few pregnancies every year and it becomes a normal site to see strollers in the hallways, doesn’t it start to send the message that teen motherhood is just a choice like joining the softball team or singing in the choir?

Story is here: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1815845,00.html

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2 Responses to “A new twist in the debate over health and sex education”

  1. Ms. D said

    “But apparently at no point did anyone bother to instruct them about the difficult responsibilities of parenting, especially as an unmarried teenager, and the impact that a pregnancy would have on their education and indeed, their entire lives.”

    That is an interesting perspective. . . As a person who deals with 55 teenage girls, some pregnant, most not, 185 days per year, I can tell you first hand that the problem most likely does NOT lie with these girls NOT receiving real-life instruction and warnings about the difficulties of parenting. Teenage girls live with rose-colored glasses on and sometimes, no matter how much you talk to them, or warn them, or bring in other teen moms who regret it, they are going to do what they are going to do because they think they are different, special, that their boyfriend will be a perfect father and life will be bliss. It is sad that the school was not allowed to give out contraception; however, that does not mean that these girls would have had any intention of using it, and their resulting pregnancies really don’t indicate a lack of preparation on the school’s part.

  2. […] If you think I am exaggerating the prevalence of this view among women, you haven’t been to the movies or watched TV lately. And let’s not forget last year’s “Gloucester dozen.” […]

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