Teenage Sex Essay, Research Paper
Teenage Girls Practicing Unprotected Sex is Due to the Lack of Discussion that
Daughters and Mothers Have on the Topics of Sex in General and Safe Sex
Through the media, sex is portrayed to society as an acceptable action between a man and a woman to express their love that they have for one another. Movies often show people engaging in sexual activity, but it is very rare to see the man put on a condom or to show the woman taking birth control pills at any point in the film. The media relies on the parents to teach their children about safe sex, so they don’t add in these parts. But mothers aren’t stressing the importance of safe sex enough, and some do not even discuss sex at all with their daughters. And in addition to this lack of communication is the daughters’ refusal to confront their mothers with questions they may have on the subject, therefore causing some teenage girls to engage in unprotected sex.
As shown in my survey taken of 25 high school senior females, girls generally see themselves as having positive relationships with their mothers, but for every girl who usually tells their mother about their problems and relationships, there is another girl who hardly ever does. Even though most daughters “sometimes” fight with their mothers, they still tell their mothers some things about their social life (Jehle). But what they do not tell their mothers is something really significant in this day and age. “The increased openness about sex encourages many parents to talk about it freely with their children” (Duval 336). Many mothers have tried to discuss sex in general with their daughters, but few have actually talked about forms of safe sex and asked if their daughter ever thinks about having sex. Asking the question though would be pointless because most girls said they would lie anyway and say they do not think about it (Jehle).
The lack of the mothers’ intense conversations about more specific sexual topics must be due to the lack of the daughters’ inputs into the conversations. The survey take also shows that most girls have not asked their mothers about sex and are unsure if they ever will. They do not plan on telling their mothers when they have sex for the first time. These daughters also do not confront their mothers about questions on birth control and do intend to ask them to accompany them to get birth control (Jehle).
In society today, many people are beginning to have sex in while in their teenage years. Despite the lessons that sexual education programs in school teach, teenagers prefer to reject the abstinence method of safe sex, which is the only method, that is 100% effective. That is why alternative forms, such, as condoms and birth control have to be taught. But teachers can only preach so much, and therefore they must rely on the fact that parents reinforce the lessons that they teach. Some people even oppose sex education in schools all together because they believe that “moral guidance” is necessary when teaching children about sex, and that parents are the only ones who are capable of guiding them in that way. Meanwhile, the supporters of sex education believe that parents are not fulfilling their duties in teaching their children about sex and the media and friends are falsely informing them on the topic, so they feel that it is necessary for it to be taught in school (Burt 337).
The problem is not that the daughters do not listen to their mothers when asked about the topic, but instead mothers do not know how to start a conversation about sex with their daughters. “Study says moms can encourage safe sex” because “When mom talks about safe sex, teenagers seem to listen.” According to a government study, teens were three times more probable to use a condom when first engaging in sexual intercourse if they had talked with their mothers about safe sex. (Bynum A6).
Another study done at Roosevelt High School showed that more teens are engaging in safe sex. In 1993, 53 percent of the sexually active teens used condoms, as compared to 1991, in which only 46 percent did. This increase was strongest for minorities, blacks and Hispanics specifically. The data figured nationwide was an increase to 56.5 percent from 48 percent in the condom use of blacks, and Hispanics went from 37.6 percent to 46.1 percent (Hambro 4).
A social worker at Planned Parenthood in the Bronx, Deborah Campbell stated, “My general feeling is that condoms are being used, but not consistently, and they’re not being used across the board. Bat a good amount of people are using them, so there’s hope” (Hambro 4).
Lori Sukenik-Kursun, the clinical manager at Roosevelt High School’s health center, said that approximately 75 percent of the students she sees are sexually active. “We push condoms here. Every time they visit, I ask if they are sexually active, and I always suggest they use condoms.” She knows though that some do not comprehend the risks, and when she performs gynecological exams on female students, half of them have sexually transmitted diseases. “Some of the girls are so mature and so well-read, and some just don’t have a clue” (Hambro 4).
Today, sex is discussed in everyday life and is looked at as a social topic. At many social gatherings, it would not be strange for sexual topics to arise, whether it be in a school gym locker room or at a party. The media stresses the lenient attitudes people have toward sex. Newspapers and television report on sexual research, while books and magazines focus on “the pleasure and problems of sexual situations” (Duvall 336). Many people feel that sex is talked about too often in the media. They are afraid that children’s selective listening will cause them to view sex only as being a pleasurable action and ignore the consequences that are described to be connected with it, such as teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, which make it a dangerous action as well.
There are federal laws prohibiting pornography, but due to the argument over the laws violating the First Amendment, it can only be prevented to a certain extent (Schauer 650). Satellite and cable channels, such as the Playboy channel and the Spice channels, can be blocked off of a television under a parent’s request. Many parents just block off the channels as a way to push the topic of sex to the side and not have to discuss it with their children. Parents shouldn’t just block off the channel and trying to convince themselves then that their child will never see sexual activity and therefore will not think of engaging in it. Instead the parent should stop avoiding the subject and discuss sex, especially safe sex, with child so that way they can be the first to let them know the right information. That way, if they hear from a friend that it’s a fun activity, the child will know the risks and be able to inform the friend of them too.
Safe sex is an important topic for parents and children to discuss. When a daughter goes to a mother with a problem in her relationship, the mother should bring up the topic of sex and make sure that when her daughter is sexually active that she protects herself from both sexually transmitted diseases and an unwanted teenage pregnancy.
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Duvall, Evelyn M. “Sex.” The World BookEncyclopedia, S-Sn, 334-336. Chicago:
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Hambro, Sarah. “High school teens support sex and condums.” The Bronx Beat
13 March 1995:
Jehle, Alayna. “Mothers, Daughters, and Safe Sex.” Unpublished Survey, 1998.
Schauer, Frederick. “Obscenity and pornography.” The World BookEncyclopedia,
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