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Adolescent Sexual Activity - Essay Example

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 This essay "Adolescent Sexual Activity" describes the situations and cognitive factors related to sexually active adolescents' failure to adequately use contraceptives to avoid pregnancy. It explains any social effects that teen pregnancies can have.  …
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Adolescent Sexual Activity

In his article “Risk Behaviors - Teen Pregnancy - Programs, Sex, Sexual, Contraception, Percent, and Services” (2011), Douglas Kirby identifies the following five factors as contributing to teen pregnancy by causing the sexually active teenagers to refrain from using contraception. He cites: “when teens have permissive attitudes toward premarital sex,” “lack confidence to avoid sex or to use contraception consistently,” “ lack adequate knowledge about contraception,” “have negative attitudes toward contraception,” “ are ambivalent about pregnancy and childbearing,” “...then they are more likely to engage in sex without contraception.” (Kirby, 2011) In analyzing these factors, they can be related to both situational sexual encounters as well as cognitive value systems in teens that engage in pre-marital sex. ‘Permissive attitudes’ is a cognitive or value system in the individuals involved that determine the development of the relationship through sexual encounters. These encounters are either the result of long-term, loving, and wholesome relationships or are casual, disposable, and part of the learning process through which sexual identity is formed in the process of adult maturation. Through the sexual experimentation with different types of relationships and partners, the person of either gender comes to a deeper understanding of their own personal needs in a relationship or in partner support. This assists in making more consequential and long-standing family commitments. The hyper-stimulation of the culture through sexual imagery in media, sexually predatory social role-playing and stereotypes, or advertising that fuels desire and insecurity simultaneously to sell products may condition a population to extreme behavior abruptly or progressively over time by changing moral standards and patterns of behavior. The teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. can be seen as an “unwanted” aspect of the sexual activity that occurs at a young age and restricts the further social opportunities of the parent. The effect of the social stigmatization is expected to fall more severely on the girl who must bear the biological burden of pregnancy. If the relationship is loving and leads to marriage, even at an early age, it is accepted socially and the best is hoped for the long-term sustainability of the couple. Yet, realistically, the high divorce rate among young couples and the burdens of single parenthood are among the largest reasons teenage pregnancy is discouraged. Generally, teens are not recognized as mature socially to be effective parents, despite the fact that innumerable teenage mothers in the U.S. historically and around the world have done very well building families through teenage pregnancies. The development of modern, liberal conceptions of identity through feminism and progression in education has created a different role for modern women that discourage the traditional aspects of teen marriage and pregnancy practiced traditionally as “backward”.   ... Read More
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