Sex Uneducated: Why Teens Think They Can't Get Pregnant
1 year ago
Misconceptions, lack of access and carelessness main factors for high teenage pregnancy rates
A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report revealed stark details about the ill-advised minds of teens during a four-year span. Teenage females, between the ages of 15-19 years old who were surveyed from 2004-2008, revealed that misconceptions were among top factors that contributed to their unplanned pregnancy.
In the Jan. 20 study, researchers found that 50.1% of of white, black and Hispanic teen females did not use any contraception before their pregnancy, and nearly one-third, 31.4%, believed that could not get pregnant. In fact, some teens failed to have a transparent understanding of ovulation and menstrual cycles, while others thought that pregnancy could not occur the same time they lost their virginity.
In an age where condom drives are prevalent and sex education literature is often distributed, the startling report questions whether disseminated information for teenagers is being ignored or simply translated into a complicated fact a 15-year-old could not understand.
Nicholas Jeffrey, 26, an outreach and research coordinator for the University of Miami Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, tells Loop 21 that teens receive incorrect information about their bodies and sex from misinformed peers.
“A lack of education causes all myths to perpetuate,” he said. “I have heard of teens who practice bad methods that stem from rumors [such as] making the female go on top so that gravity will prevent the sperm from getting to the egg.”
Even in Utah, misconceptions still permeate the mindset of teenage females and their counterparts. Based on recent statistics from the CDC, parents in the "Beehive State" may need to--coincidentally--engage in more "birds and bees" talks with their kids. In this Western region, one-fourth of teen moms thought their partner was sterile, another common misconception, according to the CDC report. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, when compared to the national average, Utah teens stand out for three reasons:
They are more likely than other teen moms to say that:
1) They struggle to get birth control.
2) They thought they couldn’t get pregnant at the time.
3) They believed they or their partner was sterile.