AMHVoices: Teens deserve proper education on contraceptives

oral contraceptive pill

PARENTS might be hesitant to talk to their teens about contraceptives out of fear that it will encourage sexual activities. While they feel it’s their duty to promote abstinence, the reality is very few adolescent girls haven’t had sexual intercourse by their 20th birthday.

By Leo Tinga, Our Reader

Although it may be a hard pill to swallow, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to giving contraceptives to teens.

Of course, it can help prevent unplanned pregnancies but it won’t stop the emotional strife that engaging in sex may trigger in some young people.

My advice is, teenagers must choose abstinence if they were aware of the potential psychological pitfalls of engaging in sex even if with a partner they “love”. For example, a teen may feel betrayed and taken advantage of when a break-up occurs or they spontaneously decide to have sexual intercourse with a virtual stranger. Some teens may adopt a “once bitten twice shy” attitude, finding it difficult to place their trust in the future relationships.

The biggest benefit to giving our teenagers contraceptives is preventing unwanted pregnancy before they are old enough and mature enough to handle the responsibility of parenthood.

As parents we must stress the importance of love, commitment, respect and responsible behaviour, when it comes to relationships. We must bear in mind that in the near future our teens may become husbands or wives, we don’t want them to have a confused view of sex and marriage.