Teenage pregnancies are considered one of the major problems that adversely impact almost all the regions of the world currently. Besides being an emotional problem inflictor in teenage pregnancies also affect the social, economic, cultural, educational, and political aspects of life. For instance, early pregnancy delays teenagers’ education, at best, if it does not put a stop to it completely. Also, employment opportunities and income level potentials are also affected when education is stopped. Many methods have been employed to control early pregnancies. However, use of condoms has proved to be one of the most popular and effective in lowering teenage pregnancies. This essay explores the effectiveness of condom use over the other methods for controlling early pregnancies.
For many decades, abstinence-only has been the most preferred measure for controlling early pregnancies in adolescents. This preference follows the ethical perceptions surrounding it. Stranger-Hall & Hall (n.p.) argues that the recommendation for abstinence-only as a control measure has been popular due to the need to prevent teenagers from involving themselves in sex activities. However, the authors acknowledge that the exact opposite of the expected outcome is what has been the result. Stranger-Hall & Hall (n.p.), Kirby & Laris (21), Cates & Steiner (169), and Fine & Zoina (543) argue that the efforts to reduce and control early pregnancies in adolescents through the abstinence-only has not been effective; the cases of teenage pregnancies continue to rise across the globe. It is imperative to understand that preventing the adolescents from engaging in sexual activities has not been successful. Therefore, protection against early sex consequences is required.
Various methods of controlling unwanted pregnancies have emerged, besides the abstinence-only education, for the past few years. Supported by the advancement of technology and expertise in the science field, researchers have been able to establish contraception measures, alongside the use of condoms, to reduce and control teenage pregnancies as well as such instances in young adults. Finer & Zoina (543) report that preventing unintended pregnancies is one of the priorities for the Health and Human Service 2020 initiatives in the United States (US). In their texts, the authors argue that including the issue on the list of priorities of the country is due the fact that such cases have affected the health and lives of many people, especially teenagers, in the US. Long-term contraception and the emergency pills are some of the trending methodologies of preventing the unintended pregnancies. Many people are on birth control pills that are meat to impact long-term preventive effects on the users that also include the teenagers (Philpott et al., 368). However, such pills, which include the emergency contraceptives as well, have proved to result in some other side effects; some have also proved ineffective for achieving the intended. Philpott et al. (2028), Watts et al. (2132) and Finer & Zoina (547) supports that the other methods, besides the use of condoms, are associated with some biological complications as well as health risks.
Inferentially, the ability of emergency pills among the other contraceptive methods similar to it does not address the issue of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. They focus on preventing or terminating the unwanted pregnancies while increasing the vulnerabilities towards the serious infections and diseases that are even much worse than having the unintended pregnancy. The abstinence-only education as a method to prevent teenage pregnancies has failed to meet its objectives almost in every country. Large portion of adolescents are sexually active that the method would have anticipated. To anticipate and address the activeness, birth control pills have emerged, and again proved to impacts other side effects on the users besides exposing them to sex-related infections and diseases. Therefore, the use of condoms remains the effective preventive measure that addresses both the unintended pregnancies and associated sex problems.
Since the introduction of the use of condoms in the comprehensive sex education and control programs, the cases of unwanted pregnancies, as well as instances of STIs, have reduced. Finer & Zoina (548) and Philpott at al. (2028-2029) elaborate that condoms are effective for preventing unwanted pregnancies as well as the diseases and infections that are related to sex, including HIV/AIDS. Besides, this is one of the current most popular preventing measures that various campaigns use to control the devastating disease, HIV/AIDS, in the world today. Therefore, for the case of teenagers, this method is effective to protect them from early pregnancies and diseases that might affect their lives since abstinence-only is not working for all of them. Also, condoms do not have the adverse health effects on the users as the other methods such as the emergency pills.
In conclusion, condoms are effective for lowering teenage pregnancies as well as protecting the users against the diseases and infections that come through sexual activities. Abstinence-only which would have been the most appropriate in this case if the teenagers were not sexually active, has proved ineffective for lowering the cases of early pregnancies and diseases. The other contraception measures such as birth control emergency pills have serious side effects and exposure to the sex related diseases. Therefore, use of condoms in the effective method that addresses the unwanted pregnancy as well as the cases of diseases.
- Cates, Willard & Steiner, Markus J. “Dual protection against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections”. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Vol. 29, No. 3. (2002): Print.
- Finer, Lawrence B. & Zoina, Mia R. “Shifts in unintended and intended pregnancies in the United States, 2001-2008”. American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 104, No. 51, 543-548. (2014): Print.
- Kirby, Douglas & Laris, B.A. “Effective curriculum-based sex and STD/HIV education programs for adolescents”. Child Development Perspectives, Vol. 3, No. 1, 21-29. (2009): Print.
- Philpott, Anne, Knerr, Wendy & Maher, Dermot. “Promoting protection and pleasure: amplifying the effectiveness of barriers against sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy”. Lancert Viewpoint, Vol. 368, 2028-2031. (2006): Print.
- Stranger-Hall, Kathrin F. & Hall, David W. “Abstinence-only education and teen pregnancy rates: Why we need comprehensive sex education in the US”. PLoS ONE, Vol. 6, No. 10. (2011): Web.
- Watts, Chi, Liamputtong, Pranee & Carolan, Mary. “Contraception knowledge and attitude: truths and myths among African Australian teenage mothers in Greater Melbourne, Australia”. Journal of Clinical Nursing, Vol. 23, 2131-2141. (2013): Print.