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Teen Sex Essay, Research Paper

In the article, “Society Should Encourage Teens to Postpone Sex Until Marriage,” Joseph Perkins argues that in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, teen should be taught to abstain from sex, rather than be taught about condoms and other forms of birth control. Perkins also suggests that, “sexual activity… outside of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects.” Perkins also points out that since more abstinence-only programs have been introduced, “teen-age pregnancies, abortions, and births have fallen. Perkins sets out in this article to advise adults that if they convey the message that premarital sex is wrong, that teens are more likely to listen.

Now there are many ways to look at this argument. I, like Perkins, believe that teens should postpone sex until marriage, but just about everything that Perkins says after that, has me up in arms.

With so many sexually transmitted diseases going around nowadays, it is crucial that teens be informed on how they can protect themselves. It’s great that so many teens that are participating in these abstinence-only programs are deciding to abstain from sex until marriage, but what about those teen who decide that they aren’t? What happens to them? In Perkins scenario, those teens will be ill-informed about birth control, and when they do have sex, those will be the teens that will either become pregnant, catch an STD, or even both. Now isn’t that what Perkins is trying to avoid?

In addition to Perkins abstinence only program, I also disagree with his thought that if adults advocate that premarital sex is wrong, that teens will listen. Now I am closely winding down my years as a teenager, and I can speak from personal experience, that if your parents tell you that you are not supposed to do something, be it going to a rated R movie, staying out late, or having sex, chances are that you’re going to do it anyway. Why? Because when someone says that something is wrong, it brings upon this new appeal, especially to teens, which believe that they’re invisible and mature enough to do something that they may not be ready for.

I most certainly agree with Perkins that teens should wait until marriage to have sex, but I strongly believe that the way he is arguing to go about the issue, is both unsafe and unrealistic. The truth is that no matter how many abstinence-only programs that teens go through, there is going to be those adolescents that are going to go out and have sex anyway. So why should those teen suffer because of the decision that they made. I think that instead of an abstinence-only program, teens should be participating in a general sexual education program. It should portray the message that one should wait until marriage to have sex, but just in case there are those people who don’t believe that, they should also be given information on how they can protect themselves. In addition to this out of home instruction, teens should also be getting some kind of lesson from the home as well. It shouldn’t just be, “Don’t have sex,” this leaves an adolescent confused and uneducated. Parents should talk to their kids about not having sex. Why they should wait, what could happen if they don’t, and how to protect themselves if they believe they are ready to have sex. This way, the teen will be well informed. It is more than likely that society will be arguing about this very same argument 20, 30, even 50 years from now, but if outside teaching, and in home messages are well designed and truly helpful, then maybe STDs and unwanted teen pregnancies can become a thing of the past.

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