Popular Media and Teenage Pregnancy Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

communicated about teenage pregnancy in the media. The paper has randomly selected 10 articles written within the last year (2013) on teen pregnancy in popular media likely to be read by potential clients (i.e., Cosmopolitan, New York Times, Men's Health, Newsweek, etc.). The paper is divided into the following 3 main sections relevant to these articles. The paper summarizes the main points of the selected articles in section 1. Section 2 conceptualizes the 10 articles into different headings. Lastly, in section 3, the paper explains how a therapist may use this information to help a client define healthy sexuality and how having that understanding can help the client make wise decisions in their relationships.

Article Summaries: Summarize the main points of the selected 10 articles

Amanda Marcotte (2013) wrote an article on dealing with the teenage pregnancy. In the article she describes how, contrary to the popular American belief, the rate of teenage pregnancies has actually declined. She goes on to explain that this declining trend started in the 1950s and 2012 turned out to be the year with the most drastic decline as, between the years of 2011 and 2012 the rate of teenage pregnancies fell by approximately 6%. The factors that according to Marcotte have played a part in the decline of this trend are: (1) the comprehensive education on sex which doesn't hesitate to address even the most specific issues; (2) the youth programs which are designed by keeping the actual needs of the teenagers in mind; (3) providing free contraception. Whereas, the factors which Marcotte felt have failed to produce concrete results are: shaming campaigns which try to make the teenagers feel shameful about the teenage pregnancies, cutting down the funds related to the family planning, as well as the abstinence programs. In fact it has been shown by researches that the places that have abandoned the abstinence programs have seen more decline in the teenage pregnancy as compared to the places that have not.

Liz Henry (2013) wrote an article discussing her own teenage pregnancy. She told the story of her own teenage pregnancy and how she felt the age-restrictions on buying the contraception pills was a reason for her pregnancy. She talks about the painful process of giving up that child for adoption and how the whole process made her realize the importance of being open with your children regarding sex so that they could come to you in case they need a plan B. rather than trying to deal with the problems or questions themselves.

Michael Gonchar (2013) states in his article which he wrote on the availability of the birth control pills to the teenage girls that it is probably a good idea to make the birth control pills available to the teenage girls as this will reduce the risks of teenage pregnancy. He has also asked the students who are 13 years of age or more to give their opinions regarding the issue. Most students are in favor of this accessibility.

Natasha Burton's (2013) article discussed the issue of the photo of a graduating senior in the North Carolina High school being removed from the year book. The reason her picture was removed was because she was holding her child in that photograph. Burton states that this was an unnecessarily cruel act which didn't need to be done since it is not like teenage pregnancies are some kind of epidemic which will spread merely by the girl posting a picture with her child.

Catherine Abate (2013) highlights the impact and influence of pregnancies on teenagers. In this article the ads that have been made to discourage the teenage pregnancies were discussed along with the influence that they might be having on the teens. Some of the significant points that were highlighted by the author in the article were coming up with educational programs and methods in order to reach the hard-to-reach teens as well as understanding the importance of peer pressure especially among the teenagers which forces them to do a lot of things that they might not want to do in the first place. The author argues that with the help of more teen-to-teen educational programs these issues can be handled in a more positive manner as, these teens will probably listen more to the people from their own age group as compared to the adults.

Rebecca Klein (2013) wrote an article according to which the teen pregnancy rate has dropped by approximately 60% in California. This can be seen from the fact that in 1991 for every 1,000 teenagers who were between the ages of 15-19 years the total number of births was 70.9. However by 2011 this number has declined to 28 births for every 1,000 teenagers. The author further mentions that according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) there are a number of factors which are responsible for this decline such as, the sex education programs which are being provided in the schools and which need to be accurate medically and have to be comprehensive according to the law.

In May 2013, when the National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month was being celebrated, Howard Koh in his article discussed the decline in teenage pregnancies. Furthermore, he also discussed how the sex education programs have helped in achieving this decline and creating awareness among the teens as well as the parents regarding the importance of teenage pregnancy preventions. The article further highlights that even though a huge amount of decline has been seen in the pregnancies but the efforts can't be stopped now as we still have a long way to go.

Richard Reeves (2013) wrote an article in which he talked about the implications of associating shame with the teenage pregnancies and the opinion of people regarding shame. According to Reeves, the New York advertisements which have made use of shame to reduce the rates of teenage pregnancies are doing the right thing. He argues that shame can prove to be a very important weapon in the reduction of the teenage pregnancies. The author has further stated the opinion of many who don't agree with the application of shame and these people have been called liberals by the author and he has defended his views by saying that in any society the repercussions for the actions need to be considered in order to better our behaviors and this is where shame can play its part in reducing the pregnancies in teenagers.

Polly Toynbee (2013) discussed the decline in the teenage pregnancies in an article and called it a success story for us in the current times. The author believes that it is because of the good quality of sex education as well as the contraception services which have led to this decline in the rate of teenage pregnancies. The author mentions how in the beginning there were people who thought this couldn't be done as in their opinion this would be like trying to change popular culture. However, even in the face of all this opposition efforts kept on being made and today all those efforts have resulted in this positive result. Toynbee believes that since it's the sex education programs which have influenced this decline in the teen pregnancies, we need to keep record of the data as well as the strategies that we are using so that in the future when need arises the strategies could be altered accordingly to improve the outcomes further.

Prymface (2013) talked about the decline in the rates of the teen pregnancies and how it has been at its lowest since 1969. Prymface, in this article, further goes on to discuss and thank the efforts that are being made by the people who are working with the Sex and Relationships Education programs despite such huge budget cuts. The author has further discussed the assumptions which are still there in our society regarding sex. This includes that if one takes care of a young teenage mom, it would encourage teenage pregnancies or that mentioning the word sex in the school would result in more and more teenagers committing the act. Therefore, it is evident from these believes that there is still need for more societal awareness regarding the actual causes of teenage pregnancies.

Section 2: Separating key points by headings

Teen Pregnancy and Prevention

Prevention of Teen Pregnancy had been the key theme in almost all articles. For instance, Rebecca Klein talked about a number of steps that have been taken in the efforts to prevent teenage pregnancies. She asserts that today more and more comprehensive sex education programs are being implemented in the schools that deal with specific issues as well. Furthermore, it has become a requirement for the state schools to have sex education programs which are medically accurate and comprehensive in nature. Polly Toynbee point out that there are a number of research studies that have clearly shown an improvement in the use of contraception due to the sex education programs. Catherine Abate noticed that…

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