Teen Pregnancies Lower, Just Not Low Enough
Official figures recently released by the Government revealed that teenage pregnancy rates were falling across England and Wales, but the rate of decline was obviously not sharp enough, as the authorities ended up overhauling the strategy followed to curb teenage pregnancy.
Teenage pregnancies have now become more common than ever before. What was once considered taboo and shameful, has now become more "normal" and something which is considered as "path to maturity", by few girls.
So who's to be blamed for it? Why the sudden "alright" attitude towards such occurrences? Why do some families, then, still consider it a no-no to discuss the topics of sex and unplanned pregnancies with their children?
The sensitive topic, it seems, is now more open to a family discussion than ever, especially with flicks like "Juno", television sitcoms like "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" and highly publicized and high profile pregnancies of Bristol Palin and Jamie Lynn Spears, which got more than their fair share of media coverage.
The Office for National Statistics recently revealed that for the year 2008, as many as 41,325 girls under 18 fell pregnant across England and Wales, which is definitely a 3.9% decline when compared to 2007, but not what the authorities wanted. The under-16 pregnancy rate also fell by 7.6% year-on-year.
The figures are encouraging, yes, but still in the danger zone, and these might just rise once again if proper measures are not put into place. And these measures are not just the Government's responsibility, parents are actually more responsible.
Maybe it is about time that parents should calmly sit down with their children, as soon as they hit puberty, and broach the topic of pregnancy.
It has to be reinforced again and again, and even more, that unprotected sex leads to pregnancies, and babies change everything! They need to tell their kids about the various birth control methods and being ready for sex, and not just give in to peer pressure and do it to "fit in".
And most importantly, we have to play our part as the society and try and reinforce the standards and morals that our ancestors had practiced and tried to instill in us. Each and every teenager has to be given all the correct information and guidance, and urged to act smartly, even when the hormones are going berserk.