Teenage Pregnancy

I was browsing Facebook a while back and noticed a post with this photo. The general sentiment of the commenters was that of “what has the world come to?” Of course, I had to be the fish who swims in the opposite direction. I reminded them that it’s only because of social media that we have images and stories like this pushed in our faces; and that this, by all means, is anything but new. I also brought up the parents’ responsibility in all of this. I had so many counterpoints for some of the comments on the subject that I couldn’t even continue to respond on Facebook.

One person’s viewpoint explained how the blame should be shifted from parents and on to society because society is making it harder for parents to parent. The woman further went on to say how young girls can go to get birth control and treatment for STI’s without the required presence of an adult. I was confused by that statement because the opportunity to learn about protection and receiving the tools to do so is a benefit. Society is picking up where parents may have lapsed. Her statement was a complete contradiction to the photo above. We cannot stop these kids from having sex but we can educate them about the risks.

We did reach an agreement about the importance of providing sexual education to our youth but she still felt as though the children were to blame in some cases, “like those kids on Maury”, and “12 years old is too young to have sex.” I wholeheartedly agree that 12 years old is too young to be having sex, but she’s missing the point. When a 12 year old is pregnant, an adult is responsible; period. Whether directly by rape, statutory or “consensual,” or indirectly by some form of intentional or unintentional physical or emotional neglect. These kids are hurt and are often missing something in their lives. Acting out sexually or violently can both be cries for help.

Someone made a comment referring to “fast a$$ little girls.” I was very disturbed by that comment because little girls do NOT come out of the womb “fast.” What about the male who slept with her? Was he fast? Was he an adult? When are we going to stop sacrificing our daughters for the sake of our sons? With the media glorifying sexual behaviors, misguided children want to be grown. Even with that, an adult is responsible. Monitor what your child watches and what they’re exposed to. There are plenty of adults who treat little girls who dance seductively to inappropriate songs as cute, and it isn’t.

We have to closely monitor our children, and keep them occupied, so that there leaves little or no time for them to engage in age inappropriate behaviors. This is not just limited to sex, but also to drinking and drug use. I’m not going to play like this is easy. A lot of us are working parents and have to leave children home alone. Many of us do not have help. Despite all of this, we have to scour our communities for programs our children can attend; or spend the money to invest in them by sending them to extra-curricular activities. We have to show our children that there is more to life than what they can immediately reach out and touch right this moment. Help them discover their passions so that aloofness, and the trouble that results from idleness, may be minimized. We can also use technology to our benefit as a means to keep in touch with our children and ensure that they are okay, instead of just leaving them to their own devices and to manage their own lives.

These kids are our future and it is our job to protect them.

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