The Problem of Teen Pregnancy

T.A. ’13

A friend of mine showed me this
concerning teen pregnancies at a Memphis High School.

Deborah Harrison, head of Girls, Inc., does indict the girls
as individuals for not playing their part in preventing pregnancies:

“Right now, these
girls don’t know how to say ‘no,’ they’re having sex when they don’t want to,
they just don’t know how to say ‘no,'” Harrison said.

She also
points to the idea of pregnancy pacts (see Time article
claiming that they are at least in part to blame. According to local station
WMC-TV, “Sutton said she
believes some girls are making agreements with each other to get

However, Harrison also blames what she describes as a
‘sexually oriented’ society for the 20 percent pregnancy rate at Frayser High
School. And while personal responsibility is crucial in the decision to remain
abstinent until marriage, Harrison is absolutely right. In a culture where sex
is made casual, more and more teens will prematurely commit themselves to sex
and potentially, pregnancy.

So often, critics of abstinence education point to
statistics that suggest (perhaps unfairly) that “it doesn’t work.” Whether or
not such statistics are convincing is in itself debatable, but these critics
are correct in that abstinence education does not tackle the root of the
problem. In other words, schools may continue to preach to students that having
sex before marriage is wrong, but until society accepts such to be true,
schools like Frayser High may continue to find their most sincere efforts