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It is a fact that adolescents are sexually active. A recent study found out that 86% of the reduction in teen pregnancy could be ascribed to the use of contraceptive while the remaining 14% were attributed to increased abstinence. The paper will discuss adolescent’s sexuality and the use of contraceptives. The paper starts by summarizing a scholarly article “Adolescent sexuality and use of contraceptive” by professors Rebecca Allen as step 1 and Michelle Forcier and another article from the media Psychology Today “Yes Your Teenager Is Having Sex… But It’s Not That Bad” by Kathryn Stamoulis as step 2. The paper will then analyze by comparing the two articles from step 1 and step 2 and argue which one of the two the scholarly article is the best and conclude the paper from insights learned from these two articles.
The article “Adolescent Sexuality and the Use of Contraception” gives insight to the sexual health needs of adolescents while reviewing the current perception on the topic based on researches which have been carried out as well as the naturalistic observations of the authors. The article is written by two experienced specialists in the field of adolescent sexuality: Dr. Allen and Dr. Forcier. The article was published at the srm-ejournal.com on February, 2011. The srm-ejournal.com is a website that is promoted by American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The website provides a forum where a panel of experts gives insights on diagnosis and treatment of various diseases touching on reproduction, sexuality and menopause. The article hypothesizes that sexuality and sexual relationship are important sexual elements of the adolescent development and that it is widely practiced amongst adolescents despite being categorized as “at risk”. The study focuses on adolescents especially in the age bracket of 15-19 years.
The study revealed that 46% of teens in the United States are reported to have had sex at least once; 20% of the above reported to have engaged in sexuality at a much younger age of below 15 years. However, the use of contraceptive was found to be high, that is >85%. This translates to 750,000 of the above getting pregnant with 82% being classified as unwanted. 59% give a birth, 27% have abortions and the rest experience miscarriages. These figures are much higher compared to the figures in other developed countries, such as Britain, Sweden and France. The use of contraception was cited for the difference. Confidentiality of the information that is provided by the youth is cited as an important factor towards encouraging the adolescents to seek help.
The research concluded that sexual exploration and sexuality among the teens is a natural development component. Therefore a forum for counseling and guidance on the use of contraceptives is important in their heath visits. This will help to bring down the number of unwanted pregnancies and guide them on preventing STIs (source one).
On the other hand, the popular media as well have a say on the subject. The article “Yes Your Teenager Is Having Sex… But It’s Not that Bad” seeks to neutralize the fears that parents have as a result of teens engaging in sexual relationship. The article touches all the issues around teens’ sexual relationships but only alienated to the positive aspect of the matters. The article was published in June 24th, 2010 by Kathryn Stamoulis, Ph.D. on a media website Psychology Today. The article is presented with the authors view as the ultimate view. It aims to relax the anxiety of parents that is brought about by the realization that the teens are engaging in sexual relationships.
The author asserts that it is normal for teens to have sex. He then cited that 70% of teenagers experience sex by the age of 19 and only 13% before they are 15 years of age. With the above figures the author goes on to conclude that today the number of teens having sex at younger age is small. The author also asserted that 75% of the girls had sexual relationship while in a committed relationship and that the partners were romantic. The author also commented the fact that 87% of the encounters use contraceptives indicating this as a rise from 76.5% in the previous count. The author cited some benefits that are accrued with the engagement of the teens in sexual relationships. Some of the benefits that the author cited include social benefits – he elaborated this with a study by the University of Virginia which used a sample of 534 cases concluded that the sexual relationship gave the teens an intimacy thus protecting them from engaging in other negative behaviors such as drug and vandalism. The author also asserts that there were possibilities of improved moods, reduced stress and anger among the teens that are affiliated to the sexual intercourse (Source 2).
These two articles are designed to give insight on the issue of teenage sexuality and the use of contraception. The two research papers are prepared using naturalistic observations and previous surveys that have been carried out on the subject.
However, there are significant differences on the core purpose of the papers. The first article which is a scholarly article is written in a professional format. The authors of the article are clearly stated with their profiles and the credit they possess for their previous roles elsewhere. This gives confidence to the consumers in the literal material. The paper is not biased towards conveying a particular message but seeks to give out the facts and the user will have to synthesis the applicability of the information. The statistical facts are clearly disseminated to the audiences stepwise. They are then translated to the real numbers for clarity. The statistical description is then coupled with naturalistic observation gained from the work experience of the authors. This enables the user to make recommendations for appropriate actions that need to be taken to correct the situation. The author has been able to extract out confidentiality as a single important element that hinders the teens from seeking help. The references are then stated for further study on the subject.
The second article is written in an informal format. The article seeks to comfort the parents that sexuality among the teens is normal and there is nothing to worry about. The author seems to have already formed an opinion on the subject and therefore the entire work will revolve to justify his opinions. The author plays around with numbers in percentage form thus making them appear insignificant. For example, by stating that 87% of the teens used contraceptives, the author ignored the fact that 13% translates into 750,000 teen pregnancies, 82% of which are unwanted, annually. The article is written to comfort the consumers hence entertaining. This will keep the consumers on the website thus to the advantages of the publishers. The sources of the information are not clearly stated. However, the media impacts cannot be ignored as this is where most of the information is obtained (Source 3).
The commercialized approach in terms of articles and blogs can be said to be effective. This is because they allow for interactions between the users and thus exchange of the information is facilitated. The sites create an open forum where those participating can give their opinions. The casual environment and the informal language on the websites attract the teens and thus reach a larger number.
The formal articles, on the other hand, have their benefits as well. They give an unbiased opinion on the subject and are written in an official format with referencing and crediting of the sources. They give appropriate recommendation and a conclusion that is based on the researches and previews of previous works. Unlike the commercialized sources, the formal articles are based on the facts and are not subject to manipulation. The advantages of formally studying sex are that it will give the readers/teens knowledge on the topic; thus they are able to sieve the facts from personal opinions on other sources.
We have seen that a majority of adolescents in the U.S. use contraceptives to avoid getting pregnant. From the above reviews, it is clear that despite the fact that adolescent sexuality is classified as “at risk,” majority of teenagers are still engaged in sexual relationships. It is therefore important for the health care centers and other stakeholders to device ways of disseminating information on the subject. The confidentiality of the teens’ information is cited to be an important factor towards addressing the issue. According to Allen and Forcier, it is important for teenagers to use contraceptives that are effective and require least attention than Stamoulis who just advices teenagers that it is “normal” for them to have sex. The study of sex as the subject in schools is important as it allows the teens to compare the contradicting information on commercial forums. The two sources of the information are deemed important as they appeal to different needs of the readers. These include: motivation, entertainment or even education. The official format (schools and professional journals) gives insight on the subject and therefore most important as it gives the readers a baseline where they compare and contrast the information from other sources.