Subjectivity & Aligning Culture with Sexual Awareness
Subjectivity & Aligning Culture with Sexual Awareness
In the United States and beyond, teen pregnancies, STIs, and HIV infections are among society’s issues. In 2015, over 47 females among 1 000 in the United States had children before their twenties(Kapeller, 2015). In developing economies, over 2.5 million females below 16 years and 16 million females between 15 and 19 have children every year (Smith et al. 2018). Inequality, at both individual and systems/community levels, will always be existent with a social issue or problem. Developing community understanding towards strengthening individuals, families, and groups impacted by negative factors associated with sexuality is essential. Biases against the disadvantaged and teenage perceptions on sex perpetuate the problem of the increase in teen pregnancy rates and HIV/STD infections.
Other than the significant physical changes and identity crisis , peer pressure is a major challenge that often faces teenagers. Notably, a female teenager often has the desire to belong to a highly favorable crowd and have approval from peers forcing her to act in a way that would make her existence validated. Among the issues that teenagers usually use to seek approval from their peers is sex. Kapeller, (2018) notes that a considerable proportion of teenagers perceive sex as a sign of maturity, forcing some to indulge in it to prove a point to their peers. For adolescents, risks of getting unwanted pregnancies and contracting sexual transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS are considerably high compared to adults. Ragsdale et al (2015) argues that at this age, teenagers brains are not fully mature to help them in self control or make sound decisions such as using contraceptives which minimize such risks and anticipate consequences of sexual behavior.
Social biases have also been attributed to the rise in teenage pregnancies and HIV/STD infections. A considerable proportion of subpopulations of youth with trauma history often have an increased risk of pregnancy. For instance, young adolescents in foster care have consistently higher adolescent pregnancy rates, as much as twice that of the general population. Collective findings indicate that even teenagers suspected of being maltreatment victims face a higher risk. In a study using linked birth and Child Protective Services (CPS) records in California, adolescent mothers were found to have higher risks (Ragsdale et al. 2015). Additional studies suggest that a given degree of childhood adversities considerably lead to the risk of teen pregnancy, rapid repeat pregnancy and abortion (Kapeller, 2018). Notably, males with adverse childhood experiences have a higher likelihood of fathering children born to teenage mothers; this interlink was present in more than four successive birth cohorts. Also, the interlink between teenage pregnancies and poverty has been profoundly described. Poverty is both an outcome and a trigger of teen pregnancies and is linked with with higher rates of multiple child maltreatment reports.
Helping Communities Grow LLC can facilitate a culture towards change in rectifying the matter of teen pregnancy and understanding the dynamics/characteristics relative to HIV/STDs and human sexuality. By helping the communities grow economically and socially, there will be more platforms and avenues from where teenagers can get advice and direction on sex related issues. Notably, assumptions among the teenagers such as the perception of sex as an indication of maturity are a major contributor of teen pregnancies and HIV/STD infections. By developing numerous avenues where teenagers can get advice on sexual matters at an early age can significantly minimize possibilities of teenagers getting pregnant or contracting sexual infections consequent to misguided peer perceptions. Over time, this will develop a culture where health professions and social workers are preferred by tenagers for advice and guidance on sexual matters rather than peers. For example, schools can develop and incorporate an online platform where teenage students can ask questions and get answers on sex, contraception,and the corresponding myths and misconceptions . Over time, teenagers will develop a habit of relying on the online platform for advice instead of the conventional misguided perceptions from their peers thereby significantly reducing teen pregnancies and HIV/STDs infections.
In any society, social welfare organizations play a vital role in enabling that children facing adversities due to separation of families and other social issues grow in an environment where they have an equal opportunity with other children to develop both physically and psychologically. Considering that teenage pregnancies are more prevalent among teenagers from less-advantaged families and among teenagers with adverse experiences, the development of social welfare structures and institutions would considerably improve minimize teenage pregnancies.
Developing community understanding towards strengthening individuals, families, and groups impacted by negative factors associated with sexuality is important. Notably, some subpopulations of youth with trauma history often have an increased risk of pregnancy. Additionally, a considerable proportion of teenagers perceive sex as a sign of maturity, forcing some to indulge in it to prove a point to their peers. Helping Communities Grow LLC can facilitate a culture towards change in rectifying the matter of teen pregnancy and understanding the dynamics/characteristics relative to HIV/STDs and human sexuality. By helping the communities grow economically and socially, there will be more platforms and avenues from where teenagers can get advice and direction on sex related issues, thereby ending the culture of reliance on peer advice and perceptions.
Kappeler, M. (2015). Adolescent health and teen pregnancy in the United States: a progress report. Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974), 130(3), 196–198. https://doi.org/10.1177/003335491513000304
Ragsdale, K., Bersamin, M., Schwartz, J., Zamboanga, L., Kerrick, R., & Grube, W. (2013). Development of sexual expectancies among adolescents: Contributions by parents, peers and the media. Journal of Sex Research, 51(5), 551–560.
Smith, C., Strohschein, L., & Crosnoe, R. (2018). Family Histories and Teen Pregnancy in the United States and Canada. Journal of marriage and the family, 80(5), 1244–1258. https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12512
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