The Birth Control Debate
Hey, I want to give everyone a head’s up about the Dr. Phil show airing on Monday. We’re again featuring the Dr. Phil Family, and I will be having a very intriguing conversation with 19-year-old Katherine, the youngest daughter in the family, about sex and birth control for young girls. It’s a conversation that I think every parent in America wants to hear, because based on recent research, I think it is representative of the mentality of many teens. I know that many parents are uncomfortable when it comes to talking to your kids about sex and birth control. And regarding birth control, the big question is: Do you offer it or not?
As a society, we seem to be pretty split over the issue of teenagers and birth control. One side believes that the only safe sex is no sex. They say if you teach kids about sex in school, a job many believe belongs exclusively to parents, that it is highly suggestive, and that if you offer birth control, you are implicitly endorsing sexual activity and giving kids permission to go out and do it.
On the other side, the proponents of teenage sex education and easy access to birth control insist that abstinence programs don’t come close to working and that it is naïve to believe parents can persuade, or even scare, their teenagers into not having sex. So, the proponents say, to keep our kids from getting pregnant or infected with a disease, they must go through a sex education program that encourages abstinence but emphasizes protected sex and proper birth control. They maintain that teens have to be equipped with the knowledge and the tools to make an intelligent decision.
I want you to watch Monday’s show and evaluate Katherine’s very candid — and I think pretty darn typical comments — and then, I want to hear what you think. Would the rate of teenage pregnancy in this country decrease if teens were taught more about birth control? Or would the opposite happen? Would sexually transmitted diseases go down, or go up? And, what would be the moral effects on our teens?
On Tuesday, after the show, I’ll put up another posting about what you wrote to me. And I’ll also let you know how I come down on the issue. See you then!