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Birth Control: In Odessa high school pregnancy socially preferred

Walter Challapa


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BIRTH CONTROL: This is a hugely controversial topic, and everyone has their own personal opinions about the matter. But growing up in such a small town like Odessa and witnessing the effects of not using birth control firsthand, gave me my own personal perspective about the highly-debated subject. As I said, I grew up in Odessa TX, a very small, boring, conservative town. Not much to do here, so people tend to do other things to keep them busy. During high school, I saw plenty of girls my age getting pregnant, even continuing right after high school. We were only 18, still teenagers. I was shocked that students were having children when we were all in school trying to graduate, trying to figure out what we were going to do with the rest of our lives. This didn’t just start happening either.  This problem of kids having kids has been around for a while. I had two aunts that had their first child at the age of 16, and although they do not regret their children, they both “wish they had waited until they were older and ready to have kids.” My mom was the oldest sister out of them all and knew her sisters were having sex at the time and tried to convince her mom, my grandmother, to put them on birth control. They were having sex inevitably, so why not be safer about the matter? My grandmother was enraged at the thought of even putting her daughters on birth control so the answer was “no.” Now, I’m not saying that getting pregnant young is this horrid thing in someone’s life that should be regretted because my aunts have a great life and I’m sure so do all the other girls from high school. But, wouldn’t it be beautiful to have a child when one really wants to have one, rather than being surprised unexpectedly? It’d be better to have a child when one is emotional, physically, and financially secure. Better when you have a significant other that you know you can count on with your child. Better to have a great life for your baby when you’re older and ready to settle down just for the infant. We are so young, in the greatest years of our lives. We still have the time and the freedom to do as we wish, without a huge responsibility as a child. Children require our complete love and attention. We should have children when we are ready to commit all our time to them and ready to love them unconditionally.

The mindset of young women in this Texas town is a bit altered. They see kids having kids and see it as acceptable. Monkey see, monkey do. It may sound funny, but it’s true. They see no wrongs in their actions to have unprotected sex and the consequences of it. Girls see other girls getting pregnant and applaud the act. Not a lot of people applaud having fun at this age, being careless, and doing as we please because that’s what kids or adults our age do. I’ve learned a lot about the way girls in this town think through social media. I stumbled upon a tweet a girl I high school tweeted on Twitter the other day. To sum it up, the girl was pregnant and she was directing her tweet to girls that weren’t pregnant and that were talking down on her pregnancy. She basically said: “Those of you talking down on me being pregnant have no right to because the only thing keeping you from being pregnant is that pill that you’re on.” The surprising thing to me about her statement was how she saw the pill as a bad thing. The pill is used to protect from pregnancy and she was acting as if it was absurd to even be using that. The more surprising thing is how many people agreed with her. There were about 100 retweets and almost 200 likes. These kids are getting pregnant and think it’s socially acceptable. The pill is so abnormal to them that it’s not a consideration. This thought process starts from their parents thought processes. Their parents, like my grandmother, tell them the pill is bad and shouldn’t be used. They grow up with the thought of birth control being an absolute no, so nobody can really be mad when they do get pregnant because they didn’t know any better.

Abstinence is brought up in so many arguments regarding birth control. Although it is possible to abstain from sex, many people do not and cannot. Abstinence isn’t a very logical way to avoid having children young. We’re mammals, we mate and procreate. That is what we are made to do. If that is not your mission or your plan at the moment, being safe is highly effective.

The Evolution of Desire is a book by David Buss and it talks about sex and attraction between the sexes. One thing that caught my eye was when Buss spoke about “preventing extramarital sexual activity through genital manipulation in various cultures across northern and central Africa.” Women in this place in the world don’t even get the choice to have sexual pleasure, they are forced to not feel. Having a child, let alone sex, would be a blessing to these women and here we are in Odessa popping them out like nothing. “Clitoridectomy is the surgical removal of the clitoris to prevent a woman from experiencing sexual pleasure.” “Another practice common in Africa is infibulation, the sewing cut of the labia majora.” This is done when women are just little girls, to ensure that they are virgins when they get married. We here in America, specifically in Odessa Texas take advantage of the fact that we could have sex, especially that we can so freely. We are free women now. Women used to not be able to vote, work, have an opinion, or marry whom they pleased. There was a time that they were forced to have as many children as they were told to have. Imagine that? Having children you don’t want. Obviously, they will love and care for the children but it is a very personal thing, pregnancy. I wouldn’t want that forced upon me. We are very privileged in our freedom and we should be smart and take advantage of that.

Abstinence isn’t the solution. Sex Education, parents, and everyone else can preach about abstinence and how to wait until the day you get married, but the harsh truth that people blind themselves to is that sex is inevitable. Teenagers and young adults are going to have sex regardless of the preaching given to them not to. The way isn’t to scare people like they try to do in Sex Education by showing horrid pictures or telling bad stories, it’s teaching kids how to be safe and protect themselves. You don’t teach a young person to fight by telling him how bad it’s going to hurt him, you teach him to fight back and protect themselves. The key to keeping children from having unexpected pregnancies is birth control. As I stated before, women that have children young aren’t these horrible human beings as some may assume I am implying, what I am trying to push is to be smart. The guy and girl aren’t the only one’s having consequences for their mistakes, the biggest impact is going to be on the child. “About 80% of young fathers do not stay with the mothers to parent the child after birth.” This is just one example of all the things that could go wrong by having a child so young. The child could never know his mother or father, the child could grow up poor, the child could have parents that don’t care at all about him or her. This is not to say that a child could have amazing parents with an amazing wealthy life, but the chances are more likely when one is much older, when one is ready and willing to have a child, no surprises. The point of it all is that we have plenty, and I mean plenty of time to have children, why rush our young carefree lives? Protection and being prepared is key.

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Birth Control: In Odessa high school pregnancy socially preferred