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The only birth control method that is 100% effective is abstinence

The word 'abstinence' means abstaining from sexual intercourse. Today, many teenagers are being educated about this form of protection against unwanted pregnancies. The rate of teenager pregnancies has escalated over the past 10 years at an alarming rate. The number of teenagers with sexually transmitted diseases has also risen. In many countries, sex education with an emphasis on abstinence is being given to young teenagers in an attempt to reduce these statistics.

Teenagers are encouraged not to have sexual intercourse until they are married. They are told that sex before marriage is not only morally wrong, but they can also be infected with sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS. Abstinence education does not involve information about any other birth control methods. The educationists who promote abstinence believe that, because it is successful with driving, drinking, and drugs, it will discourage teenagers from having sex.

However, there are many people who disagree. Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of abstinence and then you can form your own opinion. The biggest advantage is that teenagers get to learn that the only way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy 100 percent is through abstinence. In addition, it makes them realize that abstinence can save them from sexually transmitted diseases.

Another big advantage is that teenagers are spared the psychological and emotional trauma that comes with an unwanted pregnancy. Many women who became pregnant as young girls say that they regret being sexually active at the time. In the case where the girls gave up their children for adoption, or had an abortion, many say that they carried the guilt for years. This caused unhappiness and depression in later life, and they also got into relationships/marriages that did not work. If a teenager practices abstinence, he or she is more likely to form a long-lasting and loving relationship.

Now, let's look at the other side of the coin - what critics of abstinence say. Firstly, the biggest disadvantage is that there is no guarantee that teenagers will, in fact, not have sex even if they say they won't. Apparently, there is evidence to prove this claim. Many teenagers have in fact gone to the extreme by starting to experiment with sex at even younger ages.

Critics say that by telling a teenager to be abstinent is only going to make them more interested in having sex. It's the old story of an adult telling a teenager to do something for his or her own good, and the teenager responding by doing precisely the opposite, as an act of rebellion.

Some believe that teenagers are going to experiment with sex whether their parents and teachers like it or not. Therefore, critics believe that teenagers should rather be educated about birth control methods so that they can practice safe sex.

Having looked at the pros and cons of this controversial subject, you might be one of the numerous people who believe that the ideal solution is a combination of abstinence education and birth control education. Teachers and parents should perhaps teach teenagers that they should only indulge in sexual intercourse if they feel it is right, and if they use contraceptives.