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Loyalist Impact on Bahamas


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In his article, “Let’s Talk About Sex,” Charles M. Blow argues that teenage pregnancy is a nationwide shame as society refuses to admit and face the facts that teenagers are having sex, he further states that turning a blind eye is not a rational approach and sufficient information and encouragement is needed. There were over 400,000 pregnant American teenagers recorded in 2007. Although the sex rate amongst girls in the United States is not the highest, the teenage birthrate and abortion is still leading in numbers. Blow expresses that many states and parents are backing out of the “abstinence-only education” approach. By moving away from the norm of society, daring actions must be taken to generate a sex education foundation that recognizes the truth and aid to safeguard our children from unsolicited pregnancies or other harmful outcomes. The author concludes that sex education at an early age may be drastic however Americans themselves are unable to approach the sex topic without being awkward, withdrawn or chuckling. As an experiment, Blow implies that parents initiate the sex talk conversation stern with assurance, “I’d prefer you waited to have sex. That said, whenever you choose to do it, make sure you use one of these condoms.” Ultimately, regarding the importance of sex education, I strongly agree with Blow that comprehensive sex education is needed within high schools so that teenagers can avoid the harsh outcomes of sexual activity. Teenage pregnancy is very rampant in today’s society as children are becoming more sexually active at an earlier age. Why does it seem as though the attitude about pregnant teenagers is more relaxed and desirable? I walked into the food store the other day and couldn’t help but notice a pregnant girl about fifteen pushing a stroller and to my surprise the child inside was calling her mommy. When did it become acceptable for children to have children? School is the place where young girls can be motivated that they each have a purpose and bright future where teachers can help them understand their own personal value. Discussion groups can entail goal setting and life planning to convince our young Bahamians that delayed pregnancy will have benefits. There is a higher chance that a young girl will avoid teen pregnancy once she believes in a positive future for herself. If mathematics and science can be taught in the classroom why not sex? Society must wake up! There are students within the classroom either already pregnant or sexually active. A friend of mine in the last year of high school found out she was pregnant with graduation just months away. If a Family Life class was taught to inform this young girl about pregnancy, contraception, abstinence, condom use or safer sex she may have avoided a situation such as this. In a school environment children can be taught in a professional manner about the harsh reality of an unplanned pregnancy using videos and documentaries. Seminars can be orchestrated where young teen mothers can be brought in to share personal experiences about the battles of pregnancy and its setbacks. Guidance counselors along with social workers can target those at a higher risk for teen pregnancy determined by school conduct, poor grades and those living in areas known to produce many teen mothers. An average of 700 teen pregnancies occurs each year in the Bahamas with a 20% chance they will become teen mothers again. This is a tragedy! Are we waiting until our schools are swamped with pregnant teenage girls? There are students in the classroom who do not have someone to confide in, the guidance counselor’s office can be that refuge of safety and secrecy where children won’t be ashamed or afraid to talk about their situations. Imagine the amount of young girls apart of broken homes of volatile relationships with their mothers and absent fathers. Can’t you hear the cries of our young teens yearning for a “real family”? With sex education in the schools these generation cycles can be broken. School is the place where teachers can step in where there may be no mother or father. A school setting allows children to take part in a “Baby Think It Over” experiment using eggs or flour sack as a replica of an infant, an avenue that may not be offered at home. This can possibly curb the mind of adolescents who think taking care of a baby is a walk in the park. The school is that light of hope that can save many young lives from an unwanted pregnancy. Moreover, soaring rates of sexually transmitted diseases among teens are adding urgency to sex education within the schools. Children are engaging in sexual activities and unfortunately some of them are paying the price by contracting dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. Far too many teens are becoming promiscuous! The media and internet websites are bombarding them with sexual content at a stage when they are most vulnerable. Students can now access any site on the internet that contains adult content or pornographic materials. Are we going to let the media teach children about sex? School is the place where trusted adults can teach adolescents how to protect themselves against the hazards of sex. Teachers along with professionals from the AIDS clinic can offer unbiased information about the growing AIDS epidemic through videos, documentaries of affected persons and pamphlets. At this stage in teen’s lives where hormones are raging school is where children can begin to build the foundation of high self-esteem, self-worth, confidence and knowledge about the changes taking place in their body. Stop and think! School is where we send our children to be educated so why aren’t they being educated about sex? Schools are better equipped to teach children in today’s society about sex through discussion groups by the nurse and guidance counselor, encompassing counseling and contraceptive features that focuses on preventive methods to reduce STD’s. About 85% of sexually active teens in the Bahamas are engaging in transactional sex, where they are receiving gifts or money in exchange for sex. Let’s not turn a blind eye to the truth. Many teens are having sex! Schools can allow the direct access of contraceptives from the nurses on campus to decrease the likelihood of unprotected sex and the chance of sexually transmitted diseases. With sex education implemented in the curriculum teachers can help students become more comfortable with their own sexuality and how to communicate their feelings and desires. Discussion groups can allow girls and boys to chat with one another about sex where students can confide in adults without embarrassment. School is the place where children can receive positive youth development on how to develop positive and constructive relationships. The young people in the Bahamas must be given adequate sex education because ignorance can be harmful. Furthermore, young people are going to learn about sex and the question is, where do we want them to learn and from whom? From their friends, the media or an intelligent mature adult? Sex is not a topic that teenagers are eager to discuss with their parents and on the other hand some children are being molested by parents. On March 6th, 2014, a young man was found guilty of molesting his fifteen year old daughter on ten separate occasions. How perverted can one be! A father who ought to be protecting his daughter from malicious predators has stripped away her innocence. Since parents are failing miserably at the task, it is time to turn the job over to the schools. Every young person needs at least one strong, authoritative and dependable adult in his or her life. Guidance counselors with the help of social workers can fill this gap by establishing mentoring programs for abused teens where they can have one on one connection with a trusting school staff providing an atmosphere of love, understanding, guidance and support. Children tend to blame themselves after an incident such as this therefore, this program can help teens deal with the trauma of emotional pain and feelings of worthlessness which may manifest into rebelliousness. Famous singers such as Beyoncé are idols to many young girls but most of her songs portray sexual fantasies including a song on her newly released album “Blow” where she says, “…can you lick my skittles, that’s the sweetest in the middle, pink that’s the flavor, solve the riddle.” Many teens are afraid to talk to their parents about sex because they tend to cling onto the notion of childhood innocence. It is no longer the year 1970, this is 2014 and while parents are failing to give their children accurate information about sex, Beyoncé is teaching them about sexual fantasies. Children spend most of their time at school so there is no better place to educate them about sex. In many homes teenagers are facing the absence of parents and the question stands, who is going to teach this child the right or wrong way to approach a sexual encounter? Sex education should be taught so that children can learn about it from an educated and responsible adult instead of the media or friends. Schools can establish workshop programs with social workers to bring parents together with their children to build effective communication skills with one another. Videos on how to deal with negative peer pressure can be played in class to help students who may be falling prey to sexual acts just to be popular. Schools can delay sexual activity and avoid unprotected sex by reinforcing positive social norms through youth developmental programs and community service. Consequently, for many teens when it comes to sex, schools rather than homes offer a safe haven. Sex education has provoked vigorous opposition especially religious leaders who believe that sex taught in schools should convey an abstinence-only approach. Critics claim that providing too much information on sex may saturate their minds and increase teen sexual behavior. Although this might indeed be a true statement that teenagers are very curious and curious minds will experiment. Face the facts! Many teenagers are already having sex and will not care to stop their sex lives because churches say it’s morally wrong. Children have the right to education! Are we asking schools to disregard the sex topic by telling students to just say no to sex? That is foolish! The church’s morals and values are not a true reflection of today’s society. So why do we insist on teaching them a standard of conduct that we no longer honor or obey? Having a child out-of-wedlock no longer carry the same stigma that it did in times past and this is why some teenagers may even view having a baby as some sort of trophy! We cannot deprive students of the information they need to avoid unplanned pregnancies and diseases. It is far safer for children to learn in a professional manner about safe sex, STD’s, contraceptives and abstinence. School is the place where they can be educated properly and learn proper guidance on how to make decisions. Other opponents state that school is not the place for sex education as parents should approach the topic in their own way and control how much their adolescents know. They are partially right because children should first learn about sex from their parents and schools can supplement whatever was taught at home. However, sex education should definitely be mandatory in schools because it's for our children's own safety! Many teens are having sex and suffering from its detrimental consequences. It is irresponsible to deny that reality! Are we waiting for some type of tragedy to happen? Parents need to stop hiding their head in the sand thinking their children are too innocent. We are living in a society where social media is becoming a place children are gathering misleading information. Adults need to get real! Times are changing and you must remember when you were once young how misinformed and scared you were. Unlike homes, schools do not burden children with moral criticisms. They can be taught by professional teachers the responsibility taken on when they decide to become sexually active. Classrooms offer vulgar-free, pure and beneficial information to students along with a healthy and trusting atmosphere. To conclude, Charles M. Blow’s argument in “Let’s Talk About Sex” that teenagers ought to be educated and supported about sex education instead of experimenting with abstinence-only education is plausible and valid. Comprehensive sex education isn’t just merely about keeping our teenagers from unwanted pregnancies or getting STD’s, it is also about ensuring they understand the emotional and psychological pitfalls of sex and its repercussions. Along with helping teenagers develop and understand their values, attitudes and beliefs about sexuality. It is far better to give adolescents all the information needed to help them make judicious choices. STD’s and teen pregnancy is an urgent and irreversible problem, the key is preventing it. After all, if the children do not have bright futures, how can the rest of the country?

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