Research Proposal: Birth Control and Teenagers

Pages: 4 (1124 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality  ·  Buy This Paper

Teen Birth Control

Unwanted pregnancy among American teenagers is a significant societal problem. In addition to changing the lives of teenagers in profound ways that require making alternate plans and arrangements for their future, it contributes to the numbers of children born into bad parenting situations. It increases high school dropout rates and very often perpetuates poverty and lack of opportunity, especially for teenage girls.

Throughout the former presidential administration of George W. Bush, most of the available federal funds for combating teenage pregnancy emphasized the abstinence-only approach. Unfortunately, research into the subject has established that abstinence-only programs are completely ineffective over the long-term. Politically conservative influences have strongly opposed any effort to provide birth control to teenagers, especially without their parents' involvement. If the problem of teenage pregnancy is to be reduced effectively, a much more realistic approach is necessary. In that regard, one of the most crucial elements must be the acknowledgement that the majority of American teenagers do become sexually active before the age of adulthood.

Research Questions

1. Would providing birth control to teenagers reduce unwanted teenage pregnancy more effectively than abstinence-only approaches.

i. Would providing birth control and information about avoiding unwanted pregnancy to teenagers be more effective if it were done confidentially?

ii. Would providing information about avoiding sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) within a framework that acknowledged teenage sexual activity patterns be more effective than any previous approach based on abstinence-only approaches.


1. Providing birth control to teenagers would be a much more effective method of reducing unwanted teenage pregnancy than any abstinence-only methods.

2. Providing birth control to teenagers confidentially would be much more effective at reducing unwanted teenage pregnancy than doing so while requiring parental consent or notification.

3. Both unwanted teenage pregnancy and STD transmission would be more effectively controlled by an approach that recognizes the reality that many teenagers will become sexually active before adulthood that by any program that seeks to reduce teenage sexual activity itself.

Discussion of the Conversation Surrounding the Topic

One of the most fundamental problems with any approach to controlling unwanted teenage pregnancy is that conservative influences on government policy have succeeded in promoting the concept of abstinence instead of responsible sexual behavior. Meanwhile, empirical research has established that abstinence-only programs work only in the very short-term and that participants in groups such as Promise Keepers (etc.) exhibit the identical rates of premarital sexual conduct over the long-term. Because abstinence-only attempts to reduce teenage pregnancy rely exclusively on discouraging sexual behavior, when participants revert to sexual activity, they are no better informed or educated about topics such as responsible birth control than they would have been without any sexual education at all.

Reflection on Specific Experiences of the Researcher

In my experience, teenagers do not generally wait until adulthood before beginning to experiment sexually. Also, in my experience, most teenagers are not willing to or able to discuss the topic of their own sexuality openly with their parents at the time that they begin to experiment sexually. Many teenage girls who would use birth control if it were available confidentially will not do so if it means their parents must be involved in or aware of it at all.

The vast majority of teenagers who pledge to wait until marriage to begin having sex in their early teenage years do not maintain that position by the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Research Proposal:

APA Format

Birth Control and Teenagers.  (2009, October 22).  Retrieved September 20, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Birth Control and Teenagers."  22 October 2009.  Web.  20 September 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Birth Control and Teenagers."  October 22, 2009.  Accessed September 20, 2019.