Teen pregnancy is a growing social problem; a projected estimate using data obtained from Texas birth records and a Monte Carlo simulation done on the basis of historical rates of natural increase, contraceptive failure and sexual experience among ethnic groups of teenaged women, showed that teen pregnancy will not continue to decline in the coming decade. The adolescents most at risk for pregnancy are expected to increase significantly (Sayegh, Castrucci, Lewis, & Hobbs-Lopez, 2010). This impels us to think of a solution at a deeper level.
The problem of teen pregnancy is an offshoot of improper expression of one of the basic human drives called sex. In extreme cases, it ends up in sexual violence (Kandakai & Smith, 2007). No doubt, the abstinence only method did not prove its efficacy (Trenholm, et al. , 2008). According to Maslow’s theory of self actualization (Chambers, 2007), without satisfying lower needs, pursuit of higher ones will always lead to conflicts. Sex drive being at the bottom of the hierarchy, abstinence only method, which tries to bring up moral values without seeing teen’s biological needs are satisfied, does not yield good result.
The National Survey of Family Growth in 2002 conducted across the U. S. , revealed that adolescents who received comprehensive sex education had a lower risk of pregnancy than adolescents who received abstinence-only or no sex education (Kohler, Manhart, & Lafferty, 2008). This strongly suggests that uncontrolled gratification is not the solution and sexual education is necessary. Freud’s psychoanalytical theory sheds more light (Yorke, 2001). This clearly says that there is always a conflict among id, ego and superego.
The immediate problem which needs to be addressed is how to develop a strong attitude that will help in overcoming unsurpassable arousal of sexual drive; how tension created at that moment could be peacefully resolved? This tension is nothing but the conflict of id, ego and superego, so the methods of sexual education should try to see how ego and superego could be strengthened without pampering id. Current approach will be a synthesis of various theories, to meet the requirement of a sound education technique to combat the social issue of teen pregnancy.
Actual implementation may find some difficulties due to so many practical problems (Philliber & Nolte, 2008) but synergistic approaches and working along with community may show promising results (Weiss, Dwonch-Schoen, Howard-Barr, & Panella, 2010). Seeking an interdisciplinary synthesis would be really paying, especially when they are carefully tailored. The problem of teen pregnancy is deeply ingrained in the unconscious as well as conscious mind. Prospective link between exposure to sexual content on television and the experience of a pregnancy before the age of 20 was shown in a longitudinal survey study (Chandra, et al. , 2008).
So, technique like subliminal stimulation (Gustafson & Kallmen, 1990) if implemented judicially, would yield good results because through subliminal stimulation, the unconscious could be reached and influenced easily any without resistance. So adding such components in the current system of sexual education would yield good result. To measure such changes in implicit behavior, implicit association test (IAT) (Greenwald, et al. , 2002) will be used apart from the explicit measures like questionnaire. Implicit measure provides a good estimate of implicit attitudes.
The hypotheses will be: comprehensive education intervention is more effective in preventing teen pregnancy than abstinence-only method and its efficacy further increases by incorporating various synthesis techniques. References Chambers, D. W. (2007). Motivation. J Am Coll Dent, 74(2), 34-41. Chandra, A. , Martino, S. C. , Collins, R. L. , Elliott, M. N. , Berry, S. H. , Kanouse, D. E. , et al. (2008). Does watching sex on television predict teen pregnancy? Findings from a national longitudinal survey of youth. Pediatrics, 122(5), 1047-1054.
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