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Author Topic: at what age should girls be given birth control?  (Read 9911 times)

paul.fr

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« on: 24/10/2007 16:26:35 »
well it has been quiet for a while so here is a topic i think may give us something to talk about.

In Maine, some schools are now giving the pill (oral contraception) to middle school girls without the parents knowledge or permission. Is this something that we should encourage or shy away from? Just because a girl (or boy) has access to contraception, does this lead to promiscuity or is it a sensible precaution?

When i was in middle school, i do remember two girls who were "supposed" to be sexually active. I don't know if this was a fact or not, but the were certainly not shy about talking about sex, in any aspect.

what are your thought on this?

oh, for those who don't know middle schoolers are typically 11 to 13 years old.


 

Offline kdlynn

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #1 on: 24/10/2007 16:29:56 »
i know that planned parenthood also gives out the pill to girls without their parents' knowledge. i think eleven to thirteen is a bit young, but if the girl is smart enough to want to get on the pill but afraid to talk to her parents, i don't think it's an entirely bad idea. all i did was tell my mom i wanted it so my cramps wouldn't be as bad, though. that worked too...
 

Offline Carolyn

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #2 on: 25/10/2007 05:24:15 »
That's a tough question and my answer is ......I don't know.

I would be livid if my children were given birth control pills without my knowledge or consent.  I gave birth to them and it is MY right and responsibility to know what is going on with them.  It is NOT the right of my local or federal government to decide that.  However, my children and I have an open line of communication.  We talk about anything and everything.  There is nothing that's off limits, regardless of how uncomfortable it may make me...and believe me, some of the topics Nic comes up with are doozies.  I do realize that not every child has parents that spend time with them or talk to them, and that's where my "I don't know" comes in.

I absolutely do not think a 13 year old kid should be allowed to be in a position (nor are they emotionally ready) to have to decide on birth control.  Yes, they need some freedom, but we keep very close tabs on our kids and our friends do too and we do the same with our friends kids.  Of course the kids aren't privvy to our spying.  *Ashley is 19 and away at school, so she has all the freedom she wants, but she's also shown us she's responsible.

Nic goes to school with a 14 year old girl who got pregnant in middle school at 13.  I can't help but wonder what her mother must feel.

I know lots of parents that won't allow it and won't even discuss the possiblity of their kid going on birth control.  They think that gives them permission.  One of Ashleys friends was sexually active, her parents knew it, but said if she's stupid enough to get pregnant, she deserves what she gets.  I don't understand that mentality.  I think these parents are ignorant and wear rose colored glasses.  I believe the best way to prevent teenage sex is to communicate with your kids.  Arm them with knowledge.  DO NOT PASS JUDGEMENT ON THEM!!!

My opinion is that anything under 18 is too young.  If either of my kids came to me and said they were considering it I would share my concerns, and make sure they knew the risks and consequences.  I'd also be there with open arms when their heart was broken.  Teen sex is a mistake, unfortunately kids make lots of mistakes.  I don't think they should have to pay for those mistakes with a pregnancy they arent prepared for or worse.... their lives.

You can bet that I would supply condoms for him and birth control pills and condoms for her.
 

Offline Carolyn

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #3 on: 18/01/2008 04:38:51 »
Hmmmmm, this was a great topic. I can't believe only 2 of us had an opinion on it.  I'm BTTing it for the new peeps.
 

Offline Carolyn

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #4 on: 18/01/2008 04:40:40 »
I would be very curious in the opinions of our teenage members.
 

Offline Karen W.

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #5 on: 18/01/2008 04:46:35 »
I am with Carolyn and I was livid when this happened with my daughter. Number one they do not know if your child has other health issues or what reaction your child might have being given this pill without parental consent. What if the child has a dangerous reaction.. it could threaten their life. They do not know your children or anything about your religious or personal beliefs . It is not the place of the government to do this and I do think it makes children feel that there is less worry in having sex at early ages.. For goodness sake.. I did not even start my period till I was 14 years old!..LOL.. I guess I feel it my responsibility to be the parent. I never had children to have the government raise them!
 

another_someone

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #6 on: 18/01/2008 04:49:41 »
I was certainly not sexually active in my school years, but I know girls who have been, and I know parents of girls who were.

I think the question has 3 parts.

1) should girls at that age to encouraged to take the pill, on the assumption that some of them may in any case be sexually active, and it is better to be as safe as one can about it.

2) should girls be given access to the pill, but not be actively encouraged to try and take it.

3) should the parents of the girls be informed.  The fear being that if the parents are informed as of right, the girls may be more reluctant to come forward to ask for the pill, and so put themselves at greater risk of unwanted pregnancy.  Allowing the girls to come forward with guaranteed confidentiality might not only prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but might also make them available to confidential advice about emotional and sexual safety issues with the certainty that anything that goes back to their parents will only be with their consent.
 

Offline Karen W.

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #7 on: 18/01/2008 04:58:28 »
I believe it encorages children to lie to their parent, which in turn puts strains on the relationships. and distrust between the parent and the child.. I understand some children do not have great relations with their parents, but i would worry so about those children and moms and dad who have established great repore with their kids but then may be encouraged to go behind that parent to do this just because maybe their friend has, I have seen this happen and it scares me. I do see the other side also, but if my child wanted Birth control then that should have been a decision we made together.
 

another_someone

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #8 on: 18/01/2008 05:08:20 »
I believe it encorages children to lie to their parent, which in turn puts strains on the relationships. and distrust between the parent and the child.. I understand some children do not have great relations with their parents, but i would worry so about those children and moms and dad who have established great repore with their kids but then may be encouraged to go behind that parent to do this just because maybe their friend has, I have seen this happen and it scares me. I do see the other side also, but if my child wanted Birth control then that should have been a decision we made together.

In an ideal world, I would agree with you - the problem is, how do you deal with a non-ideal world.

I don't believe birth control pills should be handed out like candy (whether school is the right place for this to happen at all, or whether it should be outside school is another matter).  Nonetheless, it probably does make sense to hand out birth control pills where it is clear that the alternative is worse.

What I certainly would object to is if I were to have a hypothetical child, and that child went for advice about birth control to their school, and the school violated their confidence.  I would like to think the school would actively encourage the child to talk to their parents, but I would rather the child had somebody responsible they felt they could trust, and talk to, than have nobody.  Ofcourse, advice and actual medication are two different issues (there are even health issues involved with having the school handing out birth control pills without the family and the family doctor knowing about it - the pills could potentially interreact with other medication the school is not aware of, or cause other medical problems the school is not in a position to monitor).  It is a difficult matter as to whether the school should medicate, but I am quite clear that they should not violate confidence.

Again, the matter might be different between a boarding school and a day school.

 

Offline Carolyn

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #9 on: 18/01/2008 05:19:05 »
Well, my opinion is I still don't know.

I don't think birth control pills should be handed out because it IS a medication that can cause serious problems.  I don't want my children getting birth control advice from anyone other than me. 

I would much rather if the schools were going to do anything, give them condoms and teach them how to use them.  The pill doesn't protect from STD's and preventing pregnancies is not our only concern.

 

Offline Karen W.

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #10 on: 18/01/2008 08:18:28 »
You know I could agree with condoms, but not pills and not without my knowledge still. It just bothers me, and I would take my child in myself if that were brought to my attention by my child or another person! My children have never had any reason to feel that they could not ask themselves We were always very open with them and fair!
 

another_someone

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #11 on: 18/01/2008 09:16:39 »
You know I could agree with condoms, but not pills and not without my knowledge still. It just bothers me, and I would take my child in myself if that were brought to my attention by my child or another person! My children have never had any reason to feel that they could not ask themselves We were always very open with them and fair!

Ofcourse, in an ideal world, one would like to think a child would first turn to their parents, and then this whole discussion becomes superfluous.  The question only even arises in those cases where the child, for some reason or another, feels unable to turn to their parents (possibly not the fault of the parent at all, just because the child is going through an awkward period in their lives).

The point is, which is the better situation to be in, where the child can go to the school and discuss something in confidence, or where the school has a policy that it cannot accept confidences from their pupils and is obliged to immediately inform the parent of any such 'confidential' discussion, or any 'confidential' request for assistance?

Ofcourse it is upsetting for any parent that they feel they are losing control of part of their child's life; although that is an inevitable consequence of having a child grow up (which inevitably is a gradual process, and not simply something that magically happens at the age of 18).  The point is, what is more important, to maintain the parent's absolute control, or to provide the child with somewhere where they feel comfortable seeking advice and help?
 

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #12 on: 18/01/2008 12:25:28 »
14 cuz that's how old my gf is. lol no um..

Not sure.
 

Offline that mad man

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #13 on: 18/01/2008 19:31:27 »
Its a two edged sword.

Unfortunately some parents, mainly mothers, think that their children are their possessions and as they gave birth they feel it is their right to dictate what happens to the child.

Sometimes its not about trust, most people find it easier to talk to a stranger about problems rather than their parents or close friends. Birth control advice should NOT come from the parents but from a doctor or professional advisor. They have the welfare of the child at heart and should be unbiased whereas the parents are not. Parents should NOT be automatically informed about their child's choice of contraception unless the child decides. That to me is a major breach of trust otherwise.

Like another_someone says;

"Of course it is upsetting for any parent that they feel they are losing control of part of their child's life"

Teenage sex is not a new phenomena and neither is it "bad". Its the modern look down society of  religion and media that classes it that way. Sex ain't the problem it's the unwanted and yet stoppable teenage pregnancies that cause the problem. Children get taught at school about Shakespeare and "Romeo and Juliette" and yet how old were they? Should the book be banned from school for encouraging teenage sex?

As always prevention is better than an unwanted teenage pregnancy but that also applies to an unwanted pregnancy at any age.




 

another_someone

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #14 on: 18/01/2008 19:58:19 »
Sometimes its not about trust, most people find it easier to talk to a stranger about problems rather than their parents or close friends.

Yes, I can agree with this.  The problem is that talking to someone with whom one has an established and close relationship about a matter that may be life changing may bee seen as providing a potential threat to the existing relationship in which so much is vested in; so talking to someone with whom one has little vested interest in a relationship with is seen as a lower risk option until one can get straight in one's own mind how best to address the matter with those with whom one does share a closer relationship.


Birth control advice should NOT come from the parents but from a doctor or professional advisor. They have the welfare of the child at heart and should be unbiased whereas the parents are not.

I would disagree with this on both counts.

There is no reason to believe that professional advisers are any more unbiased than parents, although the bias will almost certainly be different, and so it is valuable for the child to have different perspectives on their situation.  What is often a problem is that the child believes (often erroneously) that the know what their parents will say, and so don't need to seek their opinion.

I do think it is insulting to suggest that parents do not have their child's best interest at heart.  Some may not, but the same is often true of many professionals, who often have no particular attachment to that child, and may have the interests of generic children at heart, but not specifically that child.  Other professionals may also have interests in furthering their own career, which may itself conflict with the best interest of the child.  There have been as many examples of professionals getting it wrong as of parents getting it wrong.  It is the nature of human beings, that whatever role they play, they can get it wrong.

I would say that professional advice should be seen as something to compliment parental advice, and not assume that parental advice is inferior to professional advice.

Parents should NOT be automatically informed about their child's choice of contraception unless the child decides. That to me is a major breach of trust otherwise.

With this I totally agree - retaining the trust of the child must be paramount, otherwise it is the child that loses.

I think professionals should seek to encourage the child to involve their parents in the process, but they should not go behind the child's back and violate their trust.

 

another_someone

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #15 on: 18/01/2008 20:36:03 »
Teenage sex is not a new phenomena and neither is it "bad". Its the modern look down society of  religion and media that classes it that way. Sex ain't the problem it's the unwanted and yet stoppable teenage pregnancies that cause the problem. Children get taught at school about Shakespeare and "Romeo and Juliette" and yet how old were they? Should the book be banned from school for encouraging teenage sex?

Teenage sex is not new, although what is relatively modern is that it has been criminalised.

One question I have though is, since any person below the age of consent (and particularly below the age of 13) is committing a criminal act in this country, does that give anybody who hears about such a legal obligation not so much to inform the parents as to inform the police of a criminal act they are aware of?  This is not so much a moral question as a legal one.
 

Offline stewgreen

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #16 on: 19/01/2008 13:56:59 »
- It's between the child and the doctor. surely we are not our parents possessions.
- The doctor should then advise the child that the age of consent should be 30 cos it's not until then that people have any idea how to have sex properly.
- after sending her to councelling and warning of the health dangers the doctor should have the right to prescribe whatever is legal if he thinks it's in the health interests of the child.
(Whats' wrong with the morning after pill if the body aborts 2/3 of pregnancies naturally anyway ?)

13 ! give  me a break. Real life is not like Britney and Hollywood,  many of us never had sex until we were twice that age ..and it's almost 13 years since the last time !
 

Offline that mad man

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #17 on: 19/01/2008 18:52:36 »
Sorry, I didn't mean to sound insulting, just bad phrasing I guess.

I didn't say parents don't have their child's welfare at heart only that the parents can be very biased and decisions can be based on their own personal feelings and not necessarily on what is best.

I have know a number of parents who love their children but will not let them use contraceptives because of their own religious beliefs, to them "abstinence" is the only way.

To me that is about forcing their own will over the child.

 

another_someone

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #18 on: 20/01/2008 04:06:35 »
I didn't say parents don't have their child's welfare at heart only that the parents can be very biased and decisions can be based on their own personal feelings and not necessarily on what is best.

I would suggest that is human nature, and is true of all human beings, even if they pretend to be acting professionally.  Most significantly, it can apply to legal practice (which professionals must uphold) and by official policy and guidance given to professionals (often based on political expedient as much as a pragmatic response to the situation).


I have know a number of parents who love their children but will not let them use contraceptives because of their own religious beliefs, to them "abstinence" is the only way.

To me that is about forcing their own will over the child.

But that is inherently true of any moral education - whomsoever determines what morality the child should abide by.

I don't say I agree with their moral values on this matter; but I cannot say they do not have the right to hold such values, or to teach such values to their children.

Society holds values about not steeling and not committing murder.  Is it unreasonable to demand our children uphold such moral values, even if the child may not necessarily agree with them?

As it happens, the law itself makes it illegal for a child beneath the age of consent to have sex, so the parents can rightly argue they are upholding the law of the land.  Whether the law is right or wrong is another matter, because, as I indicated above, the law is formed by political expedient; but can a parent be condemned for demanding their child uphold the law?
 

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at what age should girls be given birth control?
« Reply #18 on: 20/01/2008 04:06:35 »

 

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