All in the Family: Teens and Contraceptive Permission
When a Child Becomes an Adult
Nature plays a cruel trick on a person during their adolescent years. It is the stage of life where one’s body begins its ascent to adulthood, a process that does not go without kicking in high gear the sexual and reproductive instincts, as well. The problem lies in a teenager’s brain anatomy and psychology, as most teens have not fully matured, emotionally, physically and mentally, to lead healthy, responsible sexually active lives. This fact should most certainly be considered in the debate of whether or not teenagers in America, from age 13 to 17, have the right to obtain contraceptives on their own. Any reasonably sane, rational person would agree that it should be illegal for a teen, a minor, to obtain contraceptives without their parents’ legal permission.
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Majority of Teens aren’t Mature Enough to Make Adult Decisions
First of all, Science provides an important explanation for this argument, that teens wanting contraceptives to be legally required to have their parent’s permission to do so. A majority of teens just aren’t mature enough to make adult-like decisions when it comes to sex. Of course, there are plenty of sexually active adolescents, and many are likely responsible enough to not let sex ruin their lives – as in getting pregnant or impregnating another when they’re not ready financially and emotionally, and also contracting a sexually transmitted disease. But there are just as many adolescents who do let sexual activity completely ruin their lives. Though an adolescent possesses the eagerness and physical yearning for a human-to-human population as that of a fully mature adult, their brain is still growing and developing – especially the prefrontal cortex of the brain responsible for impulse control and decision-making. In fact, this part of the brain does not fully develop in men until the age of 25. Teens will be sexually active regardless of whether or not they are ready for its potential consequences; but if their parents know of their sexual activity and agree to allow their use of contraceptives, they at least have a better chance of taking the necessary precautions to avoid a lifetime of hardship. They can help them avoid troubles.
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A teenager should be legally required to first have their parents’ permission before obtaining contraceptives because their parents can offer them guidance and support – and financial assistance if an accidental disease or pregnancy occurs. Many parents may be unaware their adolescent children are sexually active in the first place, consequently not being there to make sure their children are practicing safe sex and taking precautions to avoid pregnancy and disease. When a parent first learns their teenage child is sexually active, they usually will, one, try to educate them on how best to go about having a responsible sex life – since they most likely cannot forbid them from having sex. And even if a teen is sexually active and takes the right precautions, as in getting on birth control or using condoms, they still may make bad decisions with even worse consequences if they are hiding the fact from their parents.
Teenagers shouldn’t be allowed to obtain contraceptives on their own, without parental permission because they are minors – and are not considered adults. There is a reason they cannot vote, go to war, stay out past curfew, purchase the alcohol and tobacco products: they are legally not allowed to. By legally requiring parents to grant permission to allow their teenage children, from age 13 to 15, access to contraceptives, these parents are also kept legally responsible for their children. So if the parents practice negligence in this matter, as in allowing their children to lead lives of sexual promiscuity without safe-sex practices, they could be held legally responsible.
Teens Are not Prepared to Face the Consequences
Although adolescents feel the sexual urges of an adult, yearn for a human-to-human population like that of a fully matured adult human, they are not adults. They are not prepared to face the consequences adults face, because they have not fully matured emotionally, psychologically, financially; therefore, sexually active teens must not have access to contraceptives without their parent’s consent. Of course, there are older, more mature adolescents who have can take responsibility for their own future and engage in healthy, safe sexual practices. But many teens do allow their sexual instincts to get the better of them. So it should be required legally that teenagers shouldn’t be allowed to obtain contraceptives on their own without parental permission.
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