When sex education and luck fail

This week I will be talking with a number of organizations and people about providing sex education for teenage parents through one of the non-profit agencies here in town. I am really very excited about this potential project.

While there are a few teenage mothers who planned their pregnancies (mostly married, Hispanic mothers), the vast majority of them did not. And, while there are a few teenage mothers who became pregnant even though they used birth control and used it correctly, the vast majority of them did not. These teenagers, having proven to the world their sexuality and their fertility, are by and large in serious need of information about sex and STDs and pregnancy prevention.

I have investigated a number of organizations who interact with teen parents over the past month or so. Most of these organizations are doing what they can to inform teen mothers, and some times teen fathers, about the litany of STDs and safe sex. This is fantastic! Regrettably, they are not going much beyond these two topics in their conversations. They are not incorporating a discussion of rape or date rape, homosexuality or transgenderedness, how to insist on using condoms or how to say no to sex. These are all critical topics for teenage parents, as they are for any teenager, to understand in addition to the harsh realities of STDs and condoms.

Teen parents are a particularly difficult group to find. A number of non-profit agencies in town provide excellent services to teen parents, and are considering incorporating a sex education class oriented to their population into these services. I am very excited about the potential opportunity to work directly with teenage parents in order to broaden their understanding of sexuality and sexual health.

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.