Sexual Behaviour in Canada: Patterns and Problems

By Benjamin Schlesinger | Go to book overview

Female teenagers and contraception

LIZ ROBERTS

I have young friends ages fourteen through seventeen who are mothers. Their education was cut short. Why? Because a girl likes to stay with the crowd, to keep up with fashion and to compete. If she does, she must consider sex...

Sex is out in the open and it affects every school child - young and old.

Sex is the most 'hip' thing today. If you are not with it you're a square. To be a girl in this day and age means knowing how to cope with sex when it is presented to you. ( Kathleen Ross17)1

I wonder whether this is how most teenagers perceive sex. From this excerpt it almost seems that peer pressure has made sex an obligation for young people, just to keep up with the crowd. Irrefutably, today's youth is overwhelmed with exposure to sex. In Toronto one must only walk down Yonge Street, to view the many body-rub parlours and strip joints, watch the baby blue movies, or go to any cinema to be confronted, almost assaulted, by a sex-saturated society. By and large the image created by media, however, is not matched by the reality. As Kathleen Ross most succinctly commented 'you must know how to cope with sex when it is presented to you.' Just how are teenagers coping with and absorbing this bombardment. (For the purposes of this paper coping with, narrowly defined, is equated avoidance of unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.) As the teenage subpopulation obviously includes many for whom fertility regulation is either unnecessary or undesirable, I concern myself primarily with the fraction of the teenage population whose sexual behaviour entails the risk of unwanted pregnancy. Interestingly, available literature deals predominantly with the inevitable results of unprotected intercourse: pregnancy. In discussions of paediatric preg-

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