The thought of teenagers having sex makes many adults uncomfortable. The potential outcome of pregnancy is often not desirable in an industrialized society. In the United States, the pregnancy rate has been steadily declining over the past decade but the pregnancy rate is still among the highest in Western societies.
Consider the following hypothetical example:
Sally is your daughter who is in her early teens. She has been a good student. She has had a close relationship with you and a good relationship with her dad. She currently is interested in politics and is on the student council. She is active in many school events and is expected by all of the adults in her life to go to college. As her mother, you begin to suspect that she may be engaging in sexual activity. She stays out later than her curfew, and she has a steady boyfriend. There have been a few times when you know she had opportunity for sexual activity. You are an authoritative parent. You want her to know about pregnancy risks, sexually transmitted diseases, and you are concerned about her early development of relationships. You also are aware that in today’s world, teens do not really date as in previous generations. They tend to engage in serial monogamy. What would you, as an authoritative parent, do? What would you do if you were an authoritarian or permissive parent?
To prepare for this assignment:
- Review the article, “Building Teen Power for Sexual Health.”
- Think about Baumrind’s parenting styles. How might authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive parents respond differently to this situation?
- Consider risks of sexual involvement including (but not limited to) pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
The Assignment: (2–3 pages)
Keeping the above example in mind and other factors that are known to delay the onset of intercourse and prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases:
- Explain the risks of sexual involvement for Sally if, in fact, she is sexually active.
- Explain how parents, from each of the three styles listed above, would respond to Sally.
- Provide specific examples of parenting behaviors that include limits for Sally and consequences if the limits are not followed.
Conclude by explaining your own thoughts on how to best respond if Sally was your daughter.