While they understand that sexual behavior is the issue of the personal choice, as a society they express their concern for these young people and the urgent need to take adequate steps to prevent them from indulging in immature and irresponsible sexual behavior that could leave them scarred for life. Elaborating on the need to protect young people, Tim Luckhurst states that even in the 16th and 17th centuries when child marriages were common, consumption of the marriage and indulgence in premature sex was considered harmful. While there is general consensus on the dangers of premature sex, the real concern is about teenage pregnancies.
The article, ‘ Robbed of childhood in a too much too soon world” throws light on the double standards prevalent in society and how people do not mind if a 11 year old is sexually active but are very concerned when a 11 year old becomes pregnant. This is primarily because they believe that sex may be a personal choice but bearing unwanted children is a social issue and definitely not Childs play. Using words like ‘ confused’ ‘ worrying’ , disgusting’ and unacceptable, the writers of these article reveal that they disapprove of this growing trend.
They feel that indulging in sex is ‘ inappropriate’ and believe that the young people in question lack maturity. In these articles the writers have clearly stated that there is the need to ‘ protect’ these children till they attain the mental maturity to indulge in sexual activity. According to a study conducted by Liverpool John Moores University Centre for Public Health, the age at which puberty begins has come down significantly over the last century.
The report also mentions that there is an increasing gap between ‘ physical puberty’ or the age at which the physical changes to the body happen and ‘ social puberty’ , the age at which the youngsters are socially permitted to make sexual choices. (BBC, Oct, 2006) To manage this disparity and prevent developmental problems in children, sex education is very essential. An interesting aspect highlighted by all the articles is that the number of teen pregnancies has grown following the introduction of sex education programmes in schools.
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