Contraception and Pregnancy: Complex Issues
Sexually active American adolescents tend to be erratic users of contraception, as are their likely role models, American adults (see Chapter 13). This may be, in part, because Americans are exposed to mixed messages about contraceptive use. Until recently, words like “condom” have been taboo on television, and contraception is not generally advertised in magazines or other media. Access to contraceptive devices (except condoms) is difficult for teens, and many forms of birth control are expensive. Most other industrialized countries provide free or low-cost birth control to adolescents. Providing free condoms in America has been a very controversial issue. As a result of this erratic use of contraception and the mixed messages, teen pregnancy continues to be a problem in this country.