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Despite parents' allowing romantic sleepovers, the Netherlands has one of the lowest youth pregnancy rates

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Sociologist Amy Schalet has done wonderful research comparing American and Dutch approaches to teen sexuality. Among other fascinating findings, she has shown that, American parents approach their children's sexual initiation with fear and loathing; while Dutch parents treat sexuality like any other realm of life that a child must learn to manage. Accordingly, most American teenagers hide their virginity loss from their parents, furtively popping the cherry in risky situations, often without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In contrast, most Dutch teenagers lose their virginity in their own bedrooms with their parents approval… and condoms.

This different approach to teen sexuality helps explain the dramatic differences between the U.S. and the Netherlands in rates of contraceptive use, teen pregnancy, abortion, and STI transmission. Check it this data from Advocates for Youth:

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Edited by El Buscador

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Mark just said to me the other day that it's still astonishing to him the number of teenage mothers here.

edit to add--wth is wrong with our society that a parent cannot discuss sex and anything else to do with it with their teenage children? Seems that some parents need to wake up and smell coffee--not talking about it or treating it as something to be hidden from their teenagers is creating a problem rather than preventing it.

Edited by tmma

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Agreed. It's awkward talk but I'd rather my children learn about sex from me and have correct information than learn from their friends. Also, I don't want them to be embarrased and scared to approach me about the subject like I was when I was their age. I truly believe that had my mother been more open about sex and didn't act like it was shameful, maybe I wouldn't have been so eager to experiment at a younger age. Their father has his head buried in the sand about this topic which is really a shame. He acts like if they don't discuss sex then they won't have sex. Wrong!! My son told me, "my dad still calls penises "weiners", he seriously needs to get with it.". I thought that was funny.

edit to add--wth is wrong with our society that a parent cannot discuss sex and anything else to do with it with their teenage children? Seems that some parents need to wake up and smell coffee--not talking about it or treating it as something to be hidden from their teenagers is creating a problem rather than preventing it.

Edited by je veux ton amour

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There definitely is a teen pregnancy problem in America. And we definitely need parents to have a dialogue with their children about it.

But this study commits the same error as every similar study I have seen. It counts teen pregnancies simply as women and girls under the age of 20 that got pregnant. That seems reasonable until you realize that some 18 and 19 year old women get married and chose to start a family. That's not the typical face of teen pregnancy as we imagine it, but it is being included in these statistics.

Based on societal norms, I imagine that more 18 and 19 year old women are getting married and starting families in the US than in Europe.

Edited by SMR

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....... I imagine that more 18 and 19 year old women are getting married and starting families in the US than in Europe.

Yes, I think that too. Definatly among my friends and family all over Europe- we'd be classed as old parents here!

In fact I was barely 29 when I had my son in Seattle and I was the oldest mother in the L D ward and they had me flagged as an old first time mother...I was like :wacko: , really?

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This is America Steven, we don't need to look at what other nations are doing better than us to learn anything. What we do is the best way to do it. Abstinence is the only method that will properly decrease the spread of STD's and teen pregnancy.

You are right, but problem with that is it seems less American teenagers abstain than -for example -Holland.

edit- or I should say that American teenagers do not abstain and a greater percentage of them get preg or diseased than Holland.

edit again---lol---In general terms alot of teenagers are not going to abstain. No matter the nationality.

Edited by tmma

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You are right, but problem with that is it seems less American teenagers abstain than -for example -Holland.

They really do need to get a [sarcasm][/sarcasm] tag in this forum. I was trying to snidely point out that preaching abstinence only in today's culture is a colossal failure that is compounded by the successful work done in France and the Netherlands.

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They really do need to get a [sarcasm][/sarcasm] tag in this forum. I was trying to snidely point out that preaching abstinence only in today's culture is a colossal failure that is compounded by the successful work done in France and the Netherlands.

Oh OK...lol.

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The fact that the Netherlands appears to be doing something right can't help the

opposite fact that this country is seriously "eff'd" up regarding teenage pregnancy.

Can they control their kid's behavior better because they are a smaller or more homogeneous country?

Who knows?

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