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Comments on: With contraceptive methods available in Jamaica, why is there a problem with teenage pregnancy? http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/familyplanning/2008/10/30/with-contraceptive-methods-available-in-jamaica-why-is-there-a-problem-with-teenage-pregnancy/ Subject to Terms of Use: See http://www.stanford.edu/home/atoz/terms.html Sat, 12 Sep 2009 00:15:21 -0700 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.4 hourly 1 By: Maggie Chen http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/familyplanning/2008/10/30/with-contraceptive-methods-available-in-jamaica-why-is-there-a-problem-with-teenage-pregnancy/comment-page-1/#comment-211 Maggie Chen Sat, 01 Nov 2008 23:33:46 +0000 http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/familyplanning/?p=69#comment-211 I was surprised and pleased to read that knowledge about sex/family planning is at a decent level for teens. It seems like, in this post, you're bumping up against the very challenging link (or absence thereof) between knowledge and behavior. Sometimes people who are knowledgeable about sex, STIs, pregnancy, etc. make the riskiest choices. I've come to believe that behavior change comes about when one is truly invested in the change and its consequences, and one is in an environment that supports the change. (In terms of change, I'm referring to the example of using BC or condoms.) I wonder whether the Jamaican government is stuck on thinking that education = behavior change, or whether they are thinking about this missing link. I was surprised and pleased to read that knowledge about sex/family planning is at a decent level for teens. It seems like, in this post, you’re bumping up against the very challenging link (or absence thereof) between knowledge and behavior. Sometimes people who are knowledgeable about sex, STIs, pregnancy, etc. make the riskiest choices. I’ve come to believe that behavior change comes about when one is truly invested in the change and its consequences, and one is in an environment that supports the change. (In terms of change, I’m referring to the example of using BC or condoms.) I wonder whether the Jamaican government is stuck on thinking that education = behavior change, or whether they are thinking about this missing link.

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By: Max Romano http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/familyplanning/2008/10/30/with-contraceptive-methods-available-in-jamaica-why-is-there-a-problem-with-teenage-pregnancy/comment-page-1/#comment-209 Max Romano Sat, 01 Nov 2008 22:25:43 +0000 http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/familyplanning/?p=69#comment-209 I have to admit that I was confused by a few of your statistics: how could only 62.8% of young adult women report having received information on pregnancy before having sex for the first time while 85% of young women report having received a course on family life or sex education either in school or outside of school. Are the courses not covering the topic of pregnancy? Or are the people having their sex before they attend the courses? Regardless, I like your elucidation of the point that "information" is not the missing link in reproductive health for most people. People are often convinced that education is the only way to help others. You know the old saying: If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. Well education is certainly important, but a belief that the rich establishment's knowledge is the only thing missing from poor peoples' lives is rather arrogant. I think the ready accessibility of contraceptives and stigmas surrounding their use, especially as it relates to gender norms, are probably very important in dictating rates of use all over the world. I'm curious to see what you come up with in your analysis of barriers to contraceptive use next week. I have to admit that I was confused by a few of your statistics: how could only 62.8% of young adult women report having received information on pregnancy before having sex for the first time while 85% of young women report having received a course on family life or sex education either in school or outside of school. Are the courses not covering the topic of pregnancy? Or are the people having their sex before they attend the courses?

Regardless, I like your elucidation of the point that “information” is not the missing link in reproductive health for most people. People are often convinced that education is the only way to help others. You know the old saying: If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. Well education is certainly important, but a belief that the rich establishment’s knowledge is the only thing missing from poor peoples’ lives is rather arrogant. I think the ready accessibility of contraceptives and stigmas surrounding their use, especially as it relates to gender norms, are probably very important in dictating rates of use all over the world. I’m curious to see what you come up with in your analysis of barriers to contraceptive use next week.

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By: heather7@stanford.edu http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/familyplanning/2008/10/30/with-contraceptive-methods-available-in-jamaica-why-is-there-a-problem-with-teenage-pregnancy/comment-page-1/#comment-207 heather7@stanford.edu Fri, 31 Oct 2008 07:56:13 +0000 http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/familyplanning/?p=69#comment-207 It's so interesting to hear that lack of knowledge doesn't seem to be the problem here; it's the other social factors at work! If Jamaican women for whatever reason don't have access to contraceptive methods to have on hand or are being forced into sexual relationships having knowledge about reproductive health wouldn't really help. Furthermore It sounds like this problem may not really be solved by increasing access to contraceptives to teens since there is such a large social pressure to have babies early or suffer social stigmas. Perhaps interventions that focus on educating women would empower them and allow them to have jobs and a purpose in life other than producing babies. This could also allow them some economic freedom to refuse sexual exchanges as well. It’s so interesting to hear that lack of knowledge doesn’t seem to be the problem here; it’s the other social factors at work! If Jamaican women for whatever reason don’t have access to contraceptive methods to have on hand or are being forced into sexual relationships having knowledge about reproductive health wouldn’t really help. Furthermore It sounds like this problem may not really be solved by increasing access to contraceptives to teens since there is such a large social pressure to have babies early or suffer social stigmas. Perhaps interventions that focus on educating women would empower them and allow them to have jobs and a purpose in life other than producing babies. This could also allow them some economic freedom to refuse sexual exchanges as well.

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