Parents Prefer Their Teen Daughters Use the Pill Instead of Condoms

February 19, 2013  |  
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No parent is dying for her baby girl to start having sex, but the reality is that teens are interested in, and often start having, sex. According to the Atlantic, parents favor the pill over other methods, even if it’s not the most reliable form of contraception available.

Parents of girls aged 12 to 17 were asked, “If your teen’s doctor found out your daughter was having sex, is it acceptable or unacceptable to you for the doctor to provide birth control to your teen confidentially?” Researchers then asked them to rate on a scale of 1 to 4 the kind of contraception they would prefer for their daughters. Parents who most recognized their teen’s autonomy were most likely to accept their daughters using birth control in the first place. Fifty-nine percent of parents were most comfortable with the pill, followed by 51 percent who preferred condoms; 46 preferred injectable birth control; 45 percent chose emergency contraception; 43 percent preferred the patch; 32 percent were in favor of an implant and just 18 percent of parents asked preferred IUDs.

In recent years, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has started endorsing the IUD and the implant as the safest and most effective forms of reversible birth control of women of all reproductive ages. The IUD’s noticeable unpopularity seems to indicate parents are still remember the IUDs of the 1970s, which were linked to infertility and even death. IUDs are a better choice than the pill for teens because the pill is most effective when taken at the same time each day. Teens aren’t always able to do that.

And while parents prefer a hormonal method of birth control for their daughters, they don’t protect against STDs and most doctors recommend non-monogamous patients use a barrier method as well as a hormonal method of birth control. But the researchers found that the less parents approved of their girls getting birth control, the less likely they were to be in favor of condoms. On the other hand, parents who thought their daughters would be sexually active within the next year were more likely to be in favor of the morning after pill and condoms. It seems these parents thought of their daughters’ sexual activity as a one-off thing rather than an ongoing change in their lives.

The very beginning of the study read,”The incidence of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remains high among adolescents.” Study authors hope this sobering fact will force parents to recognize the importance of condoms as well as other more permanent or invasive methods.

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    Thing with condoms is they are the most prone to failure of all birth control options.Even when used properly.That…and they cause a “friction” reaction that may make a woman even more susceptible to an STD should they break.Consider how little of the body a condom covers…as opposed to the orifices & openings for infection.I know the CONDOM NAZIS would have you believe it’s the ONLY way to have “safe sex”….or any sex at all.The reality is that men & women are choosing not to use them.That’s across the board with all races.

  • Toya Sharee

    oThe Atlantic mentioned that the results of the study revealed a lot about parents recognizing their children’s independence. I suspect parents feel like since hormonal methods have to be prescribed, somehow they will still be able to track their chid’s sexual behavior, which is completely bpgus since whether it’s an IUD or condoms, in most states teens can manage their own sexual healthcare confidentially.

    Also I think parent’s concerns are heavily influenced by the media. And since teen pregnancy has been the hot topic with stories of pregnancy pacts and MTV’s Teen Mom, parents have forgotten that STI’s still exist and are still a common dangerous threat to teenager’s sexual health. The pill won’t protect you from herpes or HIV.

    In the end, it’s about educating parents as much as we educate teens about sexual health. Many of them still harbor outdated concerns and prejudices when it comes to certain methods.

  • kierah

    I would prefer that my child use condoms for all around protection from pregnancy and disease.

    In addition, I don’t use hormonally based contraception for myself so I would hardly endorse it for a teenage girl.