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Chapter 9

Social Problems Chapter 9 [COMPLETE] Notes - I 4.0ed this course

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCIOL 103
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Fall

Description
Sexual Behavior Abstinence-plus approach: Curriculum that urges students to wait to have sex but it also teaches them about birth control and condoms. 9.1 An Overview of Heterosexuality The Sexual Revolution: Changing Attitudes and Changing Behavior • Sexual revolution - A substantial change during the 1960s and 1970s in many aspects of Americans' sexual behavior and in how they thought about sex. • Thanks in large part to the introduction of the birth control pill, women became freer to have sex without fear of pregnancy. • The hippies of the youth counterculture of the 1960s emphasized free love, the idea that sexual intercourse and other forms of sex need not be delayed until marriage. • As a result of the sexual revolution, more people now have sex before marriage than before and views about certain sexual behaviors have become less conservative. • Views on sex among teenagers has not changed so the sexual revolution was only partly revolutionary. Heterosexuality Today: Attitudes and Behavior • Americans are divided and united on certain sexual issues. They also differ on how much sex they have and how varied it is. Attitudes • Americans almost unanimously think that adultery and teenage sex are wrong but they are fairly evenly split on whether premarital sex is wrong. Behavior • Males are more active than females • Females are more likely to have same-sex sexual contact • The more religious someone is, the less likely they are to have had sex and the more disapproving they are of premarital sex 9.2 Teenage Sex and Pregnancy • Increase in teenage sex caused concern because it greatly increased the risk of teenage pregnancy and it greatly increased the risk of getting HIV and other STDs Teenage Sexual Activity • Greater than other western democracies. • Percent of sexually active teens has fallen but is still high. • Top reason for both sexes for not having sex is religion and morals The Problem of Teenage Pregnancy • About 1/2 of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned • 40% of these unplanned pregnancies end in abortion and about 10% end by miscarriage • About 1/5 of all unplanned pregnancies occur to teenagers About 18% of teenaged girls become mothers. In several southern and southwestern • states, this % is as high as 25-30% • Pregnant teens are more at risk than older pregnant women for high blood pressure and anemia, and they are more likely to experience early labor, premature birth, and low birth weight • Many pregnant teens decide to drop out of school • Pregnant teens disproportionately come from families that are poor or near poor • Because pregnancy and childbirth complications are more common among teenagers, their health-care expenses during and after pregnancy and childbirth are often higher than the expenses incurred by older women Children and Our Future: Kids Having Kids: The Children of Teenage Mothers • Teen moms often have poor parenting skills and do not take the time to read daily to their children and otherwise stimulate their cognitive development • The stress they experience as very young mothers puts them at risk for neglecting or abusing their children • When compared to children born to older mothers, the children of teen moms have lower cognitive scores on the average when they start kindergarten, and they continue to have lower math, reading, and vocabulary test scores as they grow older. • They are less likely than children of older mothers to graduate from high school. • When the children of teen moms become adolescents, they are more at risk for delinquency and drug use and to have a prison record by the time they reach young adulthood. Trends in Teenage Pregnancy • The rate of teenage pregnancy has declined rather dramatically since the early 1990s • Experts attribute the decline in teenage pregnancy and birth mostly to increased contraceptive use (stemming from a combination of increased sex education in the schools and increased provision of contraceptives to teenagers) and, to a smaller extent, to reduced sexual activity among some teenagers Correlates of Teenage Pregnancy • The pregnancy rates for black and Hispanic teenagers are almost three times greater than the rates for non-Hispanic whites • In general, the South has a higher teenage pregnancy rate than the rest of the nation • The South's generally higher rate stems largely from its higher poverty rate and racial/ ethnic composition • Sex education programs emphasizing safe sex are also less common in Southern states than in many other states. The same difference holds for the provision of contraceptives by Planned Parenthood and other agencies and organizations. Sexually Transmitted Diseases • The STD rate in the US is higher than in most other Western democracies • Almost 19 million new cases of STDs are diagnosed annually • Although teens and young adults ages 15-24 compose only 1/4 of sexually active people, they account for 1/2 of all new STDs 20% of young women have had an STD in the past year, compared to 10% of young • men • 34% of young African Americans have had an STD in the past year compared to 10% Asians and whites, and 15% of Hispanics Three types of sexual behaviors that increase the risk of transmitting or contracting an • STD: •Having sex with at least three partners during the past year •Having a sex partner with a known STD Not using a condom regularly • Reducing Teenage Pregnancy and Helping Teenage Mothers • Teenage pregnancies cannot occur if teens do not have sex or they use effective contraception Reducing Pregnancy • Emphasize the importance of waiting to have sex but also the need for teenagers to use contraception if they are sexually active • Effective contraception (birth control pills, condoms, other hormonal control) must be made available for teenagers at little or not cost. • Studies indicate that these two contraception strategies do not lead to more teenage sex • Early childhood intervention (ECI) programs - Programs that typically involve visits by social workers, nurses, and other professionals to the homes of children who are at risk for neurological, emotional, and/or behavioral problems during their first several years and also as they grow into adolescents and young adults. • Long-term evaluation studies show that the best of these programs reduce the likelihood that the very young children they help will become pregnant or have children of their own after they become teenagers Helping Teen Mothers • Second-chance homes - Maternity group homes for unmarried teen motherss • Sad fact is that teen moms often have nowhere to live • Teen moms end up on their own because their parents kick them out, they choose to move out, or they move in with the baby's father before it ending badly and they are alone again • In these homes teen moms receive shelter, food, childrearing help, educational and vocational counseling and training, family planning counseling, and parenting classes Addressing Poverty • Children who grow up in poor families and in disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to have sex earlier as teens and to become pregnant. • Efforts to reduce poverty and improve the conditions of disadvantaged neighborhoods will also reduce the collateral effects of poverty, including teenage pregnancy 9.3 Abortion A Brief History of Abortion Abortion has been widely practiced since the beginning of recorded history • • During the Middle Ages, most religious scholars thought abortion was not murder unless quickening had occurred which is about 4-5 months into a pregnancy • Pope Pius IX declared in 1869 that abortion was murder no matter how young the fetus was and this remains the current belief of the Catholic Church • Therapeutic abortions - those done to save the mother's life • During the 19th c. many countries and US states passed laws banning abortion. The laws were intended to protect pregnant women from unskilled abortionists but instead, desperate women turned to illegal practitioners and many died • The number of illegal abortions and maternal death ignited a new abortion rights movement. This movement also believed that women have the right to control their own bodies without government interference. • In the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, abortion became legal during the first trimester • Some studies find that legal abortion lowered the crime rate because the children born to poor mothers often grow up to be delinquents • Other studies found legalized abortion raised the crime rate • Even if abortion might have lowered the crime rate during the 1990s, most criminologists think that the crime rate decline mostly stemmed from other reasons, including more effective policing and a thriving economy • In a 1992 ruling, Planned Parenthood v Casey, the Supreme Court weakened Roe by ruling that states could ban abortions after the vetus became viable at 22, 23 weeks, which is before the second trimester. This ruling also allowed states to require a 24 hour waiting period, the signing of an informed consent form, and the signing of a parental consent form for minors • Congressional legislation in 1976 banned Medicaid funding of abortions, making it more difficult to receive an abortion • State measure that make it difficult to get an abortion: • 32 states prohibit the use of state funds for abortions unless the woman's life is in danger or the pregnancy was from rape or incest • 19 states require counseling before an abortion that includes information on the ability of a fetus to feel pain, mental health consequences following an abortion, the availability of ultrasound, or the claimed link between abortion and breast cancer • 2 states require a woman to have an ultrasound before an abortion Abortion Data • 1.2 million abortions occur annually in the US, down from 1.6 million in 1990 • About 90% are done during the first trimester • The abortion rate is highest in the Northeast and lowest in the Midwest, but there is much variation within each region by state • These regional differences greatly reflect the presence or absence of nearby abortion providers • In many parts of the nation it is very difficult for women to get an abortion Public Views about Abortion The public tends to agree on abortion for certain circumstances: rape, health of • mother at stake, or the baby is likely to have a serious defect • The circumstances for which the public is divided on abortion are those where a woman wants an abortion for any other reason, including her wish not to have any more children • GSS asks series of questions that show how much people support abortion for different reasons Correlates of Public Views • People who say they are not religious are almost four times more likely than those who are very religious to support a legal abortion for any reason • Catholics are not less likely than Protestants to support legal abortion for any reason • Jews and people with no religious preference are about twice as likely to favor legal abortion for any reason • Women are slightly less likely than men to favor legal abortion but the statistical difference is too small to be significant • People with college degrees are much more likely to support legal abortion for any reason • Liberals are twice as likely as conservatives to favor legal abortion • People in the Northeast and West are more likely to favor legal abortion than people in the South and Midwest Reducing Abortions and Making Them Safe • Abortion rights proponents are not happy when abortions occur but they recognize that abortions will occur whether they are legal or illegal • "What's past is prologue" for abortion. Whether its legal or not, it will occur • When abortion is illegal, women eit
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