Neil Cole: Goals Of The Candie’s Foundation

Neil Cole describes in this Op-ed that the goal of The Candie’s Foundation was to help teenagers to understand how hard it is to have a child and how life-altering the experience is.

“We are trying to break through all of the media clutter and make teens understand that having a child is difficult and will change your life forever.”

We plant a seed in the minds of teens to be aware of the risk of teen pregnancy and to remind them how it can change the course of their future. Young women should be aware, that if they become a teen mom they will face tremendous challenges. Teen moms repeatedly tell us how they feel isolated from peers, judged by teachers and experience hardships that they were not prepared for.

Back in July 2015 a CNN article appeared on Teen Pregnancy.

Headline from CNN Health Article that appeared on July 22, 2015

(From the CNN article dated in July 22, 2015 by Carina Storrs and Special to CNN)
The following is a summary of that article:

Teens are reporting the lowest rates of sexual activity in 25 years; condom use is marginally higher than the past eleven years. These statistics are the good news from the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are indicating that young adults are taking more responsibility for their sexual behavior.

But there was also bad news: teens- particularly teenage girls- are not relying on highly effective contraceptive methods (like IUDs and diaphragms). They continue to depend on ineffective and unreliable practices (like withdrawal).

Researchers reviewed the sexual activity and contraceptive use of teens in an effort to determine the exact factors of teenage pregnancy. These factors are further swayed by additional elements such as teens’ home life, educational environment, and more.

That rates reported in this research, however, only indicated how often teens ever used condoms as a contraception method, not how consistently it was employed. As medical professionals and healthcare workers know, the only determining factor in reducing teen pregnancies and the transmission of STDs is the consistent and correct use of any contraceptive method at all.

Laura Lindberg, the lead research assistant behind the study, says that she believed that the dramatic reduction of teen pregnancies suggests that teens are actually using contraception more.

Even though the report points to a 25-year low for teen sexual activity, the actual reduction in teen pregnancies and moms should be attributed to 1988-1995, is really what is responsible for this decline, when there was increased education about sex in response to the HIV epidemic, and the rate of sexual activity has not changed much since then, Lindberg said.

According to Lindberg,

“It’s normal for teenagers by the time they enter young adulthood to be having sex, so I don’t want to problematize that”

She indicated that the rate of regular contraceptive use has to be as high as possible to facilitate healthier long term health relationships among teens. Another promising finding from the study is that older teens who waited until they were (18 or 19 years old) before having sex for the first time were far more likely to use contraception correctly and consistently from the very first sexual encounter. Female teens who reported not using contraception from the first sexual experience were two to five times more likely to have a baby while still a teenager.

All the research and efforts are focused on education and avoiding teen pregnancies.

“The major concern is that [a child born to a teen mom] has a greater chance of being raised in poverty and the mother’s education and employment may be limited [and] the father may be less involved,”

Source: CNN article here