The article that caused controversy at Oak Ridge High School

The article that caused controversy at Oak Ridge High School

6 News is providing this copy of the article, "Meyers explains birth control methods," as it was to appear in the Oak Leaf, Oak Ridge High School's monthly newspaper. Read it and decide for yourself if the school administration was right in censoring the article.

Meyers explains birth control methods
by Krystal Meyers

According to a poll taken in 2001, if applied to ORHS today, then there would be

  • 34% of ninth graders = 143 sexually active students
  • 41% of tenth graders = 147 sexually active students
  • 52% of eleventh graders = 195 sexually active students
  • 60 % of twelfth graders = 207 sexually active students

**This information was provided by Dr. Charles E. Darling, an obstetrician with the Anderson County Health center. **

If these figures hold true, 692 ORHS students have had sexual intercourse. There are many concerns for these teens, including emotional health, STD’s, and pregnancies. I want to discuss how to lower the risk of unwanted pregnancy.

While complete sexual abstinence is certainly an option, these statistics say that many teens aren’t choosing that option.

My opinion is, if you’re going to have sex, then be safe. There are so many things out there that can keep you safe. These methods include:

  • The pill with an 8% failure rate
  • Male condoms with a 14% failure rate
  • Rhythm (avioding sexual contact when the female is fertile) with a 20% failure rate
  • Withdrawal (pulling out) with a 24% failure rate
  • Cervical caps with a 20% failure rate
  • Spermicides with a 26% failure rate
  • Depo-Provera (an intra-muscular shot received every 12 weeks) with a 3.1% failure rate
  • Mirena IUD (a hormone releasing intrauterine contraceptive) with a 0.1% failure rate
  • ParaGaurd IUD (a non-hormone releasing intrauterine contraceptive) with a 0.8% failure rate
  • A diaphragm with a 12% failure rate

“There are some things that a lot of people don’t know about many of these contraceptives that make the failure rate so high,” Dr. Darling cautions.

The only way for male condoms to actually work correctly is as soon as the male ejaculates he must pull out so there won’t be any leakage into the vaginal area. This, unfortunately, is not widely practiced and therefore ups the risk of pregnancy.

“If you are taking any medications and you wish to be put on Depo-Provera you should go and talk to your OB/GYN before and make sure that they will work together. There have been many cases where a certain medication has shortened the 12 week infertility period by almost 3 weeks. This causes women to be able to get pregnant during this time period,” said a current substitute teacher and a former employee at a pregnancy center, who asked that we not use her name.

“Withdrawal is risky because many men do not realize when semen is released the first bit of semen contains a large quantity of sperm,” Dr. Darling stated.

If you are considering any kind of birth control, please talk to your doctor first and let him know of any medications that you may be on to be sure that it is right for you.

Statistics show the number of teens involved with sexual intercourse has been declining since 1991; now 43% of women and 49% of men admit to being sexually active in high school.

“Continuous use of the pill and the patch has not been well studied, nor are there large studies done on the effectiveness of the vaginal ring,” said Darling.

“If you get a pregnancy test done and you find out that you are pregnant, you can make sure that the parents do not know. Also parental consent is not needed to obtain birth control,” stated Darling.

Contraceptives can be obtained through a local physician or the local Health Department. The Anderson County Health Department is open on Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is located at 100 N Main St, Clinton, TN 37716. You can reach them during normal business hours at (865) 457-6228


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