When I first heard Jamie Lynn Spears explain why she ended up getting pregnant at 16, I was kind of confused. As the now 21-year-old recently told Glamour magazine:
I believe in safety and birth control as prevention. But like many young girls ... I was really scared to go to the doctor. And I was on a Nickelodeon show, and it [felt] especially embarrassing to ask someone to put me on birth control. I didn't want to ask my doctor, because she had a little girl.
My initial reaction was: Wait a minute. Britney Spears is your big sister and you were embarrassed to ask for birth control? I knew plenty of girls who went to their older sisters for help in that department, and besides, when Britney Spears is your sibling, is there anything you can really do that would qualify as "embarrassing"?
But then it occurred to me: I was missing the point entirely.
Okay, so Jamie Lynn didn't want to go on birth control ... why was I putting all the responsibility on her anyway?
What about her babydaddy?
There's no question that it's a hell of a lot easier for a teen guy to carry a couple of condoms around with him than it is for a teen girl to obtain a prescription for a pill she has to take every day. Beyond that, kids should be using condoms to protect against STDs ... whether the girl is on birth control or not.
So why aren't teen guys carrying condoms around?
The only (weak) excuses I can think of are the expense (come on, they're not that pricey) and/or that pesky embarrassment factor (like any teen boy is going to be "embarrassed" that the pharmacy cashier thinks he's sexually active).
But hey, if those are really such roadblocks to condom use, then I say high schools should take it upon themselves to offer unlimited free condoms, no questions asked. Whatever the cost, it will most certainly be negligible in comparison to the cost of unwanted teen pregnancies.
Do you think high schools should offer free condoms to students?
Image via Writing on the Mall/Flickr