This week, Morgan, RN, and her friend Ann speak to a study on teen pregnancy prevention.
When a group of pregnant teen girls was asked, “What can be done to lower the teen pregnancy rate?” their answer was, “Teach us how to say no and not hurt our boyfriend’s feelings.”
Education on healthy relationships is vital to the conversation about Teen Pregnancy Prevention.
For many, the concepts of “boundaries” and “consent” are fuzzy and difficult to define. So, let’s take a look at both!
“Teach us how to say no…” is an example of a boundary.
A boundary is a limit or a rule that a person sets for themselves in a relationship.
Boundaries allow for each person to be comfortable in a relationship.
It tells each partner what the other can or cannot expect.
Parents model setting boundaries with bedtimes, for example. As a person matures, it is up to them to define what is important to them and teach others how to treat them.
Here are two examples of patients who set and enforced their boundaries:
“I feel annoyed when guys show up to my house and just text me the word, ‘Here,’ so I tell them as we are making plans it’s important to me that they come to the door and at least say hi to my family before we leave. If they still text me, or worse honk their car horn, I won’t come out until they come to the door.”-Lana (not her real name)
“I work two part-time jobs and help my mom watch my sisters sometimes, too. One of my managers is constantly calling me begging me to cover someone else’s shift. I’ve told them clearly I can only work when I’m scheduled because of my other commitments and on my days off, I let those calls go to voicemail and return their call when I’m able.”-Jon (not his real name)
If a person doesn’t understand their own boundaries, it’s impossible to communicate them to a partner.
“…and not hurt my boyfriend’s feelings.” This aspect speaks to the issue of consent.
Consent is the voluntary agreement to the proposal or desires of another. The key word here is VOLUNTARY.
Consent is NOT:
- Continuously asking until the person says yes;
- Being upset or disengaged after being told no;
- Thinking that flirting, kissing, or wearing certain clothes is giving consent;
- Saying yes under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Assuming that since you’ve done something in the past you can do it again without asking for consent.
Consent IS an enthusiastic, uncoerced, unforced YES.
Informed consent is saying YES after being given all the risks and benefits of the choice.
At Connect Medical Clinic, we want to maximize health and minimize the potential for unintended sexual health events like unplanned pregnancies or STIs. If you or someone you know would like to know more about this or anything Ann shared in this week’s video, please make an appointment to talk to one of of our nurses.