The Teen Doctor

Answers to your questions about adolescents

Should I Take My Teen to Get Birth Control Pills?

What to do about teens and birth control Read More

Holland

If it were a son, many parents would be quietly giving him a "high five" for being a ladies man. That's the double standard in America.

In Holland and some other Northern European countries, it is not uncommon for the parents to encourage their daughter to have sex for the first time in their home with her boyfriend, in a safe and supportive environment with birth control. Many consider this a reason why the teenage pregnancy rate in these countries is much lower than in the USA.

However, if you suggest this approach to American parents for their daughters, the common response is "over my dead body!". And all the while, many of these same American parents give quiet high-fives to their sons for being sexually active.

Thank you so much for this

Thank you so much for this important and insightful feedback...

yes, you should

Dear letter-writer,
The chances that your daughter and her boyfriend are already having sex are extremely high. I would say over 90% likelihood. This means that every day you delay taking her to the doctor to get birth control pills increases the chances of an unplanned pregnancy.

You don't think she's ready for sex. Do you think she's ready to make a decision about pregnancy, whether to have an abortion or become a 17 year old mother?

Your daughter trusted you enough to come to you for help. I agree with you about encouraging her to use condoms, but she has already made the decision to take the pill. Sure, talk to her about alternatives, pros and cons of each one, but in the end it is her decision.

You make some very excellent

You make some very excellent and intriguing points here. Thank you!

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Barbara Greenberg, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of adolescents and their well-intentioned but exhausted parents.

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