Thursday 17 June 2010

Q and A

‘What is a good age to become pregnant?’

So, what is a good age to become pregnant? It’s a question numerous world states, women’s magazines and indeed women themselves have found nigh on impossible to answer. And here it was being posed by a 14 year old in my very first Talk About Choice (TAC) workshop. Crumbs.

As an Education For Choice newbie I’d heard a lot about TAC but this was my chance to experience it in the flesh, with real live young people and I was kept on my toes by the smart, insightful (and at times, difficult!) questions they posed. I thought this blog might be a good place to share some of these questions as well as give an idea of how we might answer them in a session.

As EFC’s project worker for young people I’m eager for our ‘on the ground’ work in schools and other educational settings to inform every aspect of the organisation’s work. So, when we get a question like ‘Are there any more STIs than HIV and AIDS?’ we are alerted to possible gaps in students’ sexual health knowledge, and when a young person asks us ‘If the couple cannot agree can an abortion take place?’ it reaffirms our commitment to addressing the role of men in pregnancy and pregnancy decision-making.

I was impressed by the students’ maturity in discussing such an emotive topic and their passion and curiosity really brought the activities I had previously only seen on paper to life. Taking part in the workshops and hearing these questions directly from young people gave me a chance to reaffirm what drew me to EFC in the first place. I saw first-hand the importance of providing clear, unbiased information about sex and pregnancy and abortion. The participants seemed pretty taken with it too. Looking over the evaluation forms I was glad to see one young person say they had learned that ‘sex is something you have to be ready for’ and another say, ‘I will make sure I wear a condom’.

I relish having the opportunity to (in keeping with this very blog!) bust some myths and make sure young people are equipped with the knowledge they need to make informed pregnancy choices. So, watch out for forthcoming ‘Q and A’ blogs, and perhaps in the meantime I’ll think up a more exciting title. As for the best age to become pregnant...the jury is still out I’m afraid.

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