Sexual and reproductive health varies widely across the world, which Marilyn Rice describes in her article here. In a developed country, such as the United States, sexual education is often a part of school curriculum. Other countries do not have this as an option. Young women in particular are at particular risk, not just of becoming pregnant, but of contracting diseases and infections. As adolescents, these girls do not have the social status or power over their own bodies needed to take proper care of their bodies. If her condition is left untreated, it could mean more serious consequences in the future, such as dangerous pregnancy or infertility.
Developing countries need access to the information necessary to make an informed decision when it comes to sexual health. In some African and Asian countries, the female fraction of the student body in schools is significantly less than for males. Even if sexual education is offered in some form in schools, girls may not be there to hear it. In these countries, females are lower on the social hierarchy than males. It may be more important to her family that she helps out around the house than receives an education. The author of this article cites a supportive family environment as an effective way to provide information to adolescents. In addition, she talks about how religious organizations should take part as well. I found this interesting because the data Professor Clancy showed in class demonstrated this as an ineffective method.
There are many factors involved in maintaining sexual health in adolescents. It seems as though adolescents are experimenting sexually at a younger age than previous generations. As a result, it is important to keep them informed. Along with this comes creating an environment of gender equality, which can help women have the power they need to make decisions about their own bodies.