Empowerment and autonomy, strategy against teen pregnancy in Mexico

Strategies to prevent teenage pregnancy should allow the “empowerment” of young people and the “autonomy” of their sexual rights, said Rodrigo Moheno, general secretary of the Fundación Vivo Mexico.

Empowerment and autonomy, strategy against teen pregnancy in Mexico
Strategies to prevent teenage pregnancy should allow the “empowerment” of young people and the “autonomy” of their sexual rights, said Rodrigo Moheno, general secretary of the Fundación Vivo Mexico.

“Empowering adolescents means that they have reliable information to decide about their sexuality, that they have the knowledge so they can choose about their body, whether or not they want to have that relationship and at the same time have ways to prevent or treat them”, said the specialist.

After participating in the Mexican Congress of sex education and sexology, which will conclude this November 4 in Guadalajara, western Mexico, Moheno explained that today adolescents begin their sexual life between 12 and 15 years.

Data from the Vivo Mexico Foundation show that each year there are 457,000 cases of pregnancies in women aged 12 to 19 in the country, which occupies the first place in this problem among the nations of the Organization for Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“The young people are making decisions without information, with much confusion and with a great double moral because on the one hand they hear the speech that virgins must arrive at marriage and be monogamous, but they see that there are more and more teenage pregnancies, more single mothers” , he said.

The expert considered that parents and health institutions should give young people the power to exercise their rights to access health, education and autonomy to decide on their bodies.

He said there are still places in Mexico and other countries where if a girl is raped, the parents, the priest and the judge conspire and force her to be with the abuser, or in which a teenager does not have access to contraceptive methods if they do not come accompanied by their mother.

“Our adolescents require health care and services to exercise their sexuality” and if they do not receive it from State institutions it would have to be classified as “medical negligence”, he stressed.

Moheno presented at the congress a pedagogical guide on sexual health focused on adolescents and young people with which they intend to offer tools for teachers and sexual counselors to clarify the doubts of adolescents with scientific and reliable information.

It also offers young people ludic dynamics, videos and games, as well as online tools such as a virtual office, service directories and advice to clarify all their doubts, he explained.

The publication has the advice of the Mexican Association for Sexual Health and the Mexican Federation of Sexual Education and Sexology.

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