Saturday, November 05, 2005

Sex and parents

Good, now that I have your attention, let me turn it to Krishna and Radha, both in their teens and flush know what! So it is this barsaat ki raat and now that all the song and dance is over, they are feeling up each other! Krishna asks Radha "Shall we do it? I have the precautions [not completely fool-proof]. In the worst case we can always have an abortion." Well, the actual worst case is probably an STD for Radha!

How does the legality of the abortion change the decision of Radha?

In social science parlance, does the legal status of abortion affect the decision of Radha or Krishna indulging in sexual activity? Do a high cost of the consequences of the decision deter her from it? In a more fashionable general manner of speaking, does increasing the cost of indulging in risky sex deter Radha/ Krishna from it?

Well, it does apparently. If you make abortion illegal or ask for a parental involvement in an abortion decision, then there are chances of less risky teen-sex out there! The guiding parameter is that, teens should not be parenting!

For further information, read the paper Abortion Access and Risky Sex Among Teens: Parental Involvement Laws and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The conclusion states thus...

"Incentives matter. They matter even in activities as primal as sex, and they matter even among teenagers, who are conventionally thought to be relatively myopic. If the expected costs of risky sex are raised, teens will substitute towards less risky activities such as protected sex or abstinence... Increasing the cost of abortion for teens...induces teenage girls to avoid risky sex, which will likely have the effect of lowering pregnancy rates, abortion rates, and birth rates among this group of individuals...Many public policies can be improved by recognizing the sensitivity of teenage sexual decisions to costs and benefits."

Well, the Indian Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1972 asks for a guardian consent in case of a requirement of abortion. So how does weak implementation influence the extent of risky sexual activity? My guess is that it only helps it increase, but coming down strongly on implementation will not help tackle it either.

Why did I choose Krishna and Radha? Well, why not?

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