But most mothers of adolescents today recognize that knowledge is power. They want to provide knowledge about contraceptive options to their daughters. They want them to know that they can effectively protect themselves from unintended pregnancies, but that sexually transmissible infections are a potentially problematic, morbid or even life-threatening possibility. They want them to be safe—from pregnancy, from infections and from emotional hurt; they want to protect them from an intimate relationship that is premature, exploitive, unequal or ill-advised. They would like for them to postpone having intercourse until they are cognitively, socially, emotionally and developmentally mature enough to make responsible choices. And mothers and daughters today do talk about these issues—and I believe that is so because oral contraceptives helped to set the stage, shaped the mothers’ own behaviors and helped them think about how they would like to have been parented.

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