The Issue of Teenage Pregnancies in the United States

Teenage pregnancy is a term that refers to a teenaged girl or underage girl becoming pregnant especially at the age of 12-19 years. Under contemporary conditions, teenage pregnancy is considered to be a curse since it has severe consequences associated with it. Teenage pregnancies are always regarded as a curse since they are associated with social and behavioral problems. Most of the children born in such conditions end up being fatherless and, in some cases, it results in abortions. Approximately 34% of young women tend to become pregnant before attaining the required age of twenty years (Darroch, 2003).

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According to statistics, the current rates of teenage pregnancy are increasing at an alarming rate where almost one in a million teenagers tend to become pregnant. Moreover, the research indicates that exactly four girls in ten become pregnant twice in a year before completing school or reaching the age of twenty years. According to the current statistics, it indicates that the current rates of teen pregnancy in the United States have reduced to some extend though teenage pregnancy is still a problem due to economic conditions. The rate of teen birth currently has declined by 30% from the year 1992 to 2002 especially in teens whose age range between 15 to 19 The current rates of teen pregnancy is being associated with declines in marriages given the fact that most teens girls who get pregnant at an early age are always immature and lack necessary skills which concern parenting (Darroch, 2003).

According to research conducted on unwanted pregnancies in the United States, it shows that some girls who become pregnant before their required time are due to economic and social hardships. These factors contribute greatly to unintended pregnancies among teenagers especially those from a poor background. According to the current analysis of teenage pregnancies in the United States, it indicates that almost three-quarters of unwanted teen pregnancies are always unintended. Such pregnancies are always associated with a lack of education on sex as well as its consequences. Furthermore, they are caused by extensive social and financial constraints (Darroch, 2003).

Unwanted teen pregnancies have severe consequences to the girl in regards to education and getting married. Some teenagers who get pregnant before completing school normally end up dropping out of school in order to take care of the child or sometimes the girl might be expelled from school. In addition, the teen mothers may end up doing an abortion to get rid of the child something which results in death or severe body damage. According to a survey conducted on the rate of teenage abortion, it indicated that about 30% of the girls who get pregnant at an early age turns to abortion to protect themselves from the social impact (Darroch, 2003). The findings showed that some parents help their children to carry out an abortion in order to protect their children from some social embarrassments as well as to enable them to continue with their education. Sometimes the wanted teenage pregnancies may accidentally lead to miscarriages in extreme conditions of stress. Research indicates that out of a million girls in the United States who get pregnant at an early age 14% of the pregnancies normally result in miscarriages and the remaining 56% live birth.

Teenage pregnancies have a negative impact on the girl since nearly 80% of these girls end up being unmarried mothers. Sex Education does not help prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Though some groups argue that sex education promotes and encourages teens to engage themselves in pre-mature sexual relationships this is not the case since sex education provides adequate knowledge to the teenagers hence reducing risks associated with premature sex (Darroch, 2003). As per Professor Humboldt of state university argument regarding explicit sexual programs being major causes of premature sex, this is not the case since sex programs help to curb risks associated with early sexual behaviors. This implies that sexual programs are very important in reducing risks such as unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and STDS (Hamilton, 2006).

According to many activists, they argue that the only way to reduce teen sex, pregnancy, and abortion is through government restrictions on birth control as well as abortion. This program is not effective enough with the fact that currently birth control contraceptives have been made readily available to the youth freely something which is increasing the rates of sexual activities. Moreover, these programs tend to provide tools that are associated with sexual behaviors rather than providing defined guidelines on how to exercise abstinence as well as its importance. This implies that education which revolves around sex is very important given the fact that it is geared towards equipping young people with skills that can enable them to differentiate between right and wrong action.

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Parent attitudes and behaviors play a big role in Teen Pregnancy. Research has indicated that many teens get influenced by their parent’s behavior and attitudes. This implies that the decisions about sex, love, and values among teens will always be associated with their parents. Normally when a girl reaches puberty, she will want to hear issues that involve sexual matters and relationships from her parents. Many parents normally ignore talking about such issues with their children with the mind that it cannot actually make a difference to their kids. This is the end that leads to early pregnancy with a fact that the children tend to grow up lacking proper knowledge on sexual matters. Much of research conducted on parent/child closeness indicates that those teens who have close relationships with their parents have reduced levels of getting pregnant at an early age while those who are not close to their parents have a risk of getting pregnant at an early age. In addition, close supervision and monitoring of teenagers by their parents is very important since it reduces the chances of teens getting involved in sexual matters at an early age. This automatically reduces the cases which are associated with unwanted teenage pregnancies as they will always practice abstinence as per their parent’s advice. Teenage pregnancies are very popular among children who have been raised by single parents. This normally affects them emotionally as they will always turn to sex as a way of compensating for the lost love. Parents therefore should provide sex education to their kids at an early age before they start engaging in premature sexual behaviors. This will in turn help in reducing the rates of unwanted pregnancies among teenagers (Santelli, 2007).

References

Darroch, L. (2003). Why is teenage pregnancy declining? The roles of abstinence, sexual Activity and contraceptive use. New York: The Alan Guttmacher Institute.

Hamilton, B. (2006). Changes in formal sex education. London: Sage.

Santelli, J. (2007). Explaining recent declines in adolescent Pregnancy in the United States: The Contribution of abstinence and improved contraceptive use. New York: Macmillan.

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