Teen Pregnancy

 

Teenage pregnancy is an ongoing problem in not just the United States, but worldwide. The number of teenage girls who become pregnant has been steadily increasing for decades. Unfortunately, many of these teenage girls have not received the proper education about safe sex, and how to avoid getting pregnant. Many of them come from areas or families that are less fortunate or impoverished, and therefore the baby is not given the proper care it needs. Sadly, most teenage mothers must raise their child without a father because he is usually not present, or the mother is not even sure of the father's correct identity. If more is not done now to help prevent teenage pregnancy, the numbers will only continue to increase.

Teen Pregnancy rates in the U.S. and Around the World

The United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the world, with about one in every three females becoming pregnant before the age of twenty. About 800,000 girls become pregnant each and every year in America, and this number is quite staggering. Eight out of ten of these pregnancies are unplanned, and over 80 percent of the children born into this situation do not have fathers, or the teenagers are no married. In other developed nations such as Great Britain and France, the rate is much lower than the U.S. France's rate is currently about six percent, while America is 22 percent. In other countries, contraception is not frowned upon for teenagers, which helps explain the lower birth rates. In other nations such as Africa, however, the teenage pregnancy rate is quite high because of the lack of both resources and education.

  • Rates Around the World – Some differences in teen pregnancy rates around the world
  • National Campaign – Website dedicated to helping prevent teenage pregnancy
  • Teen Pregnancy Resource – Answers a lot of questions for parents and teens
  • Responsibility – An interesting website with some first-hand accounts of teen pregnancy
  • Facts – Some facts, information, and self-assessment for teenagers
  • Teen Birth Rates – A look at current teen birth rates in some of the United States
  • Quiz – A quiz for teens to help them understand teenage pregnancy
  • Prevention – Some helpful information about preventing teenage pregnancy
  • Health Facts – Health-related information for teenagers and parents
  • Increasing Rates – Article about how the teen pregnancy rates have increased over the last year
  • Pregnancy and Culture – How modern films and other outside sources have taught teens about pregnancy
  • Teen Pregnancy: Not Cool – Some more examples of how movies and teen celebrities have glamorized pregnancy
  • Consequences – Statistics and results of teenage pregnancy
  • Stories – Some stories from other teenagers about abortion and being pregnant as a teenager
  • Teen Sexuality & Reproductive Health – Information about sexuality for teenagers

Cultural Influences

Today's modern music, movies, and television programs have a much different culture and style than they one did even just a decade or two ago. Females are encouraged to behave in promiscuous ways, as well as dress in clothing that is much less modest than the clothes of previous generations. Teenage girls are taught that it is ok to act sexy and to try to attract as many guys as possible. Boys are influenced by this new culture as well. They are taught that it's acceptable to try and lure girls to have sex with them, and that the more girls they have sex with, the more popular they will be. In the meantime, many parental groups are against sex education or giving out contraception, so the problem is perpetuated. As parents of teenagers, it is extremely important to try and teach your children that promiscuous behavior is not acceptable. Lay down rules for your kids so they will not be tempted to put themselves in dangerous situations.

Consequences of Teenage Pregnancy

Teenagers who become pregnant drop out of school at a much higher rate than girls who do not become pregnant. They are also forced to enter into the working world much faster since they must provide for their child. Sadly, many pregnant teens cannot find a good solid job because they have not graduated high school. Many parents disown their teens that become pregnant, or they kick them out of the house. This can result in child abuse or even substance abuse. Ultimately, the baby suffers because it is now forced to grow up in an unstable and often poor environment. Most babies born to teens do not have a father figure in their life, so they must grow up in a single parent household. The consequences of teenage pregnancy are often devastating to both the mother and the child. It is essential that influential adults such as guidance counselors, parents, and even peers be available to teach teenagers about the consequences of premarital sex and the many different results that can occur, particularly pregnancy.

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