Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Teen Pregnancy and Ways to Prevent It

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Teen pregnancy is an important issue all over the country. This is an ongoing problem that must be dealt with. Teenage pregnancy can ruin a teen’s life and also the life of an infant. In this paper I will discuss the many aspects of teenage pregnancy and how it affects the life of a teenager. Each year in the US almost 1 million teens become pregnant. While the facts are clear, the issues of teenage pregnancy are complicated. Talk of sex is everywhere in our society and young girls are portrayed as sex objects.

Sex is used to sell everything from clothing to news and yet people are shocked at the rising number of teenagers who are sexually active. The concern about the welfare of infants and adolescents is so much that we must move beyond the denial and distinguish effective solutions that require us to come to a solution. Nowadays it is becoming more familiar to a teenager to be engaged in sexual activities. They have unprotected sex and have multiple partners. Today’s society is more open about the subject of sex than ever before.

It is all over the television, the internet, and even on the radio and in music videos. It is all over the media and therefore teens believe it is ok to be promiscuous and do not think about the consequences they could face with an unexpected pregnancy and how much it will change their lives forever. Even though the best way to prevent a pregnancy is to be abstinent, there are many teens under a lot of pressure to have sex and engage in it quite frequently.

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Many seek the love and affection that they normally do not get at home and they usually find it in the form of sex with whomever they can get the attention from. They usually have a poor home life or low self esteem and may just be looking for love and acceptance in the form of sex to feel loved. Teenagers need encouragement to abstain from sex all together and they need to be given more information on the prevention of pregnancy if they are to become sexually active. Teens need to constantly hear strong messages about being responsible if they decide to engage in sexual activity.

Parents should be the primary givers of these messages to guide them in the right direction. If teens are given positive life options then they are given hope for their futures as well as the motivation to avoid early pregnancies. Teen pregnancy has been an issue for many years. Even with all of the education on the subject it is still an issue that continues to be on the rise. There are lots of parents that don’t sit down and talk openly with their kids about sex and all of the consequences of their actions if faced with a pregnancy.

Some teens don’t have the parental guidance they need to make the right choices, either because of single parent households that the parent works so much and does not have the time or can pay as much attention to them as the teen may like or parents that just plain don’t care what their kids are doing. Some of these kids go looking for love in all the wrong places and just want to fit in anywhere they can. They don’t think of the consequences if they are making bad choices.

The best way to prevent teen pregnancies is to not only teach them about abstinence but also to inform them about the risks they could face if they chose to have unprotected sex or any kind of sex at all. They should be taught all of their options about being safe if they chose to make the decision to have sex. Some of these teachings should include what protected sex is and how it not only prevents them from an unwanted pregnancy but also from STD’s. Teen pregnancy rates in the United States have jumped for the first time in more than a decade and a campaign mandated by the government to reduce the issue is faltering (Stein, 2010).

There are lots of political debates on teen pregnancy and the biggest debate is whether or not the federally funded programs on teaching teens abstinence are working or not and several experts blame the increase in teen pregnancies on sex education programs that focus on encouraging abstinence (Stein, 2010), instead of also teaching the use of contraceptives. Critics also argued that the disturbing data of the rise in teen pregnancies were just the latest in a long series of indications that the focus on abstinence programs was a dismal failure (Stein).

Abstinence –only programs received more than $100 million in federal funding annually and $50 million in federal funding was given to states that utilized such programs (Medical News Today). James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth thinks that abstinence-only programs deny young people life-saving information about condoms and other forms of prevention. They should be taught all of their options about being safe from an unwanted pregnancy and STD’s, because by teaching abstinence only obviously is not working.

Teens don’t realize that having a baby is a lot of responsibility financially as well as physically and mentally and they are not fully prepared to take on those responsibilities. So then it either falls in the hands of the teen’s parents or in the taxpayers in the form of welfare. Many teens that get pregnant not only suffer in school or drop out but they also could face other problems such as social or mental problems. Socially teen mothers have very limited social contact or friendships because their friends have moved on in school and with their social lives.

The teen mother has little or no time for a social life because all of their time is focused on their child. Another problem they face is because of the lack of social interactions it could lead to depression or some sort of mental anxiety. Teens do have many options if they are faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Many unfortunately have abortions. There is also the option of giving the baby up for adoption; this would be the best option as it gives another family the chance at raising a child that they otherwise could not have of their own.

That child may grow up very healthy and happy as opposed to growing up unwanted and possibly in poverty. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists adolescent mothers are significantly less likely to receive a high school diploma than teens that wait to have sex. They are also more likely to live in poverty, receive public assistance, and have long periods of welfare dependency. (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists).

Teen Childbearing in the US costs federal, state, and local taxpayers at least $9. billion annually (Hoffman). Other issues of teen pregnancy is that it can be physically difficult for a teen girl to go through a pregnancy because she is still growing herself and her body may not be able to take the physical demand of being pregnant. They are less likely to seek medical attention such as prenatal care because many are afraid to tell their parents and it could prolong the much needed early prenatal care and if there are problems in the pregnancy, they could have been avoided with early care.

Other problems could be that the teen may have been smoking or drinking or doing drugs at the time of conception and those things could be harmful to the baby. In turn if the baby is harmed there will more likely be added medical expenses before during and even after delivery. Some of the most obvious consequences of a teenage pregnancy is that the baby will not receive the adequate support it needs either financially or emotionally because the mother or father has not fully matured and usually has dropped out of school to take a meaningless job that pay minimum wage.

Often times the baby will suffer from emotional problems ecause the parent or parents also have emotional problems from not being mature enough to raise a child. Some teenagers feel burdened by the child because they never had the chance to live out their teenage years and many times the child of these parents could feel this resentment. Another negative aspect could be that the children of teenage parents could suffer from neglect because the parent hasn’t matured enough to recognize the need for proper nutrition, or medical care or the child is usually left in the care of others while they go out, regardless of whether that person is trustworthy or not.

Children of teenage mothers have significantly higher odds of placement in certain special education classes and significantly higher occurrence of milder education problems, but when maternal education, marital status, poverty level, and race are controlled, the detrimental effects disappear and even some protective effects are observed (Sams).

In conclusion a teenager is not fully equipped to care for a child and there could be devastating consequences for that child to be raised by a teenager whether it is because of financial burdens or emotional problems. Teenagers need to be made aware of all of these consequences and what could happen to them if they make the wrong choice of having sex before they are ready.

References

http://www.articlealley.com/article_479589_17.html

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