Teen Pregnancy in U.S.
The U.S. has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the western industrialized world. As defined under the U.S. law teen pregnancy is pregnancy occurring in young women between the ages of 13 and 19 years old. As stated in the National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy, the teen pregnancy rate is 117 per 1,000 females. This problem has caused society to blame many different situations as the cause of this result. Teen pregnancy has many consequences that must be faced due to this increase, along with effects of this problem. Teen Pregnancy is a major problem in the U.S. that has affected the flow of our culture.
There are many reasons that have been suspected for this increase in teen pregnancy. Some reasons include lack of sexual education, poverty and dysfunctional families. Many people believe that lack if sexual education in schools lead students to go and experiment with sex. The problem then that arises is “What is proper sexual education?” Some people feel that sexual education is teaching abstinence, while others feel that abstinence is only an ideology and an unobtainable goal. It is proven in a study published in the Washington Times that under the Title V Abstinence education grant program, kids who are taught abstinence are not less likely to engage in sexual activities or become pregnant young. Many people are concerned that only teaching abstinence doesn’t inform the children how to handle sex properly once they have decided to not be abstinent. At the age of 14 about 16% of teens have had one sexual partner and 25% have had 3 or more which was also proved under the Title V Abstinence Education grant program Teen pregnancy is also more common in low economic areas. It is believed to be like that because parents who live in such areas usually work more than one job leaving the children with minimum discipline. The presence of a dysfunctional family causes children to lead a promiscuous lifestyle due to lack of example in their life. Many girls begin sleeping around at a young age in search for that love they never received from a father figure. Though people blame different situations for the teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. there is no one specific cause.
Though there may not be a specific reason for what causes a high teen pregnancy rate, there’re definitely are consequences. Teen mothers are less likely to graduate from high school and only 1.5% receives a college degree before the age of 30. The increase in teen pregnancy also affects the amount of people on welfare. The welfare affects our government by forcing them to provide more money for welfare which causes the government to spend at least $9 billion a year. Teen pregnancy doesn’t only affect the parent but also it affects the child that is being brought into the world under such conditions. Estimated 13% of sons of teenage parents end up in prison and 22% of daughters become teenage mothers themselves. The fact that these kids are raising kids at such a young age, they are incapable of teaching their children strategies to be successful in life. It is proven that children of teenage mothers perform poorly in school and are more prone to abuse and neglect. They are more susceptible to neglect because teenagers won’t know how to handle responsibility of an adult at such a young age. Though there are many consequences teen pregnancy also has many effects.
Effects of teen pregnancy are mental, emotional and physical. An example of effect is the mental decision process that they must undergo when deciding whether to keep the child or not is very stressful. Then there is the procedure of figuring out a method of how to tell their parents about the situation. Teenagers also must consider the physical effects that will come along with their decision to keep the child. The bodily changes that they will go through while having a baby growing inside of them. Not only deal with getting use to the changes themselves but deal with their peers seeing the changes and the judgments that might be made. These physical changes will also effect what activities they can participate in. A normal teenage activity such as sports is something they can no longer take part in for danger to the baby. Clothing choice is also another area in a teenage female life that will be affected because of their body’s physical changes. Emotional effects are the most common. Teenage females will go through many self esteem issues which will arise will going through bodily changes. They will also have to deal with people who will judge them based on their decisions which were made that caused them to be pregnant. They will also experience such emotions as fear, confusion and frustration. Teen pregnancy will put a teenage girl through a whole lot of issues that most teenagers will not experience during their teenage years.
In my opinion teen pregnancy is a problem because of the lifestyle that has been accepted by most teenagers. Teenagers are no longer living lifestyles that are based on morals and values. They are starting to experiment at an early age therefore causing them to cover more sexual experiences before they even get to college. In my opinion the best solution is to stop ignoring the lifestyle that our teenagers are living and inform them of the consequences and risks that come along with their decisions. I agree that teenagers should be taught about abstinence but they should also be taught about how to be properly sexually active. Being sexually active the right way teaches teenagers about safe sex, healthy relationships, STD’s, birth control, getting tested frequently and also the possibilities that can happen after sex; such as teen pregnancy. I feel that they money that government is investing in abstinence programs they should use to educate teenagers how to have sex properly. Some objections that may arise include parents feeling that such programs will encourage teens to partake in sex. In reality parents would just rather believe that their teenagers aren’t having sex but they actually are and they are going about it the wrong way because no on wants to address the issue.
In the U.S. teen pregnancy rates being so high forces people to deal with uncomfortable situation and circumstances. The cause must be identified to then have prevention programs that will be successful. Until it has been identified the consequences and effects of teen pregnancy must be dealt with the best way for the good society.