Teenage pregnancies and birthrates are a major cause of concern worldwide. On a historical point of view hearing about teenage pregnancies isn’t new. According to our history, it was back then absolutely common for girls to be married during their late adolescence and in the process they experienced first birth during their teenage part of life. This kind of behavior was socially desired and considered as normal by many generations before us. Nowadays things have changed, the prevention of teenage pregnancies and teenage birthrates is a priority for public health in nearly all developed countries such as the United States of America. For a long time researchers suggested that teenage pregnancies were associated with severe medical problems, which was not true; however, most of data supporting this idea or suggestion had been collected some decades ago. According to recent studies, teenage pregnancies are not that risky. A clear risk group is the extremely young teenage mothers (below 15 years) who are confronted with various medical complications, such as preeclampsia, preterm labor, and small for gestational age newborns but also marked socially disadvantaged, such as poverty, unemployment, low educational level, and single parenting are some of the biggest troubles affecting teenage mothers (Arai, L. 2009).
Teenage pregnancy is where a female under the age of 20years becomes pregnant, it may also be referred to as adolescent pregnancy. It mainly occurs after sexual intercourse between two teenagers of the opposite sex just after the start of the ovulation period, which starts between the age of twelve and thirteen. A teenage female starting from the age of thirteen can conceive although most are usually not well developed to handle pregnancy, Getting pregnant may expose a teenage female to many complication which are faced by pregnant fully grown women although there is always great concern for those under the age of fifteen since most are not fully developed to have a healthy pregnancy or even give birth (Arai, L. 2009). Mostly in developed countries teenage pregnancy is mainly caused by social stigma, unlike in developing countries where it is a social issue such as poverty and lack of education. In developed countries a larger percentage of these teenage pregnancy tend to come from teenage marriages, which is starting to earn great public concern over the past decade.
According to a study carried out by Charles F. Westoff in 1983, together with Gerarad Calot and Andrew D. Foster. Their study reported that even though adolescent fertility had declined in the developed countries but still teenage pregnancy was still high in the U.S.A than in most of the developed countries. Abortion rates were also higher among the U.S.A than among adolescents in the dozens of developed countries. The major question suggested by Charles F. Westoff are: Why are teenage pregnancy and abortion rates so much higher in the United States as compared to other developed countries? What can be learnt from experience of countries with lower teenage pregnancy rates?
Biological aspects of Teenage Pregnancy
A female teenager can conceive after engaging in sexual intercourse as early as she starts to ovulate at the age of 13. The first ovulation happens after the first menstruation, although most girls experience menstruation at very different ages and hence very difficult to estimate the mean age at menstruation or ovulation worldwide, due to significant differences between countries, but also among subpopulations within a country, might be observable. Which is shared, the mean age at menstruation is considered to be 13 years; the median, however, is 14 years. Nowadays, menarche occurs in the first half of the second decade of their life. From a particular viewpoint of the human life history theory, this is the stage of being referred to as adolescence: Adolescence tends to starts with pubertal hormonal changes in the body of a teenage female such as the activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad-axis and can be divided among early and late adolescence period. Early adolescence is considered as an age between 12 years to 15 years, while late adolescence is the age of 16–19 years.
According to evolutionary biology, youth seems to be a very modern phenomenon. It cannot be traced before the Homo sapiens, and this may also lead to a fitness advantage since it is a phase of socio-sexual maturation, and acquisition for both social and economic skills increases once the reproductive success rate during their later life. Cases of early adolescence or successful reproduction have always been rare. Years following menarche are usually characterized mainly by anovulation, and also consequently, the likelihood of having a successful conception is often quite low. However, the mean age of menarche has been suggested to be 13 years, which is a quite early occurrence in life. Despite the reliability of data concerning the age at menarche over ancient times being consequently questioned, it has been found out that over the past 150 years, the age to be 14 years Research of Contemporary Social Welfare Issues regarding menarche have affected all developed countries including the United States of America.
During the 1840s, the age at menarche occurred was 16.5 years in Europe and America. However, today, the menarcheal onset occurs at an earlier period of 12.5 years on average in both Europe and America (Arai, L. 2009). This change of menarcheal age is the as a result of the so-called secular acceleration trends, which have been led or induced by the improved living standards, which include infection control among teenagers and also an improvement in nutrition. In the 1990s, these secular trends in menarcheal age had slowed down in many European countries and the United States of America. Better living standards and sufficient food were the primary reasons that not only led to earlier sexual maturation but also an increase in the rate of ovulatory cycles immediately after menarche. This meant that the risk of becoming pregnant or a teenage mother shortly after menarche had increased too. This secular trend, mainly, affected not only sexual maturation but also the development of secondary sexual characteristics which included breast development that took place much earlier among teenage females and most adolescent females often looked like young mature ladies, just before they reach mental maturity which occurs between the age of 15 and 16 years.
Consequently, these teenage girls may feel old enough to start engaging in sexual activities. Sexual activities and patterns among adolescent girls different according to the various cultural and religious backgrounds in the society, we also have to be aware that nowadays nearly half of the population of the world is below 25 years old. Even the current generation of adolescents today are individuals that are between 10 and 19 years of age, who are the largest in the history of man. Worldwide, an increase in the number of adolescents who tend to have a high interest in sexual activities and are consequently faced with increased rates of sexually transmitted infections including human immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) but also of unintended pregnancies and all associated social and medical risks of early childbearing among adolescent girls.
Facts revolving around Teenage pregnancy
In every 10 girls 3 are likely to get pregnant below the age of 20.
Every year there is always over 750,000 teenage girls who get pregnant and that is in America alone, and over 10 million teenage girls around the world, which have resulted over 500,000 abortions since most of these pregnancies are unwanted and unplanned for.
45% of teenage girls who have sex before the age 16 are more likely to get pregnant.
The worst thing that could ever happen to a teenage girl is getting pregnant while still in High school, most of the teenagers both girls and boys have sex for the first time in high school without being aware of the risks associated with sexual intercourse.
No method of preventing pregnancy is 100% effective apart from abstinence.
Condoms break or leak, Birth control fails or is used/prescribed wrongly which definitely results to pregnancy. 30% of these teenage girls who get pregnant end up dropping out of school due to pregnancy or parenthood.
Teenage mothers have high chances of suffering from Eclampsia and Puerpera endometrtis.
These two diseases mainly affect teenage mothers as compared to adult mothers.
Eclampsia is a serious condition of preeclampsia which involve high blood pressure during pregnancy that results to seizures during the pregnancy period.
Puerperal endometritis is a uterine infection that is mainly caused by ascending bacteria from the lower genitals
80% of teenage pregnancy are unwanted
Most teenage mothers usually seek public or relative assistant to raise their newborns since they were unprepared for their new responsibility of parenthood, many usually drop out of school to support their new born while others set their new born for adoption since they are not able to meet the kid’s needs. Children born to teen mothers are more likely to live in poverty since their mother dropped out of school at a young age to take care of them
Teenage pregnancy can be noticed throughout America’s history, but only in recent years has it been deemed as an urgent crisis, as more teenage mothers give birth outside of marriage. Although it’s slightly decreasing over the recent year’s teenage pregnancy still continue to cause alarm in the United States with nearly one million teenage girls becoming pregnant each year (Arai, L. 2009). The teenage pregnancy rate still remains to be the highest among western industrialized nations with 3 of every 10 pregnancies occurring to girls under the age of 20. Although there have been a decline in teenage pregnancy over the past few years, both teenage pregnancy and child bearing are a national problem that affect the community and society at large. Adolescent/teenage mothers always tend to become dependent due to their decreased education attainment and, the decision to keep and raise their own babies not only is teenage pregnancy economically costly it pauses various social consequences for teenage mothers, considering pregnancy being one of the top reasons cited by female students for dropping out of school. A research carried out by (Brindis &Philiber) in 2003 they found out that 7 out of 10 females who become teenage mothers did not graduate or make it through their high school final year.
Mostly the younger mothers below the age of 15 are highly likely to get a second child within two years from their first baby. Living their high school graduation impossible, about 25% of teenage mothers have their second pregnancy still when in their teen, but if she can delay the second pregnancy she still have a chance of not dropping out of school. Research have revealed that most of teenage females get pregnant by choice since they do not see any of their life goals within their reach. After a string of poor performance and low self-esteem these females have no high expectations of succeeding after their education and absolutely no confident securing an occupation and making it in life, hence pregnancy is viewed as an alternative way of securing economic independence and adult status. Usually teenagers who end up becoming teenage mothers might have been experiencing academic difficulty at school, which result to low education expectations and they are not confident whether they will graduate from high school. The option of pursuing higher education isn’t within their reach and now start experiencing the feelings of hopelessness regarding their future, which is accompanied by lack of a positive role models and improvised living situations regarding their future hence these teenage females decide to become pregnant as this is the only decision that appear to be the best option. In some societies teenage pregnancy might be a positive life choice for females from certain ethnic or social groups, this is the results found out after research by Tripp and Viner back in 2005.
Teenage pregnancy in Early America
Using U.S.A as an example most developed countries have become increasingly concerned with the problem of teenage pregnancy over the last three decades, the truth is that over the last three centuries it has been of major social concern. During the previous centuries teenage pregnancy and the problems surrounding were not specific to any age group but instead they were treated as a common issue for everyone.
According to the puritan communities that lived in North America, it was okay for a teenage to be a wife and a mother because these girls were considered mature and fully grown to handle the pregnancy and the child bearing process. During the colonial period the incidence of teenage mother hood was considered as an economic burden on communities (Ojeda, A. 2003). Teenage pregnancy has since got the attention of educators, policymakers and the general public and hence been considered as an urgent crisis not only for the teenage mothers and their child but also for the society as well. In both the puritan and colonial times teenage mothers were harshly punished, quickly married off and considered immoral by the church and the society. During the nineteenth century there was a tremendous decrease in teenage and premarital pregnancies which was greatly attributed to the church participation and greater self-control/self-discipline. But still in the mid-twentieth century, a quarter of all American women became mothers before the age of twenty and were since married off before the arrival of their children or they could be forced to drop out of school to conceal the pregnancy from other people so as not to disgrace their family.
Teenage pregnancy have been very common throughout the American history. Why has teenage pregnancy in the recent years received so much attention? Teenage pregnancies and marriages were more acceptable because the girl would be forced to marry the baby’s father so as to legitimize the child. As long as the end product of a premature pregnancy or a pregnancy out of wedlock was marriage the issue would not be known by the general public hence limiting or preventing the damage of the family’s image (Ojeda, A. 2003). The issue was invisible to the society until the 1960s when the society was experiencing social radical changes, when teenagers started having sexual intercourse at an earlier age and also rejected any planned marriages to try legitimize the baby. The girls opted to remain in school and continue with their studies despite what the public would say. The country saw a rise by over 50% in teenage pregnancy among unmarried teenage girls and also an increase in the birth rate among unwed teenagers, from 1960 to 1992 the number of unmarried pregnant teenagers between the ages of 15 to 19 quadrupled. However today sexual intercourse is not condemned in any way nearly 47% of high school student are said to be sexually active before marriage according to a report by (CDC) center for disease control and prevention (Arai, L. 2009). .
Despite this high rate of teenage pregnancies most parents and adults in America still think that teens should not be sexually active since non-marital child bearing is unacceptable, since most unwed teenage mothers are viewed as in a negative manner.
Teenage motherhood from a historical viewpoint
From a historical point of view, adolescent pregnancies are nothing new. Adolescent fertility and teenage motherhood were considered as usual and were socially accepted in the previous centuries, and that included the twentieth century in Europe and the United States of America. It was shared that first births took place during the teenage period for much of human evolution and history. Girls who were married during their teenage years and gave birth during this second decade of their life. This type of reproductive behavior was usually socially desired and considered healthy. It has been known that Hildegard of Vinzgouw, who was the second wife of Charlemagne, and was about 14 years of age when she gave birth to her first son in the 772 AD.
Another prominent case study example is Margaret Beauford, who was just 13 years old when she gave birth to King Henry VII of England back in 1457 (Leishman, J. (2007). Margaret Beaufort ´s granddaughter Margaret Tudor also gave birth to her first three children before she was 19years. These are only a few such historical examples; childbirth during the teenage cycle of life is quite common even nowadays. In 2008, there was much debate involving the adolescent pregnancy and motherhood of Bristol Palin, who is the daughter of Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska and vice-presidential candidate in the United States of America.
Pregnancies during early adolescence for girls under the age of 15 have always been rare. This was because of the biological fact that menarche and reproductive maturity were experienced much later during ancient times than today. However, the sexual activity of girls and
Young women was mainly during marriage until the second half of the twentieth century. Nowadays, the first sexual activity occurs at a much younger age, and the rate of contraception among this age group, however, is rather low. Therefore, the probability of pregnancies during teenage era has increased worldwide during the second half of the twentieth century.
Teenage pregnancies as a global problem
Today, adolescent pregnancies are a global problem. With about 11% of all the births worldwide which are still girls aged 15–19 years old. According to research by the World Health Statistics 2014, the average global birth rate among 15–19-year-olds is 49 per every 1000 girls, whereas country rates range between 1 to 299 births per 1000 girls. Standards were highest in the Sub-Saharan Africa countries (Ojeda, A. 2003). . There is ten highest-risk countries for teenage motherhood which are Niger, , Mali, Chad, Afghanistan, Uganda, Malawi, Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, and the Central African Republic. In all these countries, the teenage birth rate was (births per 1000 women aged 15–19) ranges from 233 in the Niger to 132 in the Central African Republic. In Niger, more than 50% of teenage females between the ages of 15 to 19 years who are married? Approximately 25% of adolescent girls gave birth between 15 and 19 years. This is mainly because childbearing among teenagers is socially desired in some traditional societies all around the world and also in the developing countries (Leishman, J. (2007). Therefore, a certain proportion of teenage pregnancies and births are mainly intended in most developing countries.
In developed countries, by comparison, teenage birth rates are quite low, and adolescent motherhood have been discouraged, debated to as a public health problem, and considered to be a societal challenge. Nevertheless, there is to be considered differences in teenage pregnancy rates between the different developed nations. The majority of adolescent parents (60%) are accounted for by the United States of America. The teenage and pregnancies and birth rate of the United States of America is about or almost that of the European Union (EU). Is within the European Union, the highest teenage birth rates are found for the United Kingdom with 27% among the new European Union members such as Bulgaria (33%), Romania (34%), and also the Baltic States (21–23%).However extraordinary high levels might also be reported for Ukraine (38%), Macedonia (34%), Russia (31%), and Belarus (27%). By contrast, meager rates of teenage pregnancies and child births are being reported for Japan and Korea which is less than 5 %, for Switzerland (4%), Netherlands (5%), and also for Sweden (6%). Although Less than 15% are being reported from Italy, Spain, Denmark, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Germany, and Austria.
Never the less, we have to be aware that what is contained in all of these data sources, and the teenage birth rate focused on girls aged between 15 and 19 years only. The extremely vulnerable group of adolescent mothers are younger than 15 years which is not accounted for in the majority of statistical research quoted (Leishman, J. (2007). Research reported that 8–15% of girls in Cameroon, Liberia, Malawi, and Nigeria and 11% of these girls in Bangladesh had given birth celebration before their 15th birthday according to research or they were. Pregnant and birth controls among girls younger than 15 years are extremely risky or more risky; However , in some societies, it is still common that girls marry during their teens and reproduce as early or as possible mainly because early reproduction may enhance the girls´ low status in their new family. This social pressure to breed as soon as potential patient increases the mortality rate among early teenage girls such as in Bangladesh where the risk of maternal mortality have increased among mothers aging between 10 and 14 years as compared to adult women.
Factors influencing Teenage Pregnancy
Research has been done over the years to try and examine factors related to teenage pregnancy. Things such as the family structure, age at first sexual intercourse and a child sexual abuse has been associated with adolescents’ teenage pregnancy. According to research parental influence was the most significant in teenage pregnancy prevention.
The structure of the family is an essential contributor to teenage pregnancy and motherhood, according to research conducted by Rosen in 1997 found out that a large number of teenage females lived in relatively unstable family conditions and this results to these females engaging in sexual activities so as to find a sense of comfort. Parental rejection or either lack of affection, warmth and love would make a lot of teenagers to seek relationships from outside the family to boost his/her self-esteem and hence a good relationship between the kids and the parents have been proven to lower the cases of teenage pregnancies (Ojeda, A. 2003). According to research done by Hymowitz in 1997 she suggested that a parent’s influence is highly significant and variable in the prevention of teenage pregnancy. She came to a conclusion that the absence of a father was a major factor in teenage girls becoming pregnant. She also reported that teenagers whose parents strongly communicated about their disapproval of any sexual activity were mostly likely to delay sex until a later date.
The age in which the teenagers experience their first sexual intercourse
Nowadays puberty starts much earlier for teenagers and their first sexual encounter is taking place at really young ages which will finally result mainly in highly experienced adolescents .During the period between 1988 and 1995 the percentage of teenage females who had sex at 14 years or younger practically doubled, but the National Campaign to prevent Teen pregnancy back in 2003 suggested that there is no direct relationship between when a teenage girl reaches puberty and her chances or likeliness of her getting pregnant, never the less early entry in to puberty combined with peer pressure and little or no parental supervision resulted in to teenage pregnancy that has led to todays teenagers making sexual decisions at a very really young age.
According to Rodriguez Jr & Moore in 1995 they suggested that teenage mothers who gave birth as teenagers or who had pregnant siblings stood a higher chance of engaging in to early sexual intercourse and fulfill their desire to become mothers too (Ojeda, A. 2003).
In the case of intentional pregnancy it is limited to teenagers from low income families who view their future as unattainable and see motherhood as a better option. In most cases teenage mothers may have experienced academic difficulties while at school, or in other cases they may have escaped abusive homes according to Koshar’s research back in 2001 most teenage mothers viewed postsecondary education as impossible or unattainable and had few if any knowledge of their options in life and the career opportunities in the real world. With no hope of a brighter future they couple with bad role models within the society and most teenage girls opt to get pregnant since that is their only positive option they have left. Teenage mothers viewed childbearing as the only thing that was social responsibility and gave meaning to their lives by offering hope for their future.
Sexual abuse may change a teenager’s perception of about their sexual behavior and life, mostly in the female gender making them to engage into sexual intercourse at an earlier age of their life by having multiple sexual partners in their life this is according to research carried out by Saewyc and Magee back in 2004, although back in 1991 McCullough and Scherman had suggested that teenage pregnancies mostly resulted from unsolved behavior or feeling associated with an earlier sexual abuse, even though most teenagers in their research had suggested that their first sexual encounter was voluntary (Ojeda, A. 2003). But in 2003 Farber found out that about 40% of girls who had their first sexual intercourse experience around the age of 13 and 14 stated that it was involuntary or that an older individual had forced himself on them. According to Herman Giddens in 1998 on his report he suggested that females who were sexually abused as children were three more times likely to become pregnant during their teenage years and hence research shows that two thirds of teenage mothers faced some form of sexual abuse as children or even raped by either a father, step father, or any other relatives Hence most of these teenagers suffered from low self-esteem and depression, further research have shown that over 65% of teenage mothers had their babies by men who were twenty years or older , implying that a number of teenage pregnancies are as a result of sexual abuse.
Consequences of Teenage pregnancies
Teenage pregnancies and child bearing tend to have a long-term effect on the young teenage mother and also on the child. The negative consequences and results of teenage pregnancies have been researched on and studied over the years but the society tend to stereotype all teenage mothers in a negative way (Ojeda, A. 2003). Creating an understanding of how to understand the factors and consequences associated with teenage pregnancy
Most teenage mothers are not aware of the various types of jobs available in the job market or workforce, pregnant high school students have no career aspirations and hence attain less satisfaction in terms of career progress since they feel their job choices are limited as compared to their non-pregnant mates (Ojeda, A. 2003). . They are likely not to get a job or seek collage education, teenage mothers also tend to experience lack of meaningful employment opportunities resulting to high rate of unemployment among the teens.
Childbirth at an early age has been found to affect a females career opportunities to mainly the non-professional occupations, additional studies futher more reinforced the ideology that teenage motherhood was associated with; Unrealistic career aspiration, Unequal career opportunities, high unemployment rates among teenage females
Teenage mothers always represent the group of youth that mainly go for occupations which are overcrowded since they are always so easy to land a job taking into account that most teenage mothers didn’t go through with their education most of them dropped out of school to raise a child and hence they land on jobs that have an oversupply of laborers on the job market. Chartrand and Rose in 1996 emphasized that there is a need for new career development theories focused on individual who are at high risk on bases of gender, race and class due to the limited chances of accessing quality education and career opportunities.
The best way to protect teenage girls from getting in to motherhood at a very young age is by motivating them to pursue their goals in life and instilling in them positive attitude towards education and clear life goals since nothing is impossible. Stewart came up with a theory back in 2003 that suggested that teenage females with high education inspirations may tend to focus on their career goals and get back to motherhood later in life. More studies have shown that teenage females doing great in school with good grades and high test result are less likely to give birth or get pregnant while still in high school. Teenagers with self-esteem and belief in themselves and their future goals are least likely to experience teenage motherhood.
Teenage mother’s future
Most of the researchers in this topic of teenage pregnancy have shown an unclear picture of teenage mothers future most of their theories tend to show that the future of these young mothers is doomed as soon as they became pregnant during their teen years, most tend to take this assumption to be true and end up facing poor life scenarios by losing their prospects for educations and ambitions for educational and economic well-being. Sarri and Phillips back in 2004 stated that young mothers were at risk of facing many years of social and economic disadvantage (Farber, N. 2003). . Teenage mothers experience many health complication that pose as a threat to their life but very few seek medical care.
Children born to teenage mothers tend to face similar challenges as their mothers such as low level of education by suffering from lifelong learning disability and are likely to face the footsteps of their mothers. Generally teenage mothers tend to have more children than women who opt to delay children bearing until their twenties. Since teenage mothers lack work expertise, education skills and job training their future earning are much lower as compared to those with job expertise and education skill together with job training. According to Sawhill back in 2000 teenage mothers who are in the job market are less competitive compared to their mates who delayed their child bearing days until their twenties. Most of these teenage mothers struggle to survive with low income since even the baby fathers don’t provide child support to these women and those that provide it is very little to be of any significant value or change to the mother and her kids. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy back in 2000 they stated that most of these teenage mothers mainly depend on the general public to support them and their children.
Despite the various social outcomes of teenage pregnancies, multiple economic outcomes are also evident. Teenage pregnancy and child bearing are highly detrimental for the young mothers who are unable to acquire full education that is required to keep them competitive in the economy this is according to Sawhili’s research back in 2000. But also the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy in conjunction with Rothenberg and weissman back in 2002 implied that teenage child bearing costs the nation an estimate of seven billion dollars since the teenage mothers mainly depended on the general public assistant that constituted one half of the welfare recipients. This high level of dependency on general public assistance indicates high rate of poverty among teenage mother’s families in developed countries (Farber, N. 2003). . Many people in developed countries especially America assumed that welfares encouraged teenagers to continue having babies because of the help and support they provided to teenage mothers, this has resulted to a decrease in the level of support the united states government provided to teenage mothers and single mothers all in general since 1973, but there is no relationship between the level of assistance provided by welfares and the rate at which the no of teenage pregnancies was increasing over the years this is according to Luker back in 1996.
The period in which a young lady starts bearing children is crucial in determining the amount of education that the young lady obtain. Becoming a teenage mother has been associated with obtaining less formal education which usually result to poverty, since teenage pregnancies tend to become a challenge to attending school and completion of their studies and that’s why there is a high rate of school dropout among female teenagers in high school since that is when they start to mature and their bodies can conceive at that age (Farber, N. 2003). Balancing childcare, a job and school life where all your classmates are tormenting you for getting pregnant at that stage of your life, really becomes difficult for teenage mothers and so they opt to drop out of school and take care of their children. According to Hofferth and Koshar back in 2000 and 2001 respectively they both suggested that it is usually overwhelming for teenage mothers that they have to take care of their new born which is time consuming time that could have been used at school (Farber, N. 2003). Less than one third of females who gave birth before the age of eighteen completed high school and also most of these teenage mothers get a second child before they hit eighteen years of age within a period of two years since their first child with this all the ambitions of finishing school and advancing their careers go down the drain. Over time researchers have shown that teenage childbearing is highly associated with little chances of completing high school and attending colleges or universities. In 2001 Koshar suggested that according to his research many teenage females that become teenage mothers were already experiencing school difficulties and therefore most became pregnant for it to act as an excuse for them to quit school although some other few female dropped out of school first before they became pregnant this was according to Kreinin of the School Board News. He even further stated that teenagers who had further education aspiration did not regularly engage into sexual activities as compared to those who had no aspirations for the future, hence increasing their chances of completing high school as compared to their pears who had no aspirations in life .
Poverty is one of the major contributors of teenage pregnancies since study has shown that most of the teenage mothers or families come from a poor background hence the lower class is the one mostly affected by these teenage pregnancies as they try to meet their daily basic needs. This is really very different for their peers in middle and upper-class since their families provide for their basic needs and don’t have to go and try to make their ends meet. Study has shown that more than 80% of unwed teenage mothers grew in extreme poverty and the chances that their children will grow in poverty are also very high, although some teenager’s mothers living in poverty have accepted their conditions and started working on improving their lives this is according to Rosen back in 1997 (Farber, N. 2003). He also suggested that teenagers subjected to disadvantageous conditions such as living in high crime communities, suffering from racial segregation or living in extreme poverty are at a high risk of getting pregnant in their teenage years, or even those living in single parent families. Research revealed that teenagers living in poverty are more likely to engage in sexual intercourse which results to teenage pregnancy and childbearing which rater in life results to transfer of the parent living condition to the children and hence it becomes an intergeneration transfer of poverty.
Response to Teenage pregnancy
Schools, communities and the government have worked tirelessly over the past century to help eradicate teenage pregnancies among our teenagers since it’s a menace that poses treat to our society in developed countries. Governments have set up thousands of teenage pregnancy prevention programs in an aim to try to eradicate this menace within our society. Even though it is hard for both the educators and researchers to know which of these projects are really useful. They involve teaching the teenagers importance of delaying before engaging in different sexual activity while waiting for the right time. Study has shown that females who get pregnant during their younger teenage years are more likely to feel secluded or isolated from their age mates in the society, almost 40 percent of new teenage mothers feel stigmatized due to their pregnancy since most people do not associate with them.
Comparison of Teenage pregnancy between the United States and other developed countries
According to a study carried out back in 1980 about teenage pregnancy among six most developed countries in the world, which included; United States, Netherlands, Sweden, France, England and Canada in a cross-national comparative study whose results shown that united states had the highest rates among these countries (Farber, N. 2003). Birth rates and abortions were also higher in the United States among the teenagers as compared to the other countries. There is nothing exceptional of this period between 1970 to 1980 US birthrates especially among females of the age 15 to 18 they were consistently higher than those in the other countries but still the abortion rates were still much higher in the United States as compared to these other countries. Even up to today there is a wider gap between teenage pregnancies and child abortions in these countries as compared to the United States taking in to account that United States have the higher numbers.
How to decrease teenage pregnancy rates and adolescent birth rates
Research has shown that our social welfare system which includes an appropriate psychosocial support system and prenatal care tend to improve the obstetric outcome of a teenage mother and their newborns In various case studies pregnancy outcome may be the same, or even better than, that of older mothers. The second objective is to decrease the rate of teenage pregnancy. The World Health Organization came up with guidelines back in 2011 to prevent adolescent pregnancies and reduce poor reproductive outcomes when a teenage mother was giving birth (Farber, N. 2003). The six primary objectives were defined as reducing the rate of marriage before the age of 18 years, creating an understanding of how to reduce pregnancy before the age of 20 years, increasing the use of contraception pills by adolescents due to the risk of unwanted pregnancy, reducing coerced sex among teenage females, reducing unsafe abortion among adolescent females.
The main agenda of this program is to avoid teenage females from getting unwanted pregnancies. However, sex education is lacking in many countries and hence young teenage girls are not aware about the physiological basis of reproduction and contraceptives on their body. Yet many girls may feel too ashamed to seek about acquiring contraception services. Contraceptives might sometimes be too expensive or not readily available. There are strategies set to avoid teenage pregnancies through improved education of teenage girls, and the introduction of sexual education, and the availability of cheap and easy to use contraceptives.
A milestone in reducing the rate of adolescent sexual activity risks or behaviors among teenagers and promoting reproductive health in sex education programs. School-based programs can reach the majority of adolescents teenagers in developed countries and large number of teenagers in developed countries where school enrollment rates are relatively high United States of America and European countries prefer their children being taught sexual education at schools because schools in developed countries are the only institution in our societies regularly attended by nearly 90% of all teenage youth aged between 6 and 16 years It is suggested that sex education programs may increase knowledge of human reproduction health and methods of sexual contraception. Developed countries that have the lowest rates of teenage pregnancies and motherhood are characterized by school-based sexual education but also broad presence of contraceptives including postictal emergency contraception, and a legal abortion law Since not all the teenagers are in school especially in developed countries such as united states of America, sexual education programs have also to be implemented in our clinics, community organizations, and even in youth-oriented community treatment centers.
In developed countries, most adolescent pregnancies, especially those occurring during early adolescence that are below 15 years of age, where everyone is unplanned and unintended. For a long time, teenage pregnancies were perceived as major medical problems that led to obstetrical risk factors. In the most recent risks, the obstetrical dangers of adolescent pregnancies are predominantly interpreted due to the results of adverse social and economic factors rather than the chronological age. This, however, one reason to deny that teenage pregnancy is currently or still a significant public health problem in the modern world. It is now clear that obstetrical issues can be managed or treated by modern medicine and so that the risk of teenage pregnancies could be diminishing. In Austria, improved sexual education and the legalization of abortions since the early 1970s reduced teenage motherhood dramatically. On the other individual support programs cases—including medical health care, financial, and social support for pregnant adolescents, girls and teenage mothers were introduced. First of all, special consulting hours for young girls, which are free of charge at hospitals and private practices of gynecologists, improved access to contraceptives, and advanced sexual education. Governmental financial support for young mothers who desire to reduce poverty among teenage mothers dramatically. Despite these improvements in the situation of adolescent mothers in full, we should not forget that the leading development strategies to reduce adolescent pregnancy rate and teenage motherhood and childbirth, Teenagers both, especially among the young adolescents, effectively should be a goal for the general public health worldwide.
Arai, L. (2009). Teenage pregnancy. Bristol: Policy Press.
Farber, N. (2003). Adolescent Pregnancy. Springer Publishing Company.
Leishman, J. (2007). Pre-teen and Teenage Pregnancy. M&K Update Ltd.
Ojeda, A. (2003). Teenage pregnancy. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, Incorporated.
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