The talk shows today are flooded by episodes dealing with teen pregnancies. The teenage rate in the United States declined in 1993 and 1994. Unfortunately, the number of birth decreased only to older teens, ages 18 and 19. Babies born to teens younger than 17 actually increased, reflecting a growing population of younger girls who are what we now euphemistically call "sexually active." The number of girls aged 14-17 will increase by more than a million between 1996 and 2005.
Increasing numbers of children born to children are likely to repeat the devastating cycles of almost everything bad-teenage pregnancy, school failures, early behavioral problems, drug abuse, child abuse, depression and crime.
Has anyone ever heard of a child who is happy because he does not know his father? Being a child of a single mother is a handicap, regardless of the wealth, maturity, or social status of that mother. Growing up as the child of a single parent is linked with lower levels of academic achievement (have to repeat grades in school or receiving lower marks and class standings); increased levels of depression; stress and aggression; a decrease in some indicated for physical health; higher incidences of needing services of mental health professionals; and other emotional and behavioral problems. All these effects are linked with lifetime in poverty, poor achievement, and susceptibility to suicide, likelihood of committing crimes and being arrested, and other issues. When children grow, some tend to live through the society their parents grew, obtaining their social setting, culture, a way of thinking. If troubled kids had babies in their teens, then their child will grow up in the same troubled path their parents were in, it's like a cycle. The parents still only teach them what they know, and if they were taught to steal, fight or whatever their lifestyle seems to be, their child will grow up to have the same standard of living and the same mentality as their folks.
Teen-age sex is dangerous not only for a young person's health but the health of our society because trouble is reproducing trouble. Teenage hormones seek gratification, this may become addicting; they sort of become sexual predators. Many cultural influences remind these young people of teenage sexuality. Proscribing sexual activity for teens has gone to the personal liberation and media-saturated sex desire. Billboards, commercials, magazines, everywhere you look, sexuality is expressed. Watching a beer commercial has become one of the targets for sexuality because almost all these commercials has a half naked woman trying to seduce a man into drinking "their" label of beer.
Another concern regarding teenage pregnancy is coercion. In California, more than 70,000 babies were born to teenage mothers in 1993, are now charging men in their 20's who get underage girls pregnant with either statutory rape or lewd sexual activity with a minor. The Urban Institutes states that three-quarters of the girls under the age of 14 who are sexually active say they were forced by their first partner to have sex relations.
Media attention focuses a lot on teenage pregnancy casting the unmarried teenage mothers as the source of many society's ills. Illegitimacy is an important social problem, I believe more than crime, drugs, poverty, illiteracy, welfare, or homelessness. The reason why is because unwed parents are the main drive for all of these other social problems that are due to the illegitimate parenthood.