Each year, over seven hundred and fifty thousand teenage girls become pregnant. The United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the world followed by Slovakia, Hungary and New Zealand. Teenage pregnancy costs the American taxpayers 9.1 billion a year due to health, foster care, and social services (Porta). The teen pregnancy epidemic affects not only the parents, the children and their families; it also affects society as a whole. How can we as society, prevent the causes in order to avoid the costly effects?
Although the birthrate has decreased since the 1990’s, teenage pregnancy is still a major issue. So why does this epidemic continue in the 21st century? With an overabundance of birth control methods and mandatory sex education classes what causes us to continue to struggle with this issue? According to research, the four major causes of teen pregnancies are peer pressure and low self-esteem, unprotected sex, lack of parental guidance, and media influence (Sams).
Among adolescents, peer pressure is a major factor that encourages the teenage boys and girls to indulge in sexual activities. Most teens indulge in sexual relationships because they want to fit in or be popular. Early dating is another factor that contributes to teen pregnancy, according to the article “What are the causes of Teenage Pregnancy?”.
The casualty of sex in the media also plays a role in teen pregnancy. Children mimic what they see and hear. Exposure to sexual content in magazines, movies, music and on television may increase teen pregnancy by encouraging lax attitudes towards abstinence and the use of contraceptives, creating the perception that there is little risk to sex without the use of contraception (Park). We are all familiar with the term “sex sells”, which is what advertisers use to entice the public, at the cost of our children.
Most adolescents have inadequate knowledge about safe sex. The teens probably have... [continues]
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