Cause and Effect of Teen Pregnancy

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The Cause and Effect of Teenage Pregnancy
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 no access to the traditional methods of preventing pregnancy, because they are either too embarrassed or afraid to seek information about it. Statistics state that more than 80% of teenage pregnancies are unintended (Facts on Teens). In some cases, teens are not well educated about sex before getting pregnant. Some parents refrain from talking to their children about sex. According to “Facts on American Teens”, parents provide false information regarding sex and discourage their children from participating in any informative discussions about sex. Just as there are major causes of teenage pregnancy, there are also major effects. The three major effects of teen pregnancy include increased health risk, emotional trauma and early responsibility, and economic impact. One major effect of teen pregnancy is the increased health risk for the mother and her unborn child. Teen pregnancy poses a health risk for the mother and child and is known to cause emotional trauma, physical changes in the body system, and changes in lifestyle, affecting personality (Causes and Effects).

Teens are too young to comprehend the lasting effects of their actions, usually reacting before they think. The teens don’t realize that becoming a parent at such a young age could affect them physically as well as mentally. They will not be able to do the same things that their classmates are doing. This change in lifestyle may affect their personality in a negative way, causing emotional trauma and possibly depression. Most of the teen pregnancies that occur are unplanned, which can be detrimental to the mother as well as the child. Fear of being chastised by her parents, neglected by her boyfriend, or teased by other students, may cause teens to hide their pregnancy for a long time. Hiding the pregnancy prevents teen mothers from receiving the proper medical care needed for the baby, which can cause complications during the pregnancy. In some cases, the teens are not even fully developed themselves....
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