Factors Impacting the Rise in Teen Pregnancy

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Contributing Factors Impacting the Incline of Teen Pregnancy
The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate of the Western Industrialized world. An estimated 820,000 American teenage girls become pregnant each year (Teen Pregnancy Statistics, Teenhelp.com). The United States’ teen pregnancy rate doubles Canada’s, is four times the rate of Germany and France, and is eight times higher Japan’s teen pregnancy rate (Teen Pregnancy Statistics, Teenhelp.com). With 34% of our nation’s teens having at least one pregnancy before they turn twenty, teen pregnancy is becoming a problem of epidemic proportion (Teen Pregnancy Statistics, Teenhelp.com). To mitigate an epidemic, one must find the causes. There are many factors contributing to teen pregnancy including parental neglect, sexual abuse, the disregard to talk to teens about contraceptives, and prevailing cultural attitudes toward teen pregnancy. Proper identification of contributing factors and employment of proven remediating actions can and have been found to positively impact teen pregnancy.

Family structure is a significant factor in teen pregnancy. It is commonly found that when teens do not perceive parents showing love, they are led to relationships outside of the family. Rosen (1997) concluded a large amount of adolescents that lived in an unstable family environment become sexually active for a short term sense of comfort (Adolescent Pregnancy in America: Causes and Responses, 5). It has also been found that having both a mother and father in the household lowers the possibility of teen pregnancy (Adolescent Pregnancy in America: Causes and Responses, 6). Hymowitz (1997) concluded the absence of a father was the primary factor in teenage girls becoming pregnant (Adolescent Pregnancy in America: Causes and Responses, 6). Family structure, unstable environments, and the absence of a father are all social phenomenons increasing in prevalence concurrently with the increasing teen pregnancy. The New...
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