Adolescent pregnancy has long been a societal concern, but in the past decade, this issue has become one of the most frequently cited examples of the perceived societal decay in the United States. The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the western world with approximately 1 million adolescents becoming pregnant every year (National Women's Health Information Center). Teenagers are engaging in sexual activity, and at the same time they are choosing not to practice safe sex. Why are they partaking in such behavior? There are many reasons as to why teens are having sex such as love, media influence, poverty, and family. The result of this adolescent behavior is childbearing, which has many negative effects and most teens are unaware of them. A couple of these negative effects are lifestyle change and poverty. Adolescent pregnancies have an effect not only on the teen and her family, but it also has a universal effect on the United States as it has to spend tax dollars on social welfare. Anti-pregnancy campaigns need to be re-evaluated to reach adolescents and to prevent them from the hardships they will endure as a result of having a child at a young age.
Focus adolescent services, an information and support web and phone service, states that sexual content is regularly marketed to younger children, pre-teens, and teens and this affects young people's sexual activity and beliefs about sex (par. 2). According to Michael Sutton, in his book Shaking the Tree of Knowledge for Forbidden Fruit: Where Adolescents Learn About Sexuality and Contraception, children are exposed to an overwhelming amount of content filled with sexual messages (25). He gives the following statistics: In 2003, 83% of the episodes of the top 20 shows among teen viewers contained some sexual content, including 20% with sexual intercourse. Forty-two percent of the songs on the top CDs in 1999 contained sexual content -- 19% included direct... [continues]
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