TEENAGE PREGNANCY IN AMERICA: AND OTHER RELATED COMPLICATIONS
Teenage Pregnancy in America: And Other Related Complications
Teenage pregnancy is defined as a teenager or underage girl (usually within the ages of 13–19) becoming pregnant. The term in everyday speech usually refers to women who have not reached legal adulthood, which varies across the world, who become pregnant (MedlinePlus 2008). Adolescent mothers are more numerous in western societies and especially in the United States. Today, young people are sexually active at an earlier age compare to the previous generation, and there are several associated consequences.
Sexual activity among adolescents is often associated with unprotected sex or use of ineffective methods of contraception. A large proportion of adolescents are suffering from sexual transmitted diseases (STDs) and girls become pregnant and young mothers. Given the increase in teenage pregnancies and the consequences on the quality of life of the young people, an intervention, is needed starting in the middle schools. According to a study done in late 2009 by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), a pro-choice organization, nationwide, teenage pregnancy rate was 71.5 pregnancies per 1,000 women ages 13 to 19 (Huffington Post 2010). Before intervention, however, it is essential to understand the factors underlying the premature and unprotected sex leading to unwanted pregnancies and STDs among adolescents. These risk factors include individual characteristics of adolescents as well as environmental factors. This paper will examine the reasons of pregnancy among teenagers and the consequences that are associated.
Review of literature
The teenage pregnancies occur more frequently, in the poorest neighborhoods, lower socio-economic backgrounds where young girls do not have many expectations from life. They are not concern about their future therefore academic performance is very poor (Le Van, 1995; Corcoran et al, 2000; Roy and Charest, 2002; Faucher et al., 2002; Arai, 2003). The occurrence of pregnancy in these socio-economic disadvantage is sometimes regarded as a coping strategy (Stevens-Simon & Lowy, 1995 cited by Faucher et al. 2002; Le Van, 1995; Loignon, 1996; Uzan 1998, Arai 2003): pregnancy prevention requires five distinct steps, namely, the acquisition and repairs of design information and contraceptive methods, awareness of their vulnerability to sexual relations, obtaining contraceptives, communication with partner about contraception and proper use of the contraceptives. Although teenage pregnancies are generally perceived as undesirable and to avoid, (Alvin, 2006), several authors emphasize that there may be a desire for pregnancy among very young girls and that they are therefore sometimes intentional (Dadoorian, 2005). However for one young woman who was pregnant for the first time very early, pregnancy appears to have occurred by surprise really, she noted that she was unaware at the time of the first sexual act could cause a pregnancy.(Anonymous, 2010)
Individual characteristics of Teenagers
Teenagers are generally looking for thrills. They seek pleasure and danger as a result they want to explore the world by a variety of risks, such as abuse of drugs or alcohol, school failure, dropping out of school, violence and unprotected sexual activity. They do not hold enough skills to apprehend and foresee the future and to anticipate the consequences of their actions. This lack has a negative impact on their motivation to make realistic career choices and to take the necessary steps to succeed academically. Then, teenagers also maintain several stereotyped and erroneous beliefs. They think, for example, that safe sex is not as nice or there is no risk of pregnancy or STDs if they shower immediately after the encounter. Therefore, this leads to neglectful behaviors related to the feeling of being...