25 March 2013
The first day of high school, going to prom, learning to drive, graduating, getting a job, and buying the first car – these are some of the memorable events that occur in the life of an average American teenager. However, now more than ever, another event has been added to many teenagers’ lists: becoming a parent. Teen pregnancy is not a new issue; in fact, it has been a rising concern in the United States for decades. Voluntary efforts have been made by organizations such as Healthy Teen Network, The National Campaign, and Advocates for Youth to help reduce the overwhelming existence of teen pregnancy. Though health care clinics, teens parenting help programs, and alternative schools for pregnant women, pregnancy organizations have sought to relieve the problem, but have done little to eliminate it. It is time for a change that will address this issue with boldness and certainty. Over the years, the number of teen pregnancy rates has grown to great amounts. Many are trying to solve the social problem of childbirths to young mothers; many contributions as to how this problem has occurred have been reviewed. A large body of research has identified a number of factors that underlie teen sexual and contraceptive behavior, pregnancy, and childbearing. There are biological antecedents, including gender, age, testosterone level, and timing of puberty. These factors are causally related to adolescent sexual and contraceptive behavior and pregnancy. Another statement that comes up is that teens are more sexually active now than in the past and that is what has led them to teen pregnancy. Throughout my paper I will cover several educated answers to a possible solution to teen pregnancy but paramountly, I will explain the correlation, if any, between education in schools to the relationship of high teen pregnancy rates. It has been said that teens across the world have not been receiving enough sex education. This has led to many issues with teens becoming pregnant, which most of the time is unanticipated. There are various reasons as to why this is such a large social problem. There is not a clear answer as to why teens are going out and having sex at such young ages except for the fact that they are just curious or are trying to rebel. Becoming pregnant is an unanticipated consequence for most teens because they did not think it would happen to them. In reality, there are countless teen pregnancies each year. “In 2002, 757,000 pregnancies occurred among females aged 15-19” (Hedman, Larsen, Bohnenblust, 2008). The media also contributes to the blow up of teen pregnancy. There are news stories, 20/20 studies, and even shows that follow the lives of pregnant teens. T.V. shows such as 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom try teaching viewers what troubles a teen mother faces. The realism of these shows can be misleading and can give other teens false truths about what a teen motherhood is really like. For many of the studies on teen pregnancy, Canada, England, and the USA are compared to each other because they have many of the same standards. “Despite declining birth rates over the past few decades, the United States continues to have the highest teen pregnancy rate of all industrialized countries” (Crittenden CP et al, 2009). According to an American study, “750,000 girls get pregnant each year, 31% of teenage girls get pregnant at least once before the turn 20, and the federal government spends about $7 billion to help families that originate with a teen mother” (Gilbert, 2007). Studies have shown throughout these countries that America still has the highest rate of teen pregnancy. In Canada, “the teen birth rate declined from 35.7 per 1000 in 1974 to 14.4 in 2003” (McKay, 2006). This statement was made referring to the United States, “Since the teen birthrate is on the rise for the first time in 15 years, it is critically important to focus resources and attention...