Teenage Pregnancies and the Health Risks to the Unborn Child

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Running Head: Teen Pregnancy

Teenage Pregnancies and Health Risks
Betty Samuelsen
Western Governors University

Teen girls should refrain from the peer pressure of becoming pregnant. Becoming pregnant at a young age may have consequences with the range of seriousness. Pregnant teens are encouraging others to become pregnant in the form of peer pressure. Teens are watching too much television that encourages them to become pregnant. Pregnancy is a major reason that the dropout rate of teen girls is so high. Teens need to be informed of the health risks that they may be faced with if they become pregnant. Research suggests that there are no easy solutions to the complexity of issues affecting pregnant teens, such as outside influences in the form of other pregnant teens and media that encourage pregnancy, the effect of pregnancy on a teenager's education, and the health risks faced by pregnant teens and their unborn children.

Television shows are one example of media that complicates the issue of teen pregnancy. Studies show that teens, 12-17 years of age, that watch television shows that have the most sexually suggestive information, are twice as likely to become pregnant (Chandra, 2008). The television industry needs to have more of a balance between sexual content and the risks that pregnancies have upon teens (Chandra, 2008). These television shows also influence others to become pregnant because it is the thing to do. For example, MTV program content implies that if a girl gets pregnant, then the teen has a one-way ticket to fame and MTV is also promoting teen pregnancy instead of stating it as a serious problem in America (Montalvan, 2011).

Television increases the complexity of this issue when watching television shows that make teen pregnancies appealing leads to peer pressure to become pregnant. For example: Girls 16 and younger have gotten together to "plan" their pregnancies and how they are going to raise their children together. When the girls would find out if their pregnancy test came back positive, they would high five each other, like they were proud to be pregnant at such a young age and they will be ok (Males, 2008). Peer pressure is usually male-to-male and female-to-female, this pressure seems to be harder to withstand from males due to status and being accepted. On the other hand, females fall into peer pressure to "fill a void" in their lives and maintain a relationship with the opposite sex (Sugland, 1997). Not only is peer pressure a problem, research shows that 20% of teens have stated that their parents (46%) are also a big influence on them having sex compared to the 20% of friends pressure (Albert, 2010). What is this saying about parents' influence on their own teens? Teens state that they wish they could have more open conversations about sex with their parents and be more open in conversation about contraception. They believe that this could reduce teen pregnancies (Albert, 2010).

There are also various cultural practices that complicate how teens think about pregnancy. In adolescents' views about sex, it is on their minds most of the time whether or not they are sexually active themselves. Views differ from race to race as to the frequency of sex among their peer groups, for instance African-American perceive more sex than among peer groups in the European-and Mexican-American peer groups. (Mahavarkar, Madhi, & Mule, 2008). Teen pregnancy is not only a local problem, but is a global concern even with the conflicting information from study to study. The previous new labor government in England identifies pregnant schoolgirls as a particularly vulnerable group.

In addition, research shows different effects of pregnancy on the education of pregnant teens. The leading cause, 30%, of teens dropping out of high school is pregnancy and parenthood (National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2010, March). In England, the 1st cornerstone of a four...
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