Is it the new trend for teenager to have sex and get pregnant? What is the point? There are so many things we as teenagers have to gain during our teenage life especially our maturity. So how can we do that and also take responsibility for another child? Teenage pregnancy is complicated by our conflicting attitudes and behaviors. Yet we are shocked at the increasing numbers of teens who are sexually active. As we all know, teenage pregnancy is on the rampage in St. Kitts and we are all wondering what may be the cause of it. In my presentation, I will first outline what is teenage pregnancy, depict the causes of teenage pregnancy, and also state some risk factors of teenage pregnancy and also state some recommendations on how I think we can curb teenage pregnancy.
What is Teenage Pregnancy?
Teenage pregnancy is technically defined as occurring when a woman under the age of 20 becomes pregnant. The youngest mother who ever gave birth was Lina Medina, who, in 1939, gave birth to a boy at the age of five. (Source: Wikepedia). Most girls however, do not become fully fertile until much later, example; the average age of menarche (first menstrual period) in St. Kitts is 11.5 years. Babies born to teenagers are at risk from neglect and abuse because their young mothers are uncertain about their roles and may be frustrated by the constant demands of caretaking. The number of births to teenagers in St. Kitts has been fluctuating considerably over the last few years. Some teenage pregnancies occur as a result of their sexual inexperience and inadequate understanding of their reproductive cycle. This is most likely due to the increased unavailability of readily accessible contraception and abortion facilities, because of an increase in sexual activity. Research suggests that knowledge about reproductive matters and access to contraception are necessary to prevent unintended adolescent pregnancy. However, not all teenage pregnancies are unplanned. Some teenagers literally choose to want to have a baby due to their idealised views of pregnancy and parenting as well as presume from their male partners.
Facts and figures
In order to provide accurate statistics on the number of teenage live births in St. Kitts, I requested the information from the Planning Unit in the Ministry of Finance, Technology and Sustainable Development.
Table 1 showing the number of live teenage births within St. Kitts during the period 2000 – 2005. Sourced from the Planning Unit, Ministry of Finance, Technology and Sustainable Development.
Total of live births162167139144116126
Chart showing the statistics shown above in Figure 1
Causes and Effects of Teen Pregnancy
You may be wondering about the causes and effects of teenage pregnancy. A teenage girl may become pregnant as a result of many various situations. Some teenage girls become pregnant while involved in long-term dating relationships. Other girls become pregnant after hooking up. And, some girls may become pregnant as a result of a rape situation. All teenage pregnancies are the result of sexual activity, whether voluntary or involuntary. No matter what measures are taken for birth control, the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy is abstinence( is the withholding or indulging of sexual activity) from all sexual activities. Only abstinence is guaranteed not to cause teen pregnancy. Parents shy away from discussing sex education with their children. Some may feel that their children are learning about it in school so why should they say it again. Nowadays parents are too busy to shoulder of their responsibilities and that’s why neglect is a cause for teenage pregnancy. They feel that if they have a child that they can be loved.
Teens can prevent teenage pregnancies by using one of a...