56% of young women and 73% of young men today have had intercourse by the age of 18, compared to the 35% of young women and 55% of young men in the early 1970’s (Facts.) Each year, nearly one million teenagers in the United States become pregnant. One third of these pregnancies result in being aborted, 14% miscarry, and 52% bear children (Kids.) What are the effects of having children at a young age? Education, being unprepared, and a change in responsibility are just a few of the effects of having a child at a young age.
Seven out of ten teen mothers complete high school or eventually earn their G.E.D., but are less likely than women who delay childbearing to go on to college (Sex.) Having a child in high school makes it more difficult to focus on your studies. Late nights staying awake to feed, change, and care for your baby, can have a huge impact on your ability to focus on school and other tasks you face. As a teenage mother in school, you miss out things such as your prom, sports, and other extracurricular activities.
Unpreparedness is another effect of having a child as a teenager. Most teenagers if they work, work minimum wage jobs and have no way of supporting themselves and a child. When a box of diapers for a newborn cost around $32.50, and last maybe a month, and a can of formula that cost $13, last maybe a week, your priorities of how you spend your money also changes. You no longer are able to go out with the girls for an all-day shopping trip or get your hair and nails done. Every penny you make goes to taking care of that child. The combination of the minimum wage jobs and going to school, allows for very little quality time with their child. Without a good support system, raising a child as a teenager is almost impossible. In 1992, the federal government spent more than $34 billion on welfare for families begun by teenagers, which is $16.6 billion higher than in 1985 (Babies.)
Prior to becoming a teen parent,...