February 12, 2012
The Effects of Teen Pregnancy
Are Americans effectively discussing the topic of teen pregnancy? “According to research in 2009 approximately 410,000 births occurred among teens aged 15-19 in the United States of America.” (Razol, Warner, Gavin, Callaghan, Sptiz, Anderson, Barfield, Kahn, 2011, ¶6) Therefore, the United States of America ranks number one among all other countries and teen pregnancy is a vital issue that needs to be dealt with. Many teens today are not aware of how big the responsibility is to raise a child. Raising a child today involves a lot of patience and sacrifices that a teen does not have. Teenage pregnancy negatively impacts the physical, emotional, and social situations of a teen’s life.
Teen pregnancy negatively impacts not only a teen mother physically, but also her child. Teen mothers tend to start smoking, using drugs, and begin drinking during their pregnancy from stress and depression. As a result, there are many physical effects when it comes to teens having babies. Due to the immature body and mind of teenagers, their babies can suffer many health problems. Some of these health problems include premature birth, low birth weight, organs not developing fully, loss of vision, lung disease, and respiratory complications. Because of these physical effects, the majority of babies born often die early. ("Teenage pregnancy has," 2011)
Having to deal with an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager is confusing and scary. Because pregnant teens do not know where to turn for help once they find out they are pregnant, they suffer emotionally. Many pregnant teens fear they cannot be the mother they wish to be. A teen can often feel depressed, as if she is no good and a worthless person. They have feelings of sadness, irritability, trouble sleeping, and the inability to care for their child. As a result, she may have difficulty bonding with her child, and have thoughts of harming herself or the baby. Additionally, frustration will set in due to not being able to do things they used to with their peers. This emotional crisis may lead to irrational behavior.
A pregnant teen often does not complete their studies in school. “According to research conducted by the Robin Hood Foundation only 1/3 of teenage mothers’ complete high school and receive a diploma.” (Margret, 2010, ¶3) “Consequently teenage mothers are at a higher risk of poverty, inability to maintain a stable job, and end up in abusive homes.” (Margret, 2010, ¶5) Without being able to provide for themselves as well as their child, the child is not given the care or proper nutrition that is needed. Often times teen parents have to turn to their state assistance office for help. Due to this it, “reduces their potential for economic self-sufficiency .” (Soloman, Fears, 2011, p.#) As a result of this, they often have children who do poorly in school. “They are 50 percent more likely to repeat a grade, are less likely to complete high school than the children of older mothers, and have lower performance on standardized tests.” (Hoffman, S.D. 2006 ¶6)
However, there are some interesting arguments on why teenagers become pregnant and who has the most influence on them. One article suggests that a, “consistent discrepancy exists between what respondents feel should be taught in sexual education courses and what in fact it offers. Some researchers regard prevention programs, regardless of how well thought out and implemented, as doomed, because the issue of teenage pregnancy involves the social whole.” (Kohli & Nyberg , 1995,pg.2 ¶ 1) Another article states that the, “United States ranks first among developed nations in rates of both teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. In an effort to reduce these rates, the U.S. government has funded abstinence-only sex education programs for more than a decade.” (Stanger-Hall...