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Economic Costs and Social Consequences of Teen Pregnancy

By stephenxiaohei Oct 17, 2013 1564 Words
Kids having kids---Economic costs and social consequences of Teen pregnancy Introduction
It is commonly known that the economic base determines the superstructure. Furthermore, as the economy developing, people’s behaviors are changing frequently. Moreover, the teenage group, which is a significant and energetic group in society, is playing an important role in future development. However, our teens have to face many situations they might not have encountered in the past but are more likely confront today, most especially teen pregnancy. In this regard, it is crucial to focus on the seriousness of the situation and its vast number of social consequences. Due to unbalanced economic development, globalization, and social consequences, teenagers have been involved in this adult issue, which results in teenagers’ prematurity and pregnancy. However, the whole society and government has not launched any possible methods or policies to prevent teen pregnancy and eliminate the influence of prematurity. Teen pregnancy creates social burden as well as lifelong harm of teenagers

“At minimum, the public cost of births to teens 17 and younger is $ 7.6 billion a year, according to research presented recently at a national forum in Chicago. The calculation includes both the lower taxes that these often impoverished families contribute and the extra social services they require” (“Teen motherhood” 7). This reference clearly shows teen pregnancy causes a huge amount of money being spent from social welfare and health care. However, even the same issue of teen pregnancy, in the developed countries and in the developing countries will be comprehended and solved differently in. For example, in China, the economic development leads people have a better life if comparing couple of decades ago. Most importantly, Chinese government has the policy of opening to the outside world; therefore, masses of movies, magazines and Websites on the Internet or not spread out family by family in all of China. People progressively discover the unknown countries and cultures, meanwhile, people’s mind being changed because of the raising standard of living. People are enabled and willing to purchase anything that builds their spirit. Conservativeness is no longer used to describe the young generation nowadays in China. However, with these changes, there is a negative consequence affecting these teenagers: “a recent report on sex education revealed middle school students in Foshan, Guandong Province starting dating and having sexual experiences at 13 has sparked a storm of controversy” (Source: Global Times people daily). In this case, it is obvious that teen pregnancy and prematurity is a growing issue in China as well as other developing countries, and is worthy of attention. In China, adolescents’ education always takes this issue seriously and strictly in people’s minds. However, it appears the education has not achieved enough to educate teens in an appropriate way. The sex education has not totally failed but has not alleviated teen pregnancy much, either. “Too much exposure of sex on TV, in films and in online video negatively influences our children…Sex education is not fully in place in China and many teenagers are shielded from any form of sex education, which fuels their curiosity” (Source: Global Times people daily). Obviously, teenagers access sex easily as well as dangerously; meanwhile, they lack awareness of sexuality.

“A senior middle school student who refused to identify himself told the Global Times yesterday that his teacher skipped the pages on sex education and asked them to read it at home” (Source: Global Times people daily). This is the weakness of the education in regards to sexuality among the students who are experiencing the adolescent period. They could not establish a concept about sexuality and an appropriate attitude to respect and understand what sexuality is. Virtually all teenagers could not independently lead their lives like adults. Therefore, our teens need necessarily guidance by their family members and teachers from schools. “Saving Sex for Later is a promising intervention for promoting youths’ sexual abstinence. The intervention may also be effective in enhancing positive parenting practices among parents who are typically difficult to reach because of economic hardship, full schedules and complicated life” (Lydia 166). To avoid the teenage pregnancy, the parents need to contribute their times and energy to stay with their children and educate them how to lead a healthy life regarding sexuality. Sex education is necessary to teens, and how to enrich teens after school life is also worthy to regard. Parents are playing an important role in guiding teens to act their life and get involved in social life. How teens to make a choice and why make that choice should being considered by their parents. Obviously, America as a developed country has being pay an attention on teen pregnancy issue. Of course, this is the differences between developing countries and developed countries in regards to this issue. Assuredly, at economic point of view, developing countries take the dust of developed countries but this is not the pretext of ignorance of teen pregnancy issue. However, economic development is a quite important criteria for judgment while government or individual dealing with sensitive and serious social issues such as teen pregnancy. Causes

The booming development of economy significantly affects teenagers’ mental growth and behaviors. Due to economic development, not only do adults have more time to relax and be entertained, but also teens. Moreover, adolescence is a period that is full of curiosity to discover the unknown phenomenon and activities in life. Especially, sexuality is a very sensitive topic among teenagers as well as their parents and teachers. Multimedia plays an important role in teenagers’ lives. TV shows, magazines and movies are the most eligible and broad approaches to teens for entertainment. Nevertheless, those medias are uncontrollable by government or organization in a sense. Therefore, teenagers have different approaches to access. Because of these influences of sex in the media, author Carolyn Cocca states that in America, for example, “In recent years, adolescent sexuality and statutory rape have been constructed as leading inexorably to teen pregnancy and welfare dependency—manipulative older males impregnate young vulnerable females, who then give birth and apply for public assistance” (Cocca 56). Teenagers’ mental growth directly connects with their behaviors just like example mentioned. Accordingly, “Over 300,000 babies were born to unwed mothers in 1988—three—fifth of all births to teenagers. Although the total number of births to teenagers declined between 1970and 1988, the percentage born out of wedlock more than doubled (from 29 to 65 percent), and the teenage out-of-wedlock birth rate increased from about 22 per 1,000. Over 11,000 babies were born to children under the age of fifteen in 1988” (Corcoran 603). As stated by Corcoran, these statistics appear the impact of teen pregnancy. In addition to this, there are other impacts of teen pregnancy influence teenagers as well as the society. For instance, due to teenagers lack awareness of sexuality and contraception. Female teenagers easily get unplanned pregnant and directly lead to abortions; meanwhile, it’s including other outcomes such as dissemination of HIV and venereal. Douglas Beshavor argues in his book, Social costs of teenage sexuality, “There are many negative consequences that result from teenage sexual activity. The number of abortions performed on teenage girls nearly doubled from 1973 to 1984. More than 50% of pregnant girls who do not have abortions end up on welfare within one year of giving birth. Venereal diseases are also a problem” (Beshavor 3). There are so many causes lead to teen pregnancy such as not completing education, not establishing a career, and failure to become independent. Teenage pregnancy is not reasonable; many of them are affected by unhealthy media as mentioned before and lack of sexuality education. Most importantly, each of us, as a part of the whole society, is not only playing an important role in preventing teen pregnancy but also protect our social values in order to reserve for next generation. Each family is a unit of the society, family support is necessary to youths in the intervention condition just like O’Donnell exposed “Youths in the intervention condition were more likely than controls to report high family support, and reported more family rules and fewer behavioral risks. Family support and rules partially mediate the relationship between treatment condition and behavioral risks” (O’Donnell 166). As a solution, individual, families and the society have to establish an awareness of sexuality; meantime, it is necessary that launch possible methods or policies to prevent teen pregnancy and eliminate the influences of prematurity. Conclusion

Kids having Kids is a very serious situation and worthy to pay attention on it. Indisputably, unplanned teen pregnancies cost both teens a lifelong harm as well as the wastage of social welfare. Most importantly, teen pregnancy reflects vast number of issues that related to fundamental education and sanitation. Most importantly, if our communities and governments do not follow teen pregnancy closely, it will be a tremendous damage to social structure and take the whole society into a chaos. It is urgent that every social unit has to eliminate the contradiction in different hierarchy caused by teen pregnancy. No matter developed countries or developing countries should get together and help each other respectively and globally.

Work Cited
Policy & Practice 66.5 (2008): 7. Academic OneFile. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. Society 30.6 (1993): 3+. Academic OneFile. Web. 10 Dec. 2010 Adolescence 34.135 (1999): 603. Academic OneFile. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. McGrew, Martha Cole, and William B. Shore. "The problem of teenage pregnancy." Journal of Family Practice 32.1 (1991): 17+. Academic OneFile. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. O'Donnell, Lydia, et al. "Saving sex for later: an evaluation of a parent education intervention." Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 37.4 (2005): 166+. Academic OneFile. Web. 10 Dec. 2010

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