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Feature Article Teenage Pragnancy

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My Baby’s having a Baby

‘’mum I’m pregnant.’’

Imagine how you would feel if you’re fourteen year old daughter came home from school announcing to you that she is pregnant. This is the startling and frightening truth facing parents of adolescent girls. With the amount of education supplied to students of the developed world why is teenage pregnancy still so common?

In schools today we have sex education, not to mention the amount of government support, yet still so many teenage girls fall pregnant. When fourteen year old girls come home crying to their parents that they are pregnant, adults have to ask themselves what is the message we are teaching our kids?

While an unwanted pregnancy is one issue, sexually transmitted diseases are another. With that as an issue of risky sexual behavior it is scary to think how many teenagers still don’t use condoms. Many believe that education starts at home, and that safe sex is as important as knowing how to cook. Although sex education is studied at some point during school life students argue there is not enough, and what education there is focuses too greatly on the biological side and not on the risks of unwanted pregnancies and AIDS.

According to studies completed on teenage pregnancy rates in Europe, the Netherlands claims one of the lowest teen birth rates in the world. At 6.9 per 1000 woman aged fifteen to nineteen. Sex education begins in pre-school and has been incorporated into all year levels of school (Heymen 2002).

Oregon State University and Social Learning Center found that teenage pregnancies rates are higher among girls of lower socio-economic class. These teenagers often are in foster care with little money, education or parental help and guidance. It is estimated that nearly half of the girls will fall pregnant by nineteen years of age.

Life’s burdens frequently lead them to making hasty decisions about sexual inter course. Often these girls have low self esteem, no self respect and have dropped out of school- consequently not partaking in sex education. Research shows that a vast majority of these girls had been drinking and taking drugs indicating they weren’t in the right frame of mind when choosing to have sex. These girls’ mothers may have been teenage parents themselves. It’s a fact that daughters of teenage mothers have a higher chance of becoming teenage mothers themselves. (Heymen 2002). This figure shows similar results for single parent house holds too.

A study done by Pediatrics opens the idea that children exposed to sex on television predicts teenage pregnancy. Studies show that children exposed to high levels of sex are twice as likely to become pregnant than teenagers exposed to low levels. They found that if parents were to educate their children in the portrayals of sex on television this may prevent teenage parenthood. It is important that parents discuss what is watched on television and that their children understand the real life risks of sexual intercourse, children need to remember that television glamorizes sex and doesn’t always show what can really happen in real life.

These days many parents aren’t monitoring what their children are watching and don’t seem to be aware of the sexual content in television shows. Society has changed people’s views of what is acceptable in relation to morals and beliefs. Children aren’t educated in old fashioned morals anymore and now see sex as a common occurrence rather than being saved for when they are older and more mature. Television shows such as channels sevens Home and Away had to change their G for general viewing to PG parental guidance is recommended after the sexual contexts explored during 2007s season eighteen. It is worrying that these issues are being explored in a seven pm time slot.

Many teenage boys have expressed ‘’feeling stupid’’ attempting to put condoms on. They often ask their female partners if they don’t have to wear them during sexual intercourse. This may be the result of peer pressure from the female who may point out how stupid the boy looks putting the condom on.

Teenagers don’t see the reality and consequences of sex. It is a fact that teenagers are hormonal time bombs, who don’t think about the biological side of sex when their hormones kick in. the reality of bringing up a child isn’t being taught to teenagers. They are often alone, sometimes kicked out of home and left to raise the child alone if one parent chooses not to be part of the child’s life. They usually have low income, live of benefits and don’t finish their education. Teenagers do not know how easy it is to get pregnant and how hard it is to be a parent. (Social Exclusion Unit).

Teenage mother Lisa would like to have more money and her daughter Summer’s dad still around. She says that having Summer around has given her motivation to make something of her life, but finds it difficult even with the help of her mum and full time place at nursery to finish her education.

Unlike Lisa situation some teenagers are lucky to stay together when they have an unplanned pregnancy. Unfortunately a study done on the association between teen parenthood and marital status among woman shows that woman who had a child at age twenty years and under were less likely to be married or in a serious relationship than a woman who had a child after the age of twenty. Teens need to be educated that teenage parenthood often leads to single parenthood later on in life.

If your teenage child is having sex they need to understand and be educated in the consequences that can come of having sex. Once upon a time sex was for a married couple and not for children to be having fun. It is a serious issue and needs to be addressed by society before it gets out of hand.

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