Teen Pregnancy

Topics: Teenage pregnancy, Adolescence, Pregnancy Pages: 6 (2354 words) Published: November 1, 2008
In today’s society teens are faced with many pressures. The effect of these pressures put on them, is the inability to make right decisions when it comes to certain situations. One of the most common situations teens find themselves in is becoming a parent at a young age, a result of pressure to have sex from peers. Over the years, the numbers of teen pregnancy have indeed decreased, but in the United States alone, teen pregnancies are at an all time high. A recent study conducted by Victor C. Strasburger, a doctor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, concluded that of the teen pregnancies, 95% of them are unplanned, and only a third of the pregnancies end with the mother keeping the child. With statistics like these, the common person is left to wonder. Why isn’t enough being done to prevent this problem? And what is being done to ensure a suitable life for the teens and the children born to them? With the numbers of teens becoming parents each year, the government has addressed the problem by creating organizations that make the life of a teenage parent no different than that of an average teenager. By doing this, the government is doing nothing to put a stop to the problem, but is encouraging it by saying “Hey you can have a kid and your life won‘t change one bit”. Ask yourself this: If teenagers had an actual perspective of the day to day struggles of any parent, would they be doing something to prevent themselves from ending up in that situation? In my opinion, more should be being done to prevent teen pregnancy, rather than putting all the efforts into helping teen parents.

Teenagers are very easily influenced and known to do what everyone else is doing because it’s the “in“ thing. The years of their life that are most crucial for development, are being altered by idols and celebrities who do not always provide a positive influence to be followed. Over the years, with teen pregnancy being on the rise, I feel that one of the major factors of this is outside influence. By nature, the adolescent age group are followers. With minds that are so easily influenced by what is around them, a teenager may see a friend who has a baby, think it is easy and a piece of cake, and think it is perfectly okay to go out and get pregnant without evaluating their own situation. Some teens may not have the same support system from a family or partner as others, as well as financial means, or the ability to finish school because of it. The statistics found by Victor C. Strasburger, a doctor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, show that twenty five percent of teen pregnancies are in wedlock, and less then one third of teen mothers end up finishing high school. The most shocking statistic of all is that forty percent of women under the age of twenty, end up pregnant, more then half of them being under the age of seventeen. What teenagers fail to realize when becoming pregnant is that just because someone can do it, does not necessarily mean everyone can.

One other major outside influence is the media and entertainment industry. The daily lives of teenagers are portrayed in many sitcoms and shows. The actors and actresses that become the heroes of every day teenagers provide them with a bench mark of what the “average” teen is like. In 2007, Jamie Lynn Spears, the star of Zoey 101, announced she was pregnant. To me, this should be a concern to the parents of young adults that look up to and idolize the stars of these shows that are becoming real life teen parents. Also, in articles found in popular magazines such as Seventeen or CosmoGirl, which attract a mainly teen reader base, a person can find articles about teen pregnancy that do nothing but make it look appealing. In fact, in both mentioned magazines there are question and answer questions based only on sex, which answers readers burning questions about it, rather than discouraging the topic all together. When reading an article in any magazine...

Cited: Hennassian, Lu (May 2004). The True Story of a Teen Mom. Redbook Magazine, Vol. 202 Issue 5, p124-126.
San Diego Business Journal, (2001). Haven Program is a Sanctuary for Adolescent Mothers. Vol. 22, Issue 50,
Policy & Practice of Public Human Services, Mar2004, Vol. 62 Issue 1, p8-8, 2/3p
Jindal, Bobby Reducing Teen Pregnancy. (11/15/2001). In EbscoHost [Web]. Retrieved April 11, 2008, from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=4&hid=112&sid=41a41b7d-1441-4d7d-bc3f-270ba9a55ee1%40sessionmgr106
USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (3/26/2008). WIC. Retrieved April 11, 2008, Web site: http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/aboutwic/wicataglance.htm
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