Teen pregnancy has dramatically decreased within the last decade because of the increased used of contraception. In 2012, the National Center for Health statistics recorded 29 births for every 1,000 girls, which has decreased since 1991 when 62 births per 1,000 girls was recorded. Although it has decreased, teen pregnancy remains at the highest rate in industrialized countries such as the United States. Not only does teen pregnancy affect the young teen parents but the child as well. Young teens shouldn’t be in a rush to have children young while the teen is still a kid themselves. Teen pregnancy remains a problem because it decreases the chance for the child to grow up in a stable home with both parents around. Some teenagers chose abortion or adoption as an option, which can cause some guilt for the young teen mother. What might be some ways to reduce this teen pregnancy? Teaching young teens about the consequences that follow after having unprotected sex with somebody else gives the young teens the knowledge of prevention. Having sex education, such as a speaker coming into the classrooms and talking about the ways to take care of oneself from pregnancy and STI’s put into schools starting from when teens are in middle school to inform students sooner may reduce the problem in the way that students will be more cautious about what they can get themselves into.
A clear difference is having young teens enroll in abstinence only programs. In Robert Rector’s article, The Effectiveness of Abstinence Education Programs in Reducing Sexual Activity Among Youth, he claims that young teens that become sexually active are in high risk of getting emotionally and physically damaged. Young teens, especially girls, may feel regret or guilt after having their first sexual intercourse which causes and emotional damage within them. If the young teen catches and STD, he or she may feel less confident and less desirable sexually, according to the Medical Institute of Sexual Health 80% of young teens that caught herpes felt this way.
Another distinction is that according to the Pediatrics magazine, teens that were reported having sex at an early age, were more likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol. Sexually active boys from the ages of 12-16 were reported 4 times more likely to smoke and 6 more times likely to drink alcohol than those who were virgins. With girls ages 12-16 as well, were reported 7 more times likely to smoke and 10 more times likely to smoke marijuana. Because of this report, the assumption has been made that sexually activity at a young age causes other health endangering behaviors than those who aren’t sexually active. While a young teen is still in high school and gets pregnant, than being pregnant young might reduce the chance of them being able to graduate if they drop out because they have to take care of a baby. According to Clemmitt, she wrote that the Child Trends, a nonprofit research group, stated that only 51 percent of teen moms got their diploma before the age of 22, whereas 89 percent of girls who weren’t teen moms graduated. Once a teen has a child, she won’t be about to do fun activities like other students her age since she has to take care of a baby. Some don’t even get their diplomas until later on in life. I can’t even imagine my life having a child since I’m in school and focusing on getting an AA first and then my BA. I balance my life with friends and family, school, work, and sleep and that is already a tight schedule for me. If I were too add a baby to that schedule I would have to give up a couple things and I wouldn’t want to do that right now. I have also witnessed on the TV show, Teen Mom, how a young single teen mom struggled on getting her GED because she had to take care of her child and go through pointless drama from the father of her child, which kept her distracted. Eventually the girl from Teen Mom got her GED but let’s say she...
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