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Teen Pregnancy: Now and Then

By jayallday14 Feb 24, 2014 850 Words


“Teen Pregnancy Now and Then”
Over the years pregnancy has changed in many ways. In the mid-1900s it was unheard of for a teenage girl to have children. If you did you were considered an outcast and looked upon differently. Nowadays it’s pretty normal to be a teen mom. Although its normal, most teenage mothers are considered unprepared. I actually believe this is true for at least 80 percent of the cases. “In 2012, there 305,420 babies born to females ages 15-19. The teen birth rate has declined over the past 20 years. In 1991, the U.S. teen birth rate was 61.8 births for every 1,000 adolescent females but in 2012 it dropped to 29.4 births for every 1,000 adolescent females in 2012.”(Gregson)

In today’s world it’s already hard for adults to get good jobs to support themselves and their children. People with college degrees are even finding it difficult to find employment. If it’s hard for people of that criteria, just imagine how hard it would be for someone who is sixteen and haven’t even finished high school yet. Of course they may be able to get a job at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, etc... But babies are very expensive and I just don’t believe that job will stimulate someone enough money to take care of themselves and their baby.

In the 1950’s my grandmother was 16 when she had her first child. She was able to go on to finish school as well. By the time she was 24 she had about 5 children already. Even being a young mother back then, she made it to be successful. She didn’t have any college degree but she worked extremely hard for many years. I am really convinced that she is one of a kind, meaning many other teen moms back then may not have been as successful as her. The question still remains, is it more likely for a teen mom to be successful in the mid-1900s are in today’s world?

From a sociably point of view I believe that it is easier for a teenage mother to survive today. The reason being that teenage motherhood is accepted more now than it has ever been. They even make TV shows about it like “16 and pregnant “. Some teens even think it’s cool and want a baby just because they’re cute. In my opinion, they should just get a poodle instead!

It was very different in the mid-1900s; teen pregnancy was not stigmatized. It was not talked about, unheard of, rarely happening. Actually not too many people accepted it. In schools if you were pregnant teachers would look at you funny because you were considered an outcast. Actually, in some states, once the school found out a teen was impregnated she would not be allowed to attend public schools anymore. It was private schools who accepted teen motherhood that they would have to attend.

In today’s world 79 percent of teen mothers are unmarried. So out of every 100 teen mothers, less than 20 of them are married! Honestly I agree with this statistic because every teenage mother I know isn’t married. Shit, I only know maybe one who’s still with her baby’s father. Back then that situation was totally different. They had shotgun wedding to take care of that. A shotgun wedding is when one or both parties are forced into marriage due to an unplanned pregnancy. Some called it, “wife ore death” and that statement had a literal meaning. This method was used to get recourse from the man for the act of impregnation.

From a financial point of view I believe it’s harder for teen mom’s to survive in today’s world. Back then college degrees wasn’t really required as much to get a good job. In most cases high school diplomas wasn’t even required. My grandmother told me that her husband didn’t even finish the 3rd grade when he dropped out of school. He eventually became a long shore man. Back then they actually made good money, getting paid about $28 an hour. That goes to show you that education didn’t have as much value as it does now.

Nowadays even people with college diplomas struggle to find jobs. If people of those criteria are struggling how can a 16 year old find a good one? Without a good job how can she care for herself and her child? Of course she may apply for government support, but will that be enough? Honestly I don’t believe it would!

Look at the statistics, only one third of teen mother’s complete high school. That means about 66 percent of teen mothers don’t graduate. Today, not too many good jobs are offered without a high school diploma. Things have changed so much between the 1950s and today that can turn a suitable family back then into a family that’s poverty struck today. So my answer to the remaining question is, a teen mom would be more likely to survive in today’s world sociably, but in the 1950’s financially.

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