15 April 2013
Teen pregnancy is one of the most popular topics everywhere today. The United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the western industrialized world. (Kendall, 2011, p. 495) Teens today have the mindset that “I’m just having a baby not a nuclear weapon”. This is ok with them and they go on about their everyday lives as if nothing can interfere with them. Oh my do they have an eye opening even headed their way. Through this report the readers will be informed about teenage pregnancy and how it affects the lives of teenage girls and the reasons behind such an increase in the United States.
Everyone in the United States knows that the economy has affected people and families all over the nation. Families to have more stress with trying to survive in today’s struggling world. Teenagers have a tough road ahead of them when they are faced with an identity crisis and things aren’t going so well at home. Parents often put teens on the back burners so to speak because while parents are struggling parents also think that teens are almost grown adults and they can take care of themselves. Quite the contrary actually, most teens still need guidance from parents because this is when teens are torn between still needing that say so from mom or dad and needing that independence. If parents pay close attention to their teens they can actually see the boundaries being stretched by their teenage sons and daughters and really needing that input to say “that’s far enough” or “your almost there.” The primary reasons for high rates of teenage pregnancy cannot be pointed to one particular thing or situation. (Kendall, 2011. P. 495) Parents are not talking to their teens about sex is a major factor because teenagers need to know what can happen when they have unprotected sex. Not only getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant but also sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s). Pier pressure can be devastating to a young girl or boy and they may become sexually active just by trying to fit in and not know anything about sex. Boys often see sex as a way to prove what a stud they are and care little to nothing about the relationship with their partner at that particular time. (p. 495) Some boys also believe that it is a girls responsibility for contraception. More and more teens are staying home and being couch potatoes and going to the movies and this is certainly having a an impact on teen pregnancy. Let’s face it all teenagers enjoy watching those movies that have flirting, necking, discussions about sex and sex scenes on when their parents aren’t home. This is a major contribute to teenage pregnancy because just watching something like that can make a person feel different and teens start thinking about exploring those feelings. Watching this kind of sexual content on television is a powerful factor in increasing the likelihood of a teen pregnancy. (Kruegar, 2011. P 64) Critics of television programming and experts on teen pregnancy said the research provided powerful new evidence about the role of television in youth behavior.(p. 67) “This is very significant” says researchers of the Parents Television Council, a watchdog group. It gives plenty of reason for concern. (p. 67) With parents working and not able to monitor what their teens are watching on TV can most definitely promote early sexual relations in teens without showing the possible consequences of such behavior. (Kendall, 2011. P. 496) Many teens today act like they don’t want their parents to care, but according to Bill Albert, communications director for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy in Washington, D.C., many wish that their parents were more deeply involved in their lives. (Kruegar. 2011 p. 69) Albert says that when it comes to schoolwork, social interaction and issues like sex and drugs, young people benefit form close relationships with adults. It is unfair and unwise to leave young people without adult guidance and supervision. (p. 69) After all the teen years are some of the most difficult ones we face, and it is nearly impossible for anyone to imagine going through so much change and pressure without some adult guidance and mentoring. This is especially true when it comes to sexual health issues. (p. 69) Another campaign survey conducted in 2003 found that 45 percent of teens say parents are the most influential people in their lives. The problem is that parents don’t know it. Forty-eight percent of parents think their teens are more influenced by their friends. (p. 71) Questions are a great way to get a conversation started. Parents were teens once, too (hard to believe, I know). So speak up, ask questions, and learn from your parents. Parents will either have or will search out solid answers to your questions because they care about you and want you to live a healthy and successful life. Teenage girls from poor families, single parent families, families with relatively uneducated parents, or whose mothers gave birth to them before age 20 pregnancy rates are higher. (Boyd & Bee 2012, p. 99) When teen girl become pregnant it can be devastating for them to face their parents and they are faced with the most momentous set of decisions they will encounter in their young lives. About one-third of teenage pregnancies across all ethnic groups end in abortion, and about 14% result in miscarriages. (p. 99) among whites, 7% of teens relinquish their babies to adoptive families. (p. 99) Teenage girls that become pregnant are usually less skilled at parenting and are less likely to finish high school. Most will likely live off the state unless family member intervene. Teens also have a sense of pride and rarely want to ask for help but without family involvement or support most teens will not make it on their own.
Kendall, D. (2011), Sociology in our Times, (8th ed.). Wadsworth/Cengage Publishing, Boyd, D. & Bee, H. (2012). The developing child. (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Krueger, L. (2011), Teen pregnancy and parenting, (1st ed.). Greenhaven Press, Farmington Hills, MI