Twenty-nine million adolescents are sexually active in the nation, and the number is increasing each year. More than 850,000 teenage girls will become pregnant each year, and close to 500,000 of them will give birth. Estimates are that three-fourths of these pregnancies are unintended. About 90 to 95 percent of teens who carry the pregnancy to term will keep their babies. Surprisingly, the nation’s highest teen birth rate occurred in 1957, with 96.3 births per 1,000 teenage girls, compared to 41.9 births per 1,000 teenage girls in 2006. These numbers seem to suggest that teen parenting was more of a problem in the past. That is misleading, however. Most of the births from the 1950s and 1960s were to older teens who were married to their partners. These teens, who married young and had high fertility rates, were the parents of the baby boom generation. Economic instability, a hallmark of teen parenting today, was ameliorated in the 1950s by a strong economy and the likelihood of finding a family-wage job with only a high school education. Because so-called good jobs were available to those with only a high school education, young marriage and childbearing was encouraged by the social circumstances. Also, there was a strong propaganda machine extolling the virtues of stay-at-home mothers. There was a stigma on girls who were out-of-wedlock mothers, so much so that many pregnant teens were sent to live with relatives until the birth, when the infant was then placed for adoption. The alternative was a so-called shotgun wedding in which the couple was persuaded to marry before the pregnancy began to show. In the 1950s and 1960s, more than half of the women who conceived while they were single married before the child was born.
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Although there are many different ways to prevent a teenage girl from becoming pregnant, the only one that is absolutely effective is sexual abstinence. This method is the only one that guarantees no risk of getting pregnant and protects the teen from getting any STD's. For many years abstinence has been viewed as a decision based upon a religious or moral belief. In the article "Promotion of Sexual Abstinence: Reducing Adolescent Sexual Activity and Pregnancies," Hani R. Khouzam says, "Sexual abstinence is not associated with public health risks and needs to be presented and promoted as the most effective primary prevention for unplanned pregnancies" (2). In this article, Dr. Joycelyn Elders proposes teaching sexual abstinence as prevention for pregnancy, not as a religious or moral belief. According to Khouzam, in a study involving 7,000 Utah teens, the students were taught one of three abstinence curriculums stressing abstinence as a pregnancy prevention method. They were surveyed three times based on their attitudes on the issue. After taking the abstinence curriculum, the studies found that from these students, a significantly higher percentage of them remained virgins than those who did not go through the program (2). With results like this, it becomes evident that abstinence courses in schools are a sure way to get teens to realize the responsibility that comes with becoming sexually active, and to get them thinking about choosing to remain abstinent. The more information teenagers are given on the subject, the higher the chances that they will make this decision. For this reason, it is important that teenagers be taught the health benefits of choosing to remain abstinent.
Each year, one out of three teenage girls becomes pregnant.
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The reasons that birth rates among races differ are because of socioeconomic factors, family structure, and perceived future options. Risk factors for teen pregnancy include living in rural areas and inner cities, where many minority groups are clustered. White adolescent girls are less likely than black or Hispanic girls to carry their pregnancies to term. Because of their economic status and parental pressure, many will end their pregnancies through abortion. Often minority women, particularly those on public assistance, cannot afford abortion, and legislation has changed so that government funds will not cover elective abortion.
Argumentative Essay on Teen Pregnancy Essay Examples
There are many things that contribute to this issue, shows like sixteen and Pregnant and Teen Mom are glamorizing teen pregnancy, which is actually a big issue and the blame should be placed on the parents and media.
In a lot of arguments about teen pregnancy there is talk about ..
The support of family and friends is very helpful and much needed in the circumstance of teen pregnancy. Family and friends might make it possible for the teen to stay in school and continue her education. They can encourage adequate nutrition and prenatal health care. It is clear that there are substantial societal costs from teen pregnancies in the form of lost human capital and public welfare outlays, but support for the teen can assist her in positive parenting and active economic participation.
Essay on Preventing Teenage Pregnancy - Blog | Ultius
Teenage childbearing places both the teen mother and her child at risk for low educational attainment. Her children will look at her as a role model; if she got pregnant early and dropped out of school, they may feel they should, too. Women who grow up in poor families are more likely to have been the off spring of a teen pregnancy. The children of teen mothers are more likely to be living in poor neighborhoods where schools may be underfunded, are unsafe, or are of low quality, thus not preparing them for the future. The children of teen mothers, perhaps due to diminished opportunities, can suffer from depression and low self-esteem.