Hudson Pennisi Professor Thaden-Koch Love Sex & Family 4/30/2019 The phrase “teenage pregnancy” refers to an adolescent girl, often between the ages of 13 and 19 years old becoming expectant. This phrase on a daily basis often refers to adolescent girls who are not legal adults who end up being expectant before reaching adulthood. Teen pregnancy is both a health and social issue facing many families globally. In other words, it is always challenging when one “child” has another baby. Issues like increased rates of poverty, poor education, teenage mothers being involved in risky conducts like prostitution and poor health problems are bound to trouble most teenage moms globally. Furthermore, the cost of adolescent girls having babies is economically overwhelming. Plus, educational accomplishment is challenging for most teen moms and this often results in decreased financial opportunities and incomes all through the life of these moms. Teen pregnancy is a serious social issue plaguing many families globally and sustainable strategies must be adopted to address this problem before more harm is done.
Raising a strong and joyful child is among life’s main difficulties even for the increasingly ready parents. However, having the capability to check-off generally acknowledged parenting fundamentals including having a superior education, a well-paying job, both mental and emotional stability, and a child-friendly home can generally make the task easier to deal with and overcome (Ralitza & Gueorgueiva, 2001). Regrettably, teenagers who end up becoming young mothers usually have a lack of major resources that are important to the whole process of parenting. Previous research has evidence to support this miserable reality that average kids who are born to adolescent parents are in most cases less likely to ever attain their complete potential (Boonstra, 2016). Furthermore, the impacts of teenage pregnancy can be devastating on the teen parent, the baby, and society in general.
Most pregnant teenagers tend to defer their life dreams the moment they get pregnant. Teen mothers, and parents usually perceive leaving school as one of the solutions that can aid them to find the much-needed time of raising a young baby (Covert, 2014). Plus, many adolescent pregnant mothers tend to be highly associated with feelings of humiliation and disgrace in addition to having major challenges in keeping up with their academic life. This, in most cases, drives them towards quitting school, hence delayed dreams (Kuperberg, 2014). Because of this unfortunate truth, responsible and active policy-makers should put more emphasis and resources towards sex educating teenagers in addition to creating programs meant to encourage teenager moms to try their best at staying in school.
There are high chances of harsh parenting among teenage parents. Research shows that teenage parents are most likely to be involved in severe parenting practices. These parents are in most cases inclined to yell or even spank their young ones (Woodward, Fergusson, Horwood, 2001). Furthermore, having reduced life experiences compared to much older parents makes it extremely challenging for teen parents to handle the irritability and frustration that comes with teenage pregnancy (Boonstra, 2016). Depressing signs of stress from other life aspects such as poverty can also increase these depressing feelings including anger and bitterness.
There are high chances of harsh parenting among teenage parents. Most reported cases of teenage pregnancy show that young parents are not wedded and the discovery of the girl being pregnant is in most cases unanticipated. Too often, teen dads abandon all of their parenting duties because of the immense fear and the ability to sufficiently provide for their young ones (Ralitza & Gueorgueiva, 2001). Because of this pressure, most teenage dads often abandon the teenage mother in addition to offering extremely reduced social support as well as financial support. Regrettably, teenage pregnancy does not just impact the people involved. It’s effects are wide-ranging and increased proportions of teen births can generally weaken a society’s financial well-being.
There are many recommendations that can be adopted to minimize teenage pregnancy rates in the United States, and the world by extension. One such suggestion is to include testimonials and guest speakers from former teen parents in teen pregnancy prevention programs (Ralitza & Gueorgueiva, 2001). This will allow former teen parents to share their heartfelt experiences, both the good and the bad ones. When teens hear and get an insight about these experiences, especially bad experiences, there are high chances that teenagers both girls and boys may start practicing safe sex in addition to taking necessary precautions before becoming young parents.
Offering cultural education is the second most recommended effort toward preventing teenage pregnancy. This can be provided via the combination of both traditional and cultural teachings surrounding sex and safe sex practices. With sufficient cultural education revolving around the topic of sex, teenagers will have a better understanding of their reproduction system and sex in general, insights that may aid them to make informed sexual decisions (Furstenberg, 2003). Some of the best ways to integrate cultural education about sex in various school systems are through tribal languages, history, and teaching values of respect to the manner in which a healthy male or female can develop healthy relations, particularly with their family (East, Chien, Barber, 2012). All this will give teenagers a chance to reflect on the kind of life they want in the future, something that forces them to start practicing safe sex to name a few.
Another major suggestion to address the issue of teenage pregnancy is providing sex and reproductive health education to teenagers. This includes offering the youth with precise and wide-ranging information concerning sex as well as reproductive health in efforts to offer the youth with necessary knowledge and resources they can use to make healthy, and better-informed sexual decisions (Furstenberg, 2003). It is often advised that this topic should be approached with a certain level of openness to make everyone comfortable to talk about in addition to sharing amongst themselves.
To sum up, teenage pregnancy can negatively impact the teenage parents, families, and society in general, directly or indirectly. Adding to this, teenage pregnancy comes with a huge cost including teenage mothers dropping out of school, pausing their future and life goals to take care of the child and the growing feelings of frustration and bitterness. Together, these effects may result in increased rates of depression cases, drug usage, and even suicide sometimes. Thus, it is important for involved active policy-makers to come up with a strategy aimed at reducing cases of teenage pregnancies in the United States, and globally. Additionally, minimizing negative social assessment of pregnant as well as parenting teenagers may contribute to more optimal results for teen parents as well as their children. This may also support positive results aimed at enhancing education results in addition to improving both the mental and physical well-being of teenage parents.
- Boonstra, Heather. “Teen Pregnancy: Trends And Lessons Learned.” Guttmacher Institute, 6 Dec. 2016, www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2002/02/teen-pregnancy-trends-and-lessons-learned.
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- East, P., Chien, N., & Barber, J. (2012). Adolescents' Pregnancy Intentions, Wantedness, and Regret: Cross-Lagged Relations With Mental Health and Harsh Parenting. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74(1), 167-185. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ndcproxy.mnpals.net/stable/41329666
- Furstenberg, F. (2003). Teenage Childbearing as a Public Issue and Private Concern. Annual Review of Sociology, 29, 23-39. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ndcproxy.mnpals.net/stable/30036959
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- Arielle Kuperberg, A. K. (2014). Does Premarital Cohabitation Raise Your Risk of Divorce. In B. R. Barbara Risman & V. B. Virginia Rutter (Eds.), Families How They Really Are (pp. 161-162). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company inc.
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