teen pregnancy

teen pregnancy Essay Examples

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Published: Friday 25th of January 2013

Write an Essay on Teen Pregnancy

The leading causes of teenage pregnancy consist of poor achievements in education, reduced mental and physical health, poverty and social isolation. There is a growing recognition of how social economic disadvantages cause teenage pregnancy. UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rates compared to other countries in Europe according to UNICEF. This rate fell in the 1970s and has since remained fairly consistent and stable.

What Is The Common Age of Conception Among Teenagers?

The conception rates of teenagers under the age of sixteen and the age of eighteen dropped by approximately 6% since 1998, only starting to rise again in recent years. About 39,000 teenagers in several parts of England became pregnant in 2005, 44% of which aborted by illegal methods. 7,617 of those who conceived were under sixteen years of age. The National Attitudes and Sexual Lifestyles conducted a survey in 2000 that included 11,000 respondents between the age of sixteen and forty-four in Britain and found the median age at first intercourse to be between 16 and 19. The male proportion that reported to have engaged in sex at the age of sixteen was 30%. The proportion has since remained constant. The female share though was less by 4%, is still large and has also remained constant. First sexual encounter before the median age is very common in those who come from manual social classes, those without or with little qualification, those who do not live with their parents, and those who leave school according to research. Sex education in schools has been less cited by teenagers who become pregnant. The early sexual encounter is common amongst girls at the age of thirteen worldwide. It is not likely to be an autonomous and consensual event and, thus, likely to bring regrets, infections, and pregnancy due to unprotection. Teenage pregnancy has become a significant social problem and health issue in current economic development, and hence the focus of many governments since the last two decades. This creates an urgency to reduce teenage pregnancy rate worldwide owing to the negative consequences on a mother and a baby.

Negative Consequences of Teenage Pregnancies

Teenagers conceiving are at risk of complication during childbirth and contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Genital herpes and Gonorrhea contractions are 1% and 50% respectively in single instances of unprotected sex. Conception below sixteen years of age poses risks of miscarriage, pre-term delivery, and other severe consequences, as teenagers develop a fear of parents' reaction and medical procedures. Pregnant teenagers, especially those below sixteen years, are most psychologically immature while their emotions are unstable and tend to have additional stress that is imposed by pregnancy. Socially, 90 % of pregnant teenagers are out of wedlock, and some from poor income families conceive as a result of social-economic challenges. Pregnant teenagers develop short-term mental problems such as depression in most cases. Their education and employability are affected as they are not likely to continue with education due to the added obligation of pregnancy and catering for the needs of a baby. This renders them unskilled and with few chances of landing employment opportunities that require skills, thus, causing a major negative impact on their economic well-being. They also lack support considering that nine out of ten are teenagers who become pregnant out of wedlock. Family conflicts also bear an impact on teenage pregnancies, as has been found, to be high in families exposed to frequent violence amongst their parents. This leaves them not looked after as the parents become irresponsible. Sex education in schools and federal aid that is mostly given to single parents has met resistance amongst many scholars making insufficiency of these two concepts to be the major causes of teenage pregnancy in many countries. Sufficiency of these two concepts strengthen the status of the mother and her children yet, unfortunately, has also been found to be concentrating on teaching teenagers on how to engage in protected sex. The absence of a father figure has also made social dilemmas in many homes with its consequences noticeable with high numbers of teenage pregnancies.

Consequences of Lack of a Father Figure in Children`s Lives

Emotional issues that many children suffer from due to the lack of a father figure in their life become potentially hazardous for various kids. Many of them are affected mentally by these powerful emotions can inflict permanent damage on the children. Male children are affected differently from female ones. Male children need a masculine role model in their lives so that they can learn how to become proper men. Male children mostly choose to do negative things, which include impregnating young girls because they lack a proper understanding of the consequences of their actions. To them, it becomes a pride because of the peer pressure from their counterparts who see this act and engagement of many acts of sexual intercourse as competition for bounties. Female children that are raised up with their mothers alone are likely to end up having sexual encounters at a very early age. This is because they want to make up for affection that they have missed from their fathers. Their dependency on males is caused by their presumed need for a person that can replace their dads. These teenagers lack the required way of relating to other males compounded by the fact that they require the idea of what entails a proper relationship. Hence, they pursue relationships naively and end up being taken advantage of by their male counterparts, notoriously those closely around them, including their neighbors and relatives.

Is There a Positive Side to Teenage Pregnancy?

The literature on teenage pregnancy has only concentrated on negative issues of being a teenage parent forgetting that some teenagers have become successful parents. Once a teenager is pregnant, the society looks down upon her and not ready to lift her up again leaving her to fight lonely. Hence, most of them give up. This has created a notion that pregnant teenagers cannot succeed in life and condemned with hard social-economic life after that.

The Impact of Teenage Pregnancy on Education

One consequence of teenage pregnancy has been the lack of skills, which is caused by the reduction of proper schooling. This notion has continuously been criticized by some scholars who think otherwise, providing that education and its completion depends on an individual. They have also mentioned that this is a short-term effect; if a teenager has the will to complete one's education, he or she certainly will. Nonetheless, this still needs support because leaving a teenage parent alone without consistent parental and guardian advice and encouragement will still contribute to limited teenage parents going back to school to complete education.