Female teenage pregnancy is defined as adolescent pregnancy where by an adolescent is aged 19 years or below. At this stage, the female is very productive and can have children. Among the developed countries, however the situation is different in the third world nations as many girls in those countries undego early marriage or are expected to have children of their own when they are still underage.
There has been a decline in teenage pregnancy during the early 90s which is an encouraging situation to females and their young ones considering the adverse effects of this kind of pregnancy to living standard to the humanity.
Teen pregnancy prevalence in America
By the year 1985, over a million American teenagers became pregnant and four of every five of them were unmarried and this tainted the social image of the American society. Even though it is not a new problem, teenage pregnancy has made itself appreciated because of the social cost associated with it in addition to a rising need to put it under control. The revelation on the prevalence of teenage pregnancy among blacks and whites was revealed in the early 1985 by the Allan Guttmacher Institute. This shocking revelation that US stayed atop nearly all developed nations in its incidence of teenage pregnancy, made the nation take more rapid steps in order to bring under control these incidences. That was back in the 80s, today teen pregnancy has significantly declined in the midst of all age, racial and ethnic groups. This is attributed to the increased openness of teenagers with their parents thus they discuss issues of sexual activity putting into consideration the fact that sex education has its roots at home. The state has also taken the initiative of funding projects that help to decrease the prevalence of teenage pregnancy. With time the government effort has borne fruit since the decline is evident. The government is aware that its success in reducing teenage pregnancy is a direct means to improve the general well being of a child and subsequently sinking child poverty.
Ways of preventing teenage pregnancy
In the modern society there has been high rate of teen pregnancy of which the effect has been consequently experienced as a burden towards the achievement in life. As a result, young females become parents at tender age which makes the entire fsmily to have a heavy task to perform thus demanding ordinary and special aged people in the society who can assist in such cases. Even after the excellent health, teens’ children are both socially and economically disadvantaged. Most campaign has been launched targeting females who stand a high chance of conceiving at minor age in life. Just because of indulging into sexual intercourse with the older people which is contrary to our way of life of which junior teens are regarded as immature to participate in sexual activities. This thus provides an opportunity for law enforcement authority. At national level, an attempt has been created to ensure that proper policies are put down to take care of sexual activities directed at young females with one aim of creating partly awareness about the whole episode. However, teen pregnancies can also be prevented by taking the following appropriate measures based on traditional approaches:
Prevention program for girls at risk and programs for pregnant teen and teen mothers to highlight some information and also males should also get involved at all levels because they contribute to decision making of having sex and to initiate proper use of contraception without worry.
The main explanation why ladies do not participate in sexual activities is simply because it does not conform to spiritual and spirits values. However the need to limit the rate of pregnancy and fear of being at risk to be affected with sexually transmitted disease for not waiting the right time to indulge in sexual contact.
Young female developing strong love there parents does not stand a high chance of emerging sexually active at tender age.
Through the proper utilization of contraception from various health organization ,the chances of getting pregnancy annually has reduced as compared to those who do not apply this method hence they stand 90% risk as compared to other teenagers. However, to young females who have been brought up under parental love after delivery, there possibility of indulging in sex as compared to those who have been brought up in different relations is limited.
Preventing teen pregnancy as we realize, is not just a concern of reproductive health issue but which is aimed at improving measures such as lower birth weights which in turn translate into poor academic performance, abuse and neglect.
Factors contributing to teenage pregnancy
Several imaginations have been put down to explain what contribute to teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy among young girls may be as a result of participating in a elongated period dating in a association. Moreover, some young female find themselves pregnant after a premature relationship.
The immoral activities among the members of the society also contribute to female teenage pregnancy of which rape cases stand as a major example. In conjunction to voluntary and involuntary, both teenage pregnancies are characterized by sexual contact of which all the precaution for reproductive measures the most applicable is refrain against sexual contact.
Effects of teenage pregnancy
There have been numerous side effect that have been created by the teenage pregnancy of which the decision to be made is quite difficult to whether the newborn should be brought up with strategy of how to achieve a good parental care with possibility of ensuring embracing plan. As a result of this, there will be a rapid change on the teenager’s body as the growing child continues to develop. There is a lot of difficulty among children who come from teenage mothers’ home due to hopeleness and mental health problem which is characterized by a high rate of poor quality living standard. N addition, most of the teenagers have a lot of leisure time with little self conrol which at a later stage of social interaction results into sexual intercourse. Encounter a serious relationship which may not spare any chance from both parties. Provided this kind of situation sexual intercourse normally emerges Teens also get disturbed, worried and confused which may generate some other emotions i.e.
- Initial excitement
Prevention vs. abstinence
Prevention has always been better than cure, therefore in an attempt to stop these kinds of irresponsible acts that bring about teenage pregnancy; prevention still stands out as a measure far better than the rest of the ways and means that are used in connection to curbing teenage pregnancy. Abstinence however is the word for prevention when it comes to matters involving sex and the society. When one chooses to abstain then for sure the individual has prevented herself from teenage pregnancy. Therefore prevention and abstinence are used interchangeably to refer to procrastinating sexual activities during one’s teen age until marriage. Prevention is only used on its own to illustrate other activities that can be undertaken so as to avoid the catastrophe of teenage pregnancy. The significant prevention measures include support funding for complete, defined sexuality health education, including education on abstinence in the society and schools. Teen pregnancy preclusion programs to exclusively assess their usefulness with youth in foster care.
Sex is very powerful though we realize that abstinence is more powerful than it. This is because the moment one chooses to abstain, it means that the individual has chosen a much healthy future and has better and bigger life goals. The decision by a teenager to abstain is directly reflected in his/her life in a number of ways, for example; the individual develops and maintains the management of their own lives hence avoiding exploitation in a relationship, the individual also tends to get more pleasure from dating relationships since there is no pressure of having sex. On the other hand, an individual gains greater self respect and respect of other people, this is important for the sake of positive relationship with the people one wishes to attract respect and positive relationship with. When a teenager makes a decision to abstain, they have made a choice for prevention hence if both actions are taken into consideration; the credibility of resisting sex shall have been achieved. The outcome of this kind of decision is to:
- Have the confidence to live a self driven teen
- Have a single partner
- Eliminate sex as they continue giving more appointments in a relationship
- Personal self control
- Enable a teenager to fulfill his dream
- Take a precaution against sexual transmitted diseases and pregnancy
- Advice each other towards there destiny
Advantages and disadvantages of abstinence and sex education
The greatest advantage of of abstinence is that it has no side effects; hormonal or medical, it is free of charge; it is an effective way to put off the risks presented by sexual relationships until such a time that one is able to handle the risks effectively. Women are less likely to become infertile as a result of STDs if they choose to abstain.
A few disadvantages are associated with abstinence, they include; coping with abstinence for a long period of time is quite difficult. At the end of the abstinence period, women and men are not prepared to protect themselves against any risks associated with sexual intercourse.
Facts and statistics on American teenage pregnancy
To completely exhaust the topic of teenage pregnancy, it would be of great help to show various data and statistics that support the claims. Facts regarding the use of contraceptives include:
A 90% chance of conceiving within one year exists for a sexually active teen who declines the use of contraceptives.
Most sexually experienced teenagers used contraceptives during the first intercourse.
It is also true that condom is the most commonly used contraceptive during the first encounter; 66% females against 71% males.
Most recent sex statistics show that 83% female teens and 91% male teens used contraceptives. This shows an improved status since 1995 only 71% of the females and 82% males used contraceptive method the last time they had sex
Every year, about 750,000 females between the age of 15-19 become pregnant. An overall 75 pregnancies occur every year per a thousand females between the same ages. This has however declined 36%since the time it was at its climax in 1990.
Most of the drop in teen pregnancy rates is attributed to increased use of contraceptives in addition to a larger of teens delaying sexual activity. Studies have shown that nearly a third of all teen pregnancies end in abortion
The highest teen pregnancy rate exists in black women (134 out of every 1000 women aged 15-19), then Hispanics (131 per 1000 women) and non-Hispanic whites (48 per 1,000)
Pregnancy rates in black teens have significantly reduced 40% between 1990 and 2000.
|Teenage Pregnancy, Birth & Abortion Rates|
|National Center for Health Statistics, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, Centers for Disease Control.|
|Teen Pregnancy, Birth and Abortion Rates|
|Pregnancies per |
1,000 Teenage Girls
per 1,000 Teenage Girls
|Source:National Center for Health Statistics, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, Centers for Disease Control.|
These figures show the trends that teen pregnancy, birth and abortion take.
- Guttmacher Institute. Facts on American Teens’ Sexual and Reproductive Health. Web.
- Healthcares.net Teenage Pregnancy. 2005. Web.
- Jacqueline E. Darroch and Susheela Singh. Guttmacher Institute. Why is Teenage Pregnancy Declining? The Roles of Abstinence, Sexual Activity and Contraceptive Use.1998. Web.
- Kristine Napier. Chastity Programs Shatter Sex-Ed Myths.2008.
- Option Line For Teens. Causes and Effects of Teen Pregnancy.
- Planned Parenthood. Abstinence. 2008. Web.
- Wallis C. Children having children. Teen pregnancies are corroding America’s social fabric. 1985.