Teen Pregnancy Essay
Among the industrialized nations, United States has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy, with numerous teenage females becoming pregnant at any given instance. Teen pregnancy is a crisis that concerns the baby, parents, other members of the family, as well as resources of the community. Every year, approximately 750,000 women aged 15 to 19 become pregnant every year (Guttmacher Institute, 2006). Further, child births from teen mothers represent eleven percent of all births in the United States (Guttmacher Institute, 2006). Yet in recent years the amount of sexual content being shown on television and other sources of media has increased. Yet consequentially, there is little representation on practices of safe sex in TV portrayals.
A recent study claimed that teenage pregnancies are linked with television programs with sexual content (Yahoo News, 2008). Teenagers obtain a significant amount of information regarding sex through TV and such programs do not generally emphasize the responsibilities and risks of sex. The study established that television program with sexual content generate teenagers’ perception that there is little risk of sex with no contraception. Consequently, it may be regarded that the low contraceptive use in modern times among United States teenagers is the result of unconstructive sexual contents in television programs. A teenager who is sexually active but does not use contraceptives within a year has a 90 percent possibility of becoming pregnant (Guttmacher Institute, 2006).
Nevertheless, despite the numerous elements that can influence teen pregnancy, for many teenagers, the lack of safe sex education from schools, parents, or otherwise is the root cause of teenage pregnancy. Generally, teenagers are not taught regarding the means of birth control and how to respond with friends who compel them into having sexual intercourse before they are prepared.
Teen pregnancies carry additional risk equally to the health of the infant and the mother. On the average, teen pregnancies are more expected to result in low-birth-weight babies and premature births. This is because pregnant teenagers often do not obtain the timely prenatal care required. In addition, the aforesaid teenagers have a higher risk of high blood pressures associated to their pregnancy and other related complications. Further, teenage mothers are less expected than other women to complete or attend college, and divorce is more expected to result from their early marriage. Approximately 50 percent of women who married younger than 18 years old experienced divorce after 10 years, in contrast to only 20 percent of women who married at the age of 25 years or older (Dubner, 2008). In relation to other demographic groups, poverty rates among single mothers are the highest, and 60 percent of children of those affected mothers in the United States are as well underprivileged (Dubner, 2008).
In 2002, abortions totalled 214,750 among 15 to 19 years old (Guttmacher Institute, 2006). The major explanations why teenagers frequently decide to have an abortion are grounded on their apprehension regarding how having a baby would change their lives, the feeling of disappointingly raising a child, and helplessness to provide provisions to the infant.
Most teenagers do not plan to get pregnant; yet the high rates of teen pregnancy in the United States still remain a serious problem. Recent findings suggest that television plays one of the major roles in the high rates of pregnancy among teenagers in the United States. As a result, the present society recognizes the fact that having sex before 20 years old is a common thing. For the majority of women, teen pregnancy significantly diminishes their chances of any happy ending.