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Statistic Evidence On Teenage Pregnancy

Updated on September 18, 2012

Teen Pregnancy Facts

Teenage pregnancy is a real concern to teens and their parents. The year 2010 saw a boom in teen pregnancy statistics for the first time in decades. In the main, especially in the U.S, where teenage pregnancy is almost double the rest of the industrialized world, there is a desperate need to educate teenagers about the facts regarding sex and the risk of impregnation.

In this article I will attempt to show concisely what recent facts and statistics reveal about the causes and risks that lead to pregnancy, what can be done to stem the trend, and should pregnancy occur, which steps should be taken.

Key Facts

  • Every year over 750,000 teens in the United States become pregnant, of which 400,000 will eventually give birth.
  • 30% of teens and women in the U.S will become pregnant prior to their 20th birthday.

Factors That Lead To Pregnancy

Lack of adequate sex education is by-and-large the largest contributor to unplanned teen pregnancies, and usually goes hand-in-hand with a poor financial situation. Pregnancy and poverty are a vicious cycle, and having to rear a child will take its toll on an already fragile social situation.

Cultural influences can play a large role in either preventing or encouraging pregnancy. In some countries it is seen as a blessing because it manifests fertility, in others it is seen as a social stigma.

Another often-overlooked contributor is drug use, which can spur sexual promiscuity and lower the barriers of reason. Not all drugs act as a cultural and psychological catalyst however, drugs such as heroin or morphine can drastically reduce libido (with severe repercussions).

Sexual abuse and violence are also sadly on the rise. Whether coerced physically or mentally, a study performed by Washington state indicates that over 70% of teenage pregnancy takes place in relationships involving an abuse husband or male partner.

Teen Pregnancy Rate Per 1000 girls

Year
The Guttmacher Institute
2000
83.6
2001
79.3
2002
75
2003
72.7
2004
71.1
2005
69.5
2006
71.5
Teen pregancy rates of girls aged 15-19 per 1000 girls. As published in a study by the thenationalcampaign.org

Social And Political Fallout

The risks of teen pregnancy are manifold, and not strictly limited to health and financial risks but expand on a societal level.

  • A National Campaign report found that teenage pregnancies cost the American taxpayer over $9.1 billion, annually.
  • Teenage mothers are far more likely to flunk school due to the added pressure of motherhood.
  • There is evidence to support the claim that children born from teen mothers are generally less healthy (due to developmental problems) and successful in life.
  • Unfortunately, teenage relationships seldom last very long, and often lead teenage mothers to have to rear their children by themselves.

Steps Parents And Teens Can Take

Parents should not shy away from directly addressing issues such as contraception and sex. Taking an interest in what cultural influences your child digests (TV, peers, music) without attempting to taboo and iron curtain their lives (if anything, if will increase the desire to transgress). Be on the lookout for dating scenarios with a hefty age difference, statistics have shown that these kind of relationships often lead to teenage pregnancy. In essence, offer your children a positive and clear vision of where a life without pregnancy in the short-term leads, rather than attempting to blackmail them with curfews and "the stick".

Teenage girls should take the time to fill any gaps in their knowledge about pregnancy, and build a solid foundation of personal values. Learning to be both assertive and to resist and repel abusive relationships. Cultural norms should be taken with a grain of salt, and understood in a wider context. The bottom line revolves around building a healthy amount of self-esteem and self worth.

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