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The Issue of Teenage Pregnancy in Postmodern American Society

Updated on December 25, 2012
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Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in its myriad forms.


Teenage Pregnancy, An Ever Increasing Problem!

Many teenage pregnancies occur because of unprotected sex. In many households, there is no thorough and complete discussion regarding sex. Many parents stress the prohibitive aspects of sex. They are extremely loathe to mention any type of safe sex methodology and/or contraceptive protection. They portend that by teaching their teenage children the rudiments of safe sex and/or contraception would tacitly permit their teenagers to indulge in sexual relations.

By not mentioning safe sex methodologies and/or contraceptive protection, many parents hope that their teenagers are not having sex. However, such is not always the case. A lot of teenagers have sex anyway albeit it is unprotected and unsafe. Parents who do not relay the proper sex information to their teenage children often compel their teenage children to seek informaton elsewhere.

There are some teenage children who are savvy and intelligent enough to seek safe sex and contraceptive information from a doctor, nurse, and/or an other qualified sex educator. However, there are other teenagers who seek this information from their counterparts who are even more ill-informed than they are. Many teenagers receive faulty safe sex and/or contraceptive information. So when they have sex, they are quite nonplussed and dismayed when pregnancy occurs. Many of them are in a deep quandary regarding this issue!

Parental reactions to their daughters' pregnancies are as varied as the respective parents themselves. Some parents view their teenager's pregnancy as a disgrace to their family honor. Not so long ago, many parents informed their daughters if they become pregnant outside of marriage, they were considered to be a disgrace. These parents portend that their teenage daughter had no business having sex and her pregnancy was a result of her so-called indiscretion.

Quite a few of these parents actually eject their daughter from the family home, leaving her to fend for herself. There are some who would outright disown their daughter, feeling that she had brought shame upon the family. Many more parents who felt that their daughter disgraced them by becoming pregnant would not go to either extremes. However, they would remedy the situation at hand by compelling their daughter to marry the father of the child. In the opinion of these parents, marrying the father of the child whether the daughter loved him or not as the honorable thing to do.

Other parents would compel their daughter to obtain an abortion. They are of the opinion that a teenager is not ready to be a mother. She has to continue her education and have a career. They further believe that if she remains pregnant, she would have to forfeit her education which would make her unlikely to obtain a better standard of living in the future. This daughter is not given an option whether or not she wants to have the abortion. The parents decided it for her and therefore it is totally non-negotiable,

Many more parents would let their daughter decide how she would handle the situation. To them, no matter what she elects to do, they would support her 100% percent. They realize that everyone makes mistakes and they are not going to stop loving and supporting their daughter because she became unexpectedly pregnant.

Some parents who are against abortion would compel their daughter to endure the pregnancy. They portend that abortion is murder, adding that she must accept the consequence of her actions and the responsibility of her pregnancy. While some parents would let their daughter place the child up for adoption, others would compel the daughter to raise the child. The latter premise is that the daughter had the child, so she should raise it, no questions asked.

Quite a few parents would accept the pregnancy and raise the child as their own. They reason so what their daughter is pregnant; however, it is not the end of the world. Furthermore, they assert that she is too young to effectively raise a child, adding that she is a child herself and has to live her own life. They maintain that she needs to complete her education before she assumes more adult responsibilities such as motherhood. They portend that yes their daughter is pregnant but her life should not be curtailed because of it!

Other parents would accept and support their daughter's decision to keep the child if she wanted to. They would help her; however, the crux of the responsibility would be hers. After all, they contend it was she who became pregnant. It is only reasonable to expect that she assume the responsibility of raising her child.

Teenage pregnancy is such an ever-present issue in postmodern America. Among all the industrialized nations, the United States of America has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies. Although sex education is taught in schools, the issue of safe sex and/or contraceptive education is not mentioned enough. There are schools who only teach abstinence only sex education because they portend that such education would prevent teenagers from indulging in sex.

The topic of teenagers and sex is still a somewhat taboo topic. There are many people, including parents and educators, who are reluctant to acknowledge that teenagers are burgeoning adults with adult desires which include sexual ones. Many parents have an infantilized idea that teenagers are still children. In essence, the message is conveyed that the less teenagers know about sex, the better. Another message is that it is hoped that they remain in a childlike state for as long as possible.

However, such is not the case. This abysmal sexual ignorance among teenagers as a result of atavistic sexual education is resulting in unplanned pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted diseases. The solution to preventing teenage pregnancy is not sheltering teenagers from sex and/or teaching sex education with a concentration on sexual abstinence. Such premises are totally unrealistic as well as somewhat antiquated.

Teenagers need to be taught a thoroughly comprehensive ses education which entails the rudiments of the male and female sexual anatomy and its functions. In addition to this education, it is strongly imperative that teenagers receive safe sex and contraceptive education. They need to be given such choices aside from abstinence only sex education.

Teaching teenagers safe sex and contraceptive education is the reasonably intelligent thing to do as they have the tools to be protected against an unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases if they do decide to indulge in sex. Furthermore, educating teenagers regarding safe sex methodologies and contraceptives does not mean that they will automatically indulge in sex. It is indefinitely more beneficial to be knowledgeable than to be ignorant about this issue.

In summation, there is an epidemic of unplanned teenage pregnancies in postmodern American society. The main cause of this is teenagers not being aware of safe sex and contraceptive practices. Many parents are extremely hesistant to broach this issue for fear that they will be overtly giving permission to their teenagers to indulge in sex. So they do not mention the aforemention with the anticipation that their teenager either is not having or going to have sex.

Such assumptions on the part of the parents are completely erroneousl. Teenagers are burgeoning adults with adult desires which often include sexual ones. Yes, teenagers are going to have sex. Without an extremely thorough and comprehensive sexual education regarding safe sex and contraceptive methodologies and practices, there will be a higher percentage of teenage pregnancies than there are currently!

© 2012 Grace Marguerite Williams


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