Teenage Pregnancy: Overview
Introduction Is it the new trend for teenager to have sex and get pregnant? What is the point? There are so many things we as teenagers have to gain during our teenage life especially our maturity. So how can we do that and also take responsibility for another child? Teenage pregnancy is complicated by our conflicting attitudes and behaviors. Yet we are shocked at the increasing numbers of teens who are sexually active. As we all know, teenage pregnancy is on the rampage in St. Kitts and we are all wondering what may be the cause of it.
In my presentation, I will first outline what is teenage pregnancy, depict the causes of teenage pregnancy, and also state some risk factors of teenage pregnancy and also state some recommendations on how I think we can curb teenage pregnancy. What is Teenage Pregnancy? Teenage pregnancy is technically defined as occurring when a woman under the age of 20 becomes pregnant. The youngest mother who ever gave birth was Lina Medina, who, in 1939, gave birth to a boy at the age of five. (Source: Wikepedia). Most girls however, do not become fully fertile until much later, example; the average age of menarche (first menstrual period) in St.
Kitts is 11. 5 years. Babies born to teenagers are at risk from neglect and abuse because their young mothers are uncertain about their roles and may be frustrated by the constant demands of caretaking. The number of births to teenagers in St. Kitts has been fluctuating considerably over the last few years. Some teenage pregnancies occur as a result of their sexual inexperience and inadequate understanding of their reproductive cycle. This is most likely due to the increased unavailability of readily accessible contraception and abortion facilities, because of an increase in sexual activity.
Research suggests that knowledge about reproductive matters and access to contraception are necessary to prevent unintended adolescent pregnancy. However, not all teenage pregnancies are unplanned. Some teenagers literally choose to want to have a baby due to their idealised views of pregnancy and parenting as well as presume from their male partners. Facts and figures In order to provide accurate statistics on the number of teenage live births in St. Kitts, I requested the information from the Planning Unit in the Ministry of Finance, Technology and Sustainable Development. Table 1 showing the number of live teenage births within St.
Kitts during the period 2000 – 2005. Sourced from the Planning Unit, Ministry of Finance, Technology and Sustainable Development. 200020012002200320042005 Age Group 10-14 yrs231036 15-19 yrs160164138144113120 Total of live births162167139144116126 Chart showing the statistics shown above in Figure 1 Causes and Effects of Teen Pregnancy Causes You may be wondering about the causes and effects of teenage pregnancy. A teenage girl may become pregnant as a result of many various situations. Some teenage girls become pregnant while involved in long-term dating relationships. Other girls become pregnant after hooking up.
And, some girls may become pregnant as a result of a rape situation. All teenage pregnancies are the result of sexual activity, whether voluntary or involuntary. No matter what measures are taken for birth control, the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy is abstinence( is the withholding or indulging of sexual activity) from all sexual activities. Only abstinence is guaranteed not to cause teen pregnancy. Parents shy away from discussing sex education with their children. Some may feel that their children are learning about it in school so why should they say it again.
Nowadays parents are too busy to shoulder of their responsibilities and that’s why neglect is a cause for teenage pregnancy. They feel that if they have a child that they can be loved. Teens can prevent teenage pregnancies by using one of a number of options they have. These options includes: CHART Effects Facing an unplanned teen pregnancy can be hard. The effects of teenage pregnancy are not limited to having to decide whether or not to keep the baby, how to cope with motherhood or whether to make an adoption plan. Teenage pregnancy is usually a crisis for the pregnant girl and her family.
Common reactions include anger, guilt, and denial. If the father is young and present, similar problems can occur in his family. •50% of adolescents who have a baby become pregnant again within two years of the baby’s birth. •Only 41% of teenage mothers complete high school, making it less likely for teen mothers to have the skills necessary to qualify for a well-paying job. •Teen fathers are very reluctant to support their child so all the strain is left on the mother. •Children born to teen mothers are more likely to have low birth weight and related problems such as infant death, blindness, and mental retardation. Children of teen parents often receive inadequate parenting, are subject to abuse and neglect, and often have insufficient health care. •Children of teen parents are 50% more likely to repeat a grade, perform poorly on tests and final exams, and ultimately less likely to complete high school. •Babies born to teenagers are at greater risk for neglect and abuse than those of a woman. Teenage mothers may feel like they are being demanded to do the job and they may take their frustration out on the child. Teen pregnancy, in my opinion, is awful.
I feel that young women should not be having children at such a young age. I feel that these teenagers that are having babies are children themselves, and do not know how to take care of them as an older, more mature person might. At this young age, very few teenagers have jobs. Therefore, it may be difficult for them to support themselves and the baby. They would probably have to drop out of school, and get a couple of jobs; all this just to pay for diapers, food, clothing and healthcare. There are a number of risk factors for teenage pregnancy.
They include: •unstable housing arrangements •poor school performance •low socio-economic background •family history of teenage pregnancies •low maternal education •father’s absence •low self-esteem Teen pregnancy can be a very difficult situation at times. For example, and I quote what a young girl tells about what she went through. This young girl thought she was in love. She was dating the cutest guys in the school and often wondered why he would be dating an average girl like herself. He said he loved her. This girl had been having sexual intercourse since she was fourteen years old.
She slept with this guy and before you know it, she ended up pregnant. What was this young girl to do? The family pressures pushed the girl to have an abortion. Time went by and she met another guy. She talks about how this guy was her “first true love. ” She has sexual intercourse with this guy and before you know it, she is pregnant again. What are her options? First she had an abortion. The girl is pregnant again and wonders what to do. How many times does a teenage girl get to do this? These young girls do not know how great the responsibility is to take care of a child.
They might think it would be like a babysitting job or watching their little brother/sister, but in actuality, it is much more than that. If the guy you were with decided to leave you and the child, you would have to find ways to support yourself. Recommendations Adult parents can help prevent teenage pregnancy by providing guidance to their children about sexuality and the risks and responsibilities of intimate relationships and pregnancy. School classes in family life and sex education, as well as clinics providing reproductive information and birth control to young people, can also help to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
If pregnancy occurs, teenagers and their families deserve honest and sensitive counseling about options available to them, including abortion, parenting and adoption. Special support systems, including consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist when needed, should be available to help the teenager throughout the pregnancy, the birth, and the decision about whether to keep the infant or give it up for adoption. Government should substantially increase its investment in effective teen pregnancy prevention programs.
Investment in abstinence-only programs that exclude information about contraception wastes precious resources. To date, these programs have been proven ineffective in delaying the initiation of sexual intercourse and/or in decreasing sexual risk-taking behaviors among sexually active youth. Sex education help prepare the youth for changes in their bodies, sex effects and consequences, and how to respond and deal with dating, birth control, condoms, pills etc and also help prevent Std’s and pregnancy. Conclusion To conclude, teenage pregnancy is a serious issue that everyone needs to realise.
While many teens that engage in pre-marital sex never become pregnant, some are not as fortunate. Teenage pregnancy has become all too common in this day and age. Some teens think it will not happen to them and do not use necessary precautions to protect against it. The simple desire to feel loved by another person may be a cause for an unexpected pregnancy. A teen may have a low self-esteem and simply be looking for acceptance in the bedroom. However, many teens that have a wonderful, affectionate family and are very confidant are merely looking for the few minutes of pleasure and avoid using protection.
As several teens use the excuse that sex feels better without a condom, an unwanted pregnancy is likely to occur. One major effect of teenage pregnancy is that the child may be raised by a single parent. While most girls are looking for love and acceptance in sex, many guys are looking for the mere pleasure and are not planning on becoming a responsible teen father. The pressures of high school and hanging out with friends may be overwhelming for some teens, so they just leave. Raising a child as a teen is difficult, but raising a child alone would be almost impossible.
With this I hope you will conclude that having a child is not a game; it’s a task we must take serious. Teens, we need to look at the effects as well as all the consequences before we go out and engage ourselves in something that can and could affect our entire lives. So let’s think before we become sexually active. Abstinence is the key but for those of us who can’t abstain, just remember to be wise, and condomize. I thank you! Bibliography “Teen Pregnancy: Fact Sheet. ” Mar. 2000. “It Happens To “Good Girls” Too. ” Dec. 1999 “When Children Have Children. ” Jan. 2000 Wikepedia