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Effects Of Teen Pregnancy

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One can say that their own society is perfect, while another can say no society is perfect. That no such thing as “perfect” exists. However, our vast and growing society is looking forward to seeing improvements because that is what the people want and need; to be a good and working society, so despite not being “perfect” maybe society can be efficient. In reality the world faces countless problems on the daily basis. Whether it would be fluctuating unemployment rates to possible catastrophic war, society is always changing. These problems can affect one ordinary individual or an entire government system. These are difficulties that can also be known as social problems which can create negative consequences for an induvial, their society, or the entire planet. Social problems can create several consequences for our institutions whether it would be our family or our jobs. One specific social problem in the U.S is teen pregnancy and how it could physically and mentally affect the teen parents and those around them.

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Around the teenage years, teens can develop several hormones that would urge them to engage in sexual activity and this includes both females and males. One could say that during the teenage years, they are not mature enough to understand sex or the outcomes of what can happen if they do engage in this activity (in fact some adults do not even know either). Teenagers are young children who may assume life is easy. They can however have their whole lives to grow and mature, and to experience so many things that life can bring them. Sometimes engaging in sexual activity does not really mean they will become pregnant, but the risk is higher if they have little to no knowledge about safe sex. Most teens are not aware of the risk that they are taking when having sex, it’s much more than just getting pregnant, it also becomes a huge financial responsibility for the female and male. Being pregnant however can limit or completely stop them from living their fullest life and/or achieving their goals. It is necessary for teens to be educated on the matter.

The thing about teen pregnancy is that, the moment a teenager becomes pregnant, they are no longer a teenager-they are now in adulthood. They have to face the financial responsibilities of caring for the child and making sure it’s well taken care of. Even though a teenager itself is still a child; they have to step up and take accountability for their actions. This too is difficult because the majority of teens who do get pregnant don’t have the resources they need and would need financial help from the government. According to author Bhattacharyya, et. al, teen pregnancy usually occurs in ‘poor, uneducated and rural communities’ (pg. 9). When girls do become pregnant at a young age they may also feel pressured to marry the boy that got them pregnant. Marriage may occur between the teens but it also may not. This then may lead the female teenager to never become married, or have the money to care for the child, and could even lead the child to becoming less educated. When it comes to the boyfriend of the teenage mother it usually can go many ways. The future fathers are usually the first person the women usually approach but it does not mean that all the males react to the news the same way. Some young males may deny that the child belongs to them, and automatically want the female to get an abortion. Others may try to make the relationship work but eventually go their own separate ways after a month or two. Others do decide to keep the relationship strong and raise the child together.

All the factors of becoming a parent may then lead a young teenage mother to experience many different behaviors. Some may experience fear of all the work that comes with becoming a parent, and the guilt of what they have done. The fear of not knowing what’s to come once their child is born may also lead them to make difficult life choices. According to the article ‘Pregnancy resolutions among pregnant teens: termination, parenting or adoption?’, some young mothers decide that they don’t want to have a child so young and ‘terminate the pregnancy without considering other options-[while] some choose to terminate parental rights and place the newborn for adoption’ (Yuen Loke and Pui-ling, pg.2)These choices are really difficult and can impact the life of a teen parent or the child that’s being adopted. Some teen parents don’t agree with terminating a child or putting it up for adoption. This all comes down to the values of the parents and what they find right and wrong. Parents who have negative views on adoption may feel that adoptions can’t guarantee good parents for their child and may occasionally worry if they made the right choice. Those who choose to put their child up for adoption want to give the child a good life that they feel they can’t provide themselves. They may also feel that they would have less problems by not having to deal with the stress that comes with taking care of a newborn child.

When it comes to stress, teenage pregnancy is likely to cause depressive behaviors amongst teen mothers. There is no denying that having a child can cause huge amount of stress, but when your teenage parent the stress may be too much to bare. According to the article, ‘Teen Childbearing and Depression: Do Pregnancy Attitudes Matter?’ Tanya Rouleau Whitworth writes that ,’teen mothers are more likely to be depressed because they experience more stressors including financial strain, work-family conflict, and barriers to pursing education ‘ (pg.391). One can assume that we as humans put goals in mind for our future and compare ourselves to our future goals self. If becoming a teen parents wasn’t part of our plan then a teenage mother may feel depressed because they may feel they will never meet the goals that they set in their minds. This however, does not mean that all teenage mothers are depressed. In fact some teenage mothers find having a baby is a good thing for their life. Some people are very positive with their life choices and may see having a child as something beautiful and won’t let having a child stop them from achieving their goals. Having a child at a young age may also push them to trying harder in life and getting the education that they need. In a way, depending on the attitude of an individual , teen pregnancy can either be a negative or positive factor in someone’s life. It can be something bad for someone which would lead to depression and stress, or a positive wakeup call. Those who feel it’s a positive situation would lead them to getting their life sorted out and doing their very best to live a successful life. Teenagers who have support of their family members and peers are also less likely to be depressed. According to Mark J. Benson in his article,’ After the Adolescent Pregnancy: Parents Teens, and families’ he writes, ‘Support for emotional, instrumental , and economic needs of the teen mother are linked to positive maternal well-being ‘and that ‘cohesive family relations were associated with less depression and less risk for child abuse’ ( Pg.447). A teens behavior all comes down to who they are as a person. It is best that someone is there to support the teen and give as much advice and guidance to help them in the long run. One can easily become depressed and see it as something that will hold them back while others may be more positive and surround themselves with supportive individuals in their life.

As we know, teen pregnancy is a major issue in our society, and even though it would be completely impossible to stop it from ever happening there are many ways to help prevent it. There are many programs that can help educate teens to learn the importance of being safe when it comes to sex. One of the most important preventions of teen pregnancy is parental involvement. It is very important for a parent to be included in a teens life and show them what’s right and wrong. In the article, ‘The Role of Parents and Families in Teen Pregnancy Prevention: An Analysis of Programs and Policies’, Jessica Silk and Diana Romero discuss whether or not parental involvement is necessary in teen pregnancy prevention. Silk and Romero do believe that,’ Parental involvement in sex education and other sexual health efforts is important and necessary’ but that it can be very complicated (pg. 1342). There are a lot of factors that go into family relationships and they would find it best that ‘health and human services professionals [should be the ones who] address the role of parents and families by using evidence based programs and … policies that more effectively promote sexual health’ (Silk and Romero, pg.1342) There are many other programs that also help prevent teen pregnancy, such as Let’s talk month, and educational commercials, and media. There is also programs that include only parents, parents and children community talks, school, work and clinic classes, books, and home based programs. There are many ways that a teen can get the education to prevent teen pregnancy and even classes to help parents help prevent it as well. In general it is probably best that teens have someone who they can communicate with and explain why it is important to be safe and think about their future when participating in sexual activity.

One can agree that having a baby is very amazing sometimes considered a blessing. Babies are beautiful, they are sweet and adorable (except the changing the diaper part). Movies and TV can sometimes romanticize teen pregnancy even in the 2013 hit show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” which shows a young girl go through high school trying to balance relationships, school ,and her pregnancy all at once. Other shows can include reality tv series “Teen Mom”. Whether or not these shows actually prevented the youth from engaging in sexual activity or being a aware of the safety measures that can be taken to prevent the outcomes of sex (pregnancy and STDs); in my personal opinion, sex education should be taught in schools. I know that talking about sex to young people is considered taboo even though times are changing, but sex education does work, perhaps not 100% but its slowly but surely decreasing teen pregnancy rates. Teenagers need to grow up and have that advantage to enjoy their youth before tackling extremely important responsibilities such as raising another person. They need to raise themselves first!

Whether or not a teen is knowledgeable about teen pregnancy or completely blindsided by it, we all as humans know that it is no easy task. Some may take it as being too difficult and find themselves becoming depressed while others find beauty behind a complex circumstance. Communication among supportive family members or friends can easily influence a young teens behavior of the situation. However, teen pregnancy is still a social problem that we need to keep addressing for the youth of tomorrow so that they can focus on a more successful future.

07 September 2020

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