teenage pregnancy

The issue of teen pregnancy has been a significant issue in many nations all around the world. Here, the term teen pregnancy refers to a situation where a woman of less than nineteen years gets pregnant. In a bid to solve the problem, it is crucial to understand the major causes of this societal scourge. Some parties argue that teen pregnancy is caused by a lack of parental guidance and support, but the problem goes deeper than that. A myriad of issues causes teen pregnancy and lack of parental supervision and support is just one of the many causes.

There is a significant lack of enough sex education among teenagers in the US. That is, teenagers are not taught about the importance of using contraceptives or avoiding engaging in pre-marital sex. Most of the times, the people responsible for educating the young adults on the importance of participating in responsible sexual activities brush off the idea due to the notion that we are living in a new age of technology. That is, due to the availability of the internet teenagers can seek this information on their own (Finer & Zolna, 2014). However, it is not usually the case leading to early teenage pregnancies.

The growth and availability of the internet do more harm than good to teenagers. The internet is filled with a lot of information and content that can provoke teenagers to engage in sexual activity. Usually, parents may fail to monitor their children’s internet usage, and in the process, teenagers might use the internet to meet sex partners who prey on young children. Therefore, parents have failed in ensuring that their teenagers are using the internet correctly leading to teenage pregnancies.

There has been an increase in pornography consumption in the US. The advantages of the internet to many Americans cannot be ignored ranging from easy accessibility to news, sports, videos, and advertisements. However, the same internet has given rise to a decried and most desired product-pornography. According to studies, the consumption of pornography in the US has risen in the last few years making it appear as an acceptable leisure activity (Price, Patterson, Regnerus, & Walley, 2016). The problem arises when pornographic content gets into the wrong hands of teenagers who might not have the ability to make informed decisions on the topic.

Negative attitude of health staff makes it difficult for teenagers to access contraceptives. In the current age, it is difficult to prevent teenagers from accessing sexual content on the internet or through other channels. Therefore, most of them are sensitized to the importance of using contraceptives. However, there is a common perception among many health care professionals that contraceptives are meant for people within a particular age bracket. In the process, teenagers who try to access contraceptives are met with an unbecoming and negative attitude. The result is an increase in teenage pregnancies.

Peer pressure has played its role in the increase of teenage pregnancies in the US. The victims of peer pressure often face pressure to make friends and become similar to their peers. Sometimes, a teenager may be influenced to engage in sexual activity even when they do not understand the consequences of the act. Usually, a group of teenagers may make it seem that engaging in sexual activity is cool and sophisticated. Therefore, a majority of teenagers in the US participate in sexual activity even when they do not understand the consequences of their actions to please friends ending up with teenage pregnancy.

Low self-esteem and low image perception play a significant role in the rise of teenage pregnancies. The aspect of low self-esteem and peer pressure are interconnected. That is, a young boy or girl suffering from low self-esteem gets into a group that makes them feel confident about themselves. However, members of the group may influence the boy or girl to engage in sexual activity with one of the group members to be accepted into the group. Due to a desire to belong to a group and hide the aspect of having low self-esteem the concerned teenager engages in sexual activity and ends up pregnant.

Poor parenting styles is a major cause of teenage pregnancy. In the modern times, parents are so engaged in money-making activities that they forget to offer moral guidance and support to their children. Teachers and others have also failed, but the fact that sex education begins at home has been tremendously ignored. Therefore, most children turn to their peers on sexual activity lessons. The information offered is often biased and malicious since they all suffer from a lack of sex education. In the process, a majority of children end up pregnant.

In the wake of the 21st-century teen pregnancy is undoubtedly a significant problem. In the US, a majority of people blame the increase in teenage pregnancy to poor parental guidance. However, as it has been discussed poor parenting is just one of the many reasons contributing to teen pregnancy. Other causes of teen pregnancy include, low self-esteem, unmonitored internet usage, increase in pornography consumption, peer pressure, negative attitude from health care provides on the use of contraceptives among teenagers, and lack of enough sex education from all quarters.

Finer, L. B., & Zolna, M. R. (2014). Shifts in intended and unintended pregnancies in the United States, 2001–2008. American journal of public health, 104(S1), S43-S48.

Price, J., Patterson, R., Regnerus, M., & Walley, J. (2016). How much more XXX is Generation X consuming? Evidence of changing attitudes and behaviors related to pornography since 1973. The Journal of Sex Research, 53(1), 12-20. 

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