Teenage not frowned upon like it is now

Teenage
pregnancy is a huge problem that the United States faces today. Amongst other
countries the United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy (Ayadi,
Kuo, Adams &

Gavin, 2010; Minnick
& Shandler, 2011). In the year 2015 the Center for Disease Control &
Prevention (CDC) reported that the birth rate was twenty two point three per
thousand for young women ages 15-19 (2017). It also stated that of births to
single women were to teenage mothers in 2009 (Ayadi et al., 2010). 14 million
babies are born worldwide each year to mothers between ages 15 and 19 (United
Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF, 2008). Teenage motherhood is a topic that has
been researched vigorously over the past 3 decades (Hurd & Zimmerman,
2010). It has been established as a social problem in the country, and
prevention measures are needed (McKay & Barrett, 2010).

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Teenage
motherhood is very evident and indisputably seen throughout our nation’s history.
In the early days of civilization it was seen as normal for teens starting at
the age of 14 to be married and with children; it was not frowned upon like it
is now in today’s society. Throughout history though the rates of teen pregnancy
has been up and down going back and forth between high numbers and low numbers.
According to Mollborn (2010) for decades teen pregnancy has always been seen as
a problem. Currently teenage motherhood is lower in the United States than they
were compared to teenage motherhood in the 60’s and 70’s. Even though teenage
motherhood is lower, it is said that now in today’s generation teenagers are
very much likely to have children out of wedlock (Eshbaugh, 2008).

The
meanings of teenage pregnancy are not the different from one individual person
or study to another. UNICEF defines teenage pregnancy as a girl between the
ages of 13 and 19 becoming pregnant. This term also means a girl that is still
young, who hasn’t reached the maturity of adulthood to become pregnant, with adulthood
being defined differently all over the world (2008). While most studies use
this definition, others define teenage pregnancy as a pregnant female between
the ages of 15 and 19 or 15 and 20 (Ayadi et al., 2010; McKay & Barrett,
2010; Mollborn, 2010).

The
likelihood of a teenager becoming pregnant can be due to a number of
influencing factors. One of those factors being that teen moms now have grown
up in poverty or low income with little to no access to a good education or
good employment; it is seen at the norm in that environment (Hurd &
Zimmerman, 2010; Lopoo, 2011). Teenage motherhood is also more accustomed among
the minority populations (Lopoo, 2011). It is said that this is because certain
minority groups don’t have sanctions against teen pregnancy (Mollborn, 2010).

Teens
may also become pregnant because they do not have the proper education and   information
on sexual health/pregnancy prevention or they may have none at all. It is
presumed that the most of teenage pregnancies are unexpected and accidental
(McKay & Barrett, 2010). Majority of schools tend to use abstinence- only
education and only educate about contraceptive failure. Another thing to
consider is the parents, some parents may be giving their teen the wrong
information because they may have been taught wrong or they may just find it
hard and uncomfortable to talk about so they won’t say anything at all to
correct what their teen think is true about sex and pregnancy. Teens also get
the wrong idea about sex through the media because even though it portrays sex
heavily it rarely portrays the bad side effects of having sex such as STD’s/
STI’s, and pregnancy nor does it talk about ways prevent such side effects
which gives teen incomplete information about sex.(Hust, Brown & L’Engle,
2008).

It
is more likely that pregnant teens and teen moms develop mental health problems
due to the struggles they may have to endure. Since most teen moms get little
to no support from family/friends and have limited resources, on top of demands
and responsibilities that are going to increase once the baby comes it is more
than likely that they will suffer from psychological distress (Hurd &
Zimmerman,2010). The likelihood of maternal depression for all ages is between
14 and 23 percent. Having depression during pregnancy will put the mother and
baby at risk, which can result in serious birth complications and also bring
forth a miscarriage thereby putting more mental/emotional stress on a young
teen mom (Mirsanjari,MananWanMuda, Ahmad, Othman, Saat & Mirsanjari, 2011).

Teen
pregnancy and motherhood is still a huge issue that the United States is faces
today. Teen pregnancy throughout history has changed but not by that much. I
feel that it is still an issue and it can and will inevitably alter a person’s lifestyle
which in turn changes their life outcomes. As stated before teenage parents may
face mental health issues because of the struggles that come with becoming a
parent as a teenager during and after the pregnancy. Some studies have found that
there are a number of things that can impact pregnant teens and teen moms,
including background/environment, culture norms, social support, sex education
and sexual media content. Even though teenage pregnancy rates are decreasing, the
U.S. teen pregnancy rate is substantially higher than in other western
industrialized nations, and racial/ethnic and geographic disparities in teen
birth rates persist (CDC, 2017) meaning it is evident that it is still a large
issue that requires attention.