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Teen Pregnancy

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Essay title: Teen Pregnancy

I. Alarming Reality of Teen Age Pregnancy

Any under aged girl becoming pregnant with a baby is defined as teenage pregnancy. Many women according to science are ascribed in their teenage years until the age of 20; however, this definition is restricted to those under the age threshold of legally mandated adulthood that puts it in the age of 18 especially in most of the United States. In most of the rest of the world, the age is pegged at 16.

Girls can get pregnant and give birth in spite of not reaching full fertility until much later in their adulthood. However, many fall in to teen pregnancy due to exploration and the intense effect of the persuasion of mass media.

The average age of the first menstrual period known as menarche in the United States is 12.5. Furthermore, this biological age of menarche has been declining and is continually doing so. Whether fertility may lead to early pregnancy because of varying factors, the prominence of teenage pregnancy around the world is an accepted and sorry fact. It revolves around the range of 143 per 1000 in sub-Saharan Africa to 2.9 per 1000 in South Korea.

The risks of pregnant teenagers also face the same issues that their women counterparts aged in their 20s and 30s. The only difference is the additional medical concerns that the much younger mother who are under 15 years of age will experience. Complications may arise for both the teenage mother and child because the development of the female body is not yet ready for the process and trauma of child bearing.

Statistics that point to teenage pregnancy as a social issue in first world countries are attributed to low educational levels, high rates of poverty and the effects of mass media. Also, the consummation of sex resulting in teenage pregnancy which usually happens outside of marriage is considered a social stigma in many communities and cultures.

For these reasons, there have been many studies and campaigns which attempt to uncover the causes and limit the numbers of teenage pregnancies especially whether it is climbing a high rate or being controlled to a much respectable figures.

II. The High Rate of Teenage Pregnancy

The country with the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and births in the western world belongs to the United States. The actual expenditure which this social issue brings is a staggering $7 billion annually. Furthermore, there are at least 34 percent of young women in both high school and college that gets pregnant before reaching the age of 20. This is about 820,000 teenagers every year that gets involved with this problem. Likewise, there are 8 among 10 of these teenage pregnancies that were accidental and unintended while 70 percent belong to unmarried teens.

There was a time that teenage pregnancy issues had a decline for three years. This was seen from the year of 1991 to 2002. The decrease in percentage can be seen by race specifically for black teenage girls from aged 15 to 19 dropped to a 42 percent. However, the rates referred for Hispanics and blacks girls still remain higher than for other groups. The teenagers of Hispanic lineage hold the highest teenage birth rates. It is of importance to mention that most teenagers giving birth before 1980 were married whereas most teens giving birth today are unmarried.

The high statistics that makes the teenage pregnancy soar is the seeming acceptance of a society to a social issue that is not being talked about due to the issues of sexuality. Modern times have already encouraged a healthy avenue of discussions and forums implemented in school curriculums and likewise support groups. However, the perception of this topic as something taboo is still prevalent. In effect, teenagers get to discuss it with elders and authorities and end up exploring among themselves.

We cannot also undermine the role of mass media that further contributes to this high rate as well. When there is too much pressure that surrounds young girls in delicate situations, they are easily given in to oblige willingly or unwillingly.

That is why then, that the younger a teenaged girl had consummated sex for the very first time, it is more likely that she is to have had unwanted or non-voluntary sex. There are about close to four in ten girls who had first intercourse at 13 or 14 of age in police and hospital reports that reflect that it was either non-voluntary or unwanted.

III. Consequences of Teenage Pregnancy

The most obvious reason for a rising incidence around the world has its resulting consequences too. Teenage mothers are less likely to complete high school when they get pregnant and a poor 1.5 percent will strive to earn a college degree by age 30. Moreover, there are teen mothers who will likely

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