The Causes of Teen Pregnancy

The Causes of Teen Pregnancy
There are many different situations that teenagers get themselves involved in that can lead to teen pregnancy. Many teenagers do not understand the risks that are involved with having sex. Teenagers today are growing up in a culture in which peers, TV and motion pictures, music, and magazines often transmit either covert or overt messages that unmarried sexual relationships (specifically those involving teenagers) are common, accepted, and at times expected, behaviors. To find out what the real causes of teen pregnancy are, I interviewed a few teenagers about their experiences and encounters with pregnancy. If teens were more educated and less influenced by the media teen pregnancy would decrease.
One of the biggest issues in teenage relationships today is trust. The issue is not about the lack of trust but instead too much trust. Many teenage girls tend to trust their boyfriends/sexual partners way too much. I interviewed Kaci and 18 year old college student and she had a lot to say about trust issues.
?My boyfriend Scott and I had not been going out very long but we had known each other for five years. Because we had known each other so long, I completely trusted him. After all he had never really done anything significant enough to break my trust. We started having sex about four months into our relationship, but we always made sure we had a condom because I was not going to have unprotected sex. One night he came over and we started fooling around, almost immediately I got up and grabbed a condom and gave it to him and I thought he had put it on. Then we started fooling around a little bit more and eventually had sex. Later that night after he left I went back in my room and on my bed was sitting and unopened condom. I couldn?t believe that we had just had unprotected sex and I didn?t even realize it. I thought that I was pregnant and that was the worst feeling that I have ever had. My period was late and for two weeks I thought I was going to have a baby, I didn?t know what I was going to do. I decided to go get a pregnancy test and it turned out I was fine and my period started. I haven?t talked to Scott since all of this happened and I don?t think I will ever talk to him again.?
The worst part about relationships like this is most girls eventually will go out with their boyfriends again and trust them all over again and just forget about what happened in the past. Teenage girls need to realize that no matter how much the trust a boy, they can still get pregnant if no protection is used.
Education about responsible sexual behavior and specific, clear information about the consequences of sexual intercourse (including pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and psychosocial effects) are frequently not offered in the home, at school, or in other community settings. Therefore, much of the ?sex education? that adolescents receive filters through misinformed or uninformed peers. Schools used to have projects and programs for the students to participate in to learn how hard it is to take care of a child. I interviewed my friend Jess a 17 year old high school student on what she learned from a school project about taking care of a child.
?When I was in 7th grade we were given a male partner and an egg. The assignment was that each pair of students had to take care of the egg for a week. We had to keep the egg by our side at all times and if we left it anywhere the other groups could steal it. We also had to be very careful with it because it could break so easily. It was one of the hardest assignments that I have ever had to do. I definitely
learned how hard it is to take care of a child and that it requires a lot of responsibility.?
If activities like this one were still around today many young teenagers would realize how much time and effort a baby requires and therefore have safer sex.
Today teenagers are trying to grow up way too fast, some even think they are mature enough to have a child, when in reality they have no idea how difficult it is to have a child. There have been many cases where teenage girls lie to their boyfriends and tell them they are on birth control when they really aren?t. I interviewed Alyssa, an 18 year old college student, who lied to her boyfriend because she wanted to get pregnant.
?I have always thought that I am more mature for my age, so I decided that I wanted to have a baby. I thought that having a baby would make my life so much better. My boyfriend and I had been going out for about a year and we had been sexually active since the beginning, but I was always on birth control. I decided that I would just stop taking my birth control and not tell my boyfriend and see if I could get pregnant. After a couple of months of having sex without birth control I got pregnant, I decided not to tell anyone for a while. I honestly did not know how my boyfriend would react. After a month a being pregnant I decided to tell my boyfriend, he could not understand why I did such a terrible thing. He said I was trying to ruin his life and then threatened to tell my parents if I didn?t get an abortion. Sure enough the next day he told them, my parents flipped out. They were so angry with me and told me I was way too young to be a mother. My parents told me that I had to get an abortion. I was devastated, but my parents made me realize how hard it would be to have a child at such a young age.?
Teenage girls need to learn that having a child is a huge deal and their lives will be changed forever. They will have to grow up so fast that they will miss out on the rest of their teenage years and spend most of their time working to provide for their child. Also many teenage mothers never finish school. Teen mothers are less likely to complete high school (only one-third receive a high school diploma) and only 1.5% have a college degree by age 30 (Teen Pregnancy Prevention).
Teens are learning about sex but in an improper way. The media teaches teens that casual sex is ok. Most of the lyrics in music made for teens talk about having sex and hooking up with random people. The lyrics in one of the most popular songs among teens ?Candy Shop? by 50 cent are extremely sexual and reinforce sexual thoughts and behavior. Many of the movies that are made for teens are also very sexual. Movies for teens show couples cheating on each other and hooking up. Even the movies that don?t show sex and cheating still include sexual innuendos. One of my friends has a six year old little sister that has already been affected by the sexuality in the media. Her little sister already wants to wear revealing clothes and she refers to the boys at school as ?sexy? and ?hot stuff?. She has even already kissed a few boys. She loves to watch mtv and listen to Britney Spears. All of her sexual actions have been because of the influence of the media.
Although it seems teen pregnancies are increasing in numbers, they are actually decreasing. The teen pregnancy numbers were the highest between the years 1980-1992. In the U.S. teen pregnancy rate for teens 15-19 decreased 28 percent between 1990 and 2000. After reaching 117 pregnancies per 1,000 females ages 15-19 in 1990, the pregnancy rate has decreased to 84 pregnancies per 1,000 females ages 15-19 (Teen Pregnancy Prevention). Efforts are obviously being made to reduce teen pregnancy. Many more teenage girls today are on birth control. Even though teen pregnancies have decreased, the amount of teenagers having sex has not decreased. The amount of teenagers engaging in sexual activity has not decreased because of birth control. Teens think that they can have more sex now because there is so little of a chance of getting pregnant.
After all of the interviews I realized that all the causes of pregnancy happen because of major two immediate causes. Teens are not taught enough about sex and they are negatively influenced by the media. Everyone in society tries not to talk about sex because it is an uncomfortable topic, but if teens were made more aware of the consequences of sex, the amount of teen pregnancies would greatly decrease. There should be sex education classes starting in elementary school all the way through high school. Teens need to be taught how to have safe sex and properly use a condom. They should also be taught that condoms/birth control do not always work. Teens should also be able to see how hard it is to take care of a child and all the responsibilities that go along with parenting. The most important thing that teens should learn is that abortions and birth control are not excuses to have sex. It is way too easy for young women to get abortions, sometimes their parents never even have to know. If teenagers were taught more about the consequences of sex, then maybe they would think before having sex at such a young age. In society it seems like everyone blames parents for teen pregnancy because they did not raise their children properly. Society may be right in sometimes blaming the parents but media has a much larger influence on teens. Many teens don?t listen to their parents instead they look to movies, television, and music to learn about life. As long as the media continues to make movies and music that enforce sexual behavior, more and more teens will become sexually active and teen pregnancies will rise. Something needs to be done about these immediate causes of pregnancy, otherwise teen will never understand how serious sex and pregnancy is.

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