The teen pregnancy rate has grown dramatically through the past decade in the United states, and that is caused by many different factors that we encounter daily. A big cause to teen pregnancy is mainly because teenage girls have to have parental consent if they are under the age of sixteen to obtain birth control. If we were able to fight against that law we would be able to drop that rate drastically and give teen girls a chance at a bright future. It may shock you but in this day of age teens are becoming more sexuality active a lot younger age. A big factor in that is social media, absence of the parents, and television shows such as ‘Teen mom’ and ‘Young and Pregnant’. It seems as though the birds and the bees talk is not being talked about, nor does it seem important. Therefore in our teen generation these teens have access to anything and everything in the palm of their hands, and end up taking the wrong path to early on in life.
Studies have found that one in eight adolescent females will become pregnant or convince their first child before the age of twenty. (Kappeler). We often hear the phrase “ I’m not ready to be a parent yet”. Which is true no one will ever be, but that is no excuse for these young teens who can prevent it before it occurs. If teen girls were able to visit a government funded clinic to receive the knowledge and the protection that they need, teens would feel more comfortable addressing the situation. In Wisconsin a survey was given to teenage girls provided by Planned Parenthood and results show that 59% of minors would stop using contraceptive services if parental involvement were required. (Girma and Paton) Which is understandable, at that young of age no person would want their parents to know they are sexual active. But that is why these resources need to stay open for these teen girls and boys. They should not be restricted because of their age.
Not only should teenage girls take part in caring for themselves, but teen boys should be able to as well. It is not limited to teen boys to go to a clinic to get protection they need if they are part taking in sexual activity. And it should be no different for girls, as it becomes more of the “norm” in the younger generation. There are television shows that are promoting teen pregnancies. Which shows a positive and a negative outcome. These girls take you on their journey of becoming a teen mom and going through pregnancy while in high school. Which usually should be a happy ending for those who decide to conceive together. But 98% of the time it ends up being that the teen is single teenage mother. Although it gives viewers a idea of parenthood it does not always prevent it from happening. We should all push for women empowerment in a more positive way. At the end of each program they promote a site called ‘itsyoursexlife.org’ that provides all things you need to know about ones sex life. Which is a great sources for these teens but still only limits them to be of age to retrieve any protection.
Another source that impacts the younger generation is social media. Its something teens can not live without, or so they think. They depend on it for the newest drama, posting pictures, and ultimately viewing men and women they look up to or do what they think is ‘cool’. For example, one reason why teens are becoming sexual active at a younger age is because of the postings on social media. Teen age girls may see pictures of women posting pictures in undergarments, posing in a provocative way, or celebrating their young pregnancies. Exhibit A Kylie Jenner, she’s barley twenty has had a track record of unhealthy relationships and now has a child. Many young girls look up to her, although she is only human and we all chose different paths she is promoting something that young girls should cherish later on in life. Instead we should be using social media to promote sexual health and guide the generation to the resources that are available. Or even bring it to their attention and have the teen girls fight for their rights to access on their own.
Therefore by us shying away from the conversation because it might be uncomfortable or not age appropriate its happening whether we like it or not. Teens are getting more and more pressured to ‘fit in’ rather than being their own person. By letting our teens get in touch with someone who can guide them down a path of health and success they will achieve so much more out of life. It is also shown that older mothers who are married, have a career, and obtain a education are more likely to have success with their child. Otherwise it is explained as a teen mom bringing a child into this world as an “economic and social disadvantage”. (Kearney and Levine) Which is why the age limit to obtain birth control without parental consent should be reconsidered. Not to promote teen sexual activity, but so these teens can be in control of their life’s. There is noting a parent should want more than their teens to be making the right decisions for a lifetime of success.
Kearney, Melissa S., and Phillip B. Levine. “Why Is the Teen Birth Rate in the United States So High and Why Does It Matter?” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 26, no. 2, 2012, pp. 141–166. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/41495308.
Kearney, Melissa S., and Phillip B. Levine. “Media Influences on Social Outcomes: The Impact of MTV’s ‘16 and Pregnant’ on Teen Childbearing.” The American Economic Review, vol. 105, no. 12, 2015, pp. 3597–3632., http://www.jstor.org/stable/43821387.
Kappeler, Evelyn M. “ADOLESCENT HEALTH AND TEEN PREGNANCY IN THE UNITED STATES: A PROGRESS REPORT.” Public Health Reports (1974-), vol. 130, no. 3, 2015, pp. 196–198., http://www.jstor.org/stable/43776181.
Meschke, Laurie L., et al. “Adolescent Sexuality and Parent-Adolescent Processes: Promoting Healthy Teen Choices.” Family Relations, vol. 49, no. 2, 2000, pp. 143–154. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/585810.
Wilson, Ellen K., et al. “Parents’ Perspectives on Talking to Preteenage Children About Sex.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, vol. 42, no. 1, 2010, pp. 56–63. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20697099.
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