A teenager is in a transitional stage from being a child to become a young adult. Teenage pregnancy has been considered a social issue. In some cases, pregnant teenagers have turned out to be an accident or unprepared pregnancy. The cause of teen pregnancy comes from both males and females; however, females are the sex that carries the baby. Young women who are pregnant at an early age might give up on their education to give birth, but some might find the other way to just get rid of the baby. Preventing teenagers from being pregnant requires the support from everybody such as the families, school, peer support, and societies.


Eli Reed 1994

Teenage pregnancy causes many problems in a society. The article “Preventing Teen Pregnancy by Avoiding Risk Exposure,” states that “The US has the highest teen pregnancy rate of all industrialized nations with one out of three adolescent females becoming pregnant during her teen years (The National Campaign, 2008)” (Weiss). Teen pregnancy would not only affect only a person who is pregnant, but also it would after the people around her. For example, the families would not be happy with an accident pregnancy. After giving birth, a baby has higher possibilities to be born unhealthy. The article that was written by Weiss points out that “Children born to teen mothers are more likely to be premature and under-weight, increasing their risks for hyperactivity, blindness, deafness, chronic respiratory problems, infant death, and mental retardation (Terry-Humen, Manlove, & Moore, 2005)”” (Weiss). Mostly, there are young women who are pregnant, and they might stop going to school. If young women will not be able to go to school, it would make their life harder. They would not be able to become mothers who can take care of a baby. The book “Abstinence Education” shows that “The research also indicates that the children of teens are more likely than children of older parents to experience problems in school and drop out of high school, and as adults are more likely to repeat the cycle of teenage pregnancy and poverty” (Rossi). If mothers do not get the education, there is a possibility that a child tends not to have a bright future and might follow a step of the mother. Sadly, if a woman cannot make a decision on what to do in her life, the child would not have an opportunity to access a better life. For example, if a teen mother does not have a job they would stay poor and they would not have sufficient financial support for their child. On the other way, some pregnant teenagers decide to get the abortion when a child cannot even be born to see the world.

There are researches that have studied to approach solutions for teen pregnancy. One of the solutions indicates by Rossi who introduces the “abstinence education” to decrease the numbers of teenage pregnancy. In her book, she believes that “Abstinence is the only 100 percent effective method to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Through education, mentoring, counseling and peer support, abstinence education services help teens delay the onset of sexual activity and reduce the number of sexual partners they have” (Rossi). Educate teenagers to comprehensive sex education will help them to refrain from sexual activities. They will have a lack of sexual emotions because they would be more responsible as they think first how to protect themselves by using contraception. Providing sex education for teenagers is very important because they can be informative. The more educated they are, the better decision they will make. The article “Abstinence-Only Education: How We Got Here and Where We’re Going,” also supports “abstinence only education” stated:

However, most teen pregnancy and STI prevention efforts focus on health education. Two major options exist for adolescent sexuality education: abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula, often-called “abstinence-only” programs, which approach sexuality education just as title suggests; and abstinence-plus, or “comprehensive” programs, which promote abstinence, but also teach teens about contraception. (Perrin)

She represents “abstinence until marriage only” standard from the abstinence education component of Title V, for example, teaching to refrain from sexual activities, premarital sex is not considered to be normal, teaching how to attain before engaging sexual activity, and teaching that drugs and alcohol arise engaging in sexual activity.

Abstinence education tends to be hopeful to protect the future of the nation’s youth. However, the article “Abstinence-Only Education: How We Got Here and Where We’re Going” adds that “…no one has yet demonstrated that [abstinence education programs] work” (Perrin). She asserts that it would not be effective to approach the solutions only with abstinence education, but also promoting accurate information about contraception use helps everybody to access health service. The article “Abstinence-Only Education and Teen Pregnancy Rates: Why We Need Comprehensive Sex Education in the U.S.,” provides the evidence:

Approximately 82% of a randomly selected nationally representative sample of U.S. adults aged 18 to 83 years supported comprehensive programs that teach students about both abstinence and other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. In contrast, abstinence-only education programs, received the lowest levels of support (36%) and the highest level of opposition (about 50%). (Stanger-Hall)

It means that instead of funding only “abstinence education,” they would rather promote the comprehensive program that educates teenagers about sex through health education. For instance, teaching about contraception use, sexually transmitted diseases, and methods of preventing teen pregnancy would help teenagers have the accurate information.

The article “Preventing Teen Pregnancy by Avoiding Risk Exposure,” gives other perspectives to develop decision-making skills to diminish the devastating outcomes of a teen pregnancy problem. The article indicates the theory of avoiding risk exposure by seeing beyond the immediate. The researchers collected data from 20 participants who were females attending the ninth grade in a rural community. The age of the participants was 14 to 16 years old, and they were teenagers who were considered living in a risk environment. However, the participants chose not to make a risky decision by the impact of the positive inputs. The author, Josie A. Weiss, whose research is focused on teen pregnancy prevention in rural populations, stated:

The participants lived in risk promoting environments. The attitudes they developed about sexual issues were influenced by positive input from others. They saw beyond the immediate appeal of their risk promoting environments by desiring future success, hearing persons who “pointed” them in positive directions; owning the consequences of their choices and believing in themselves. As a result they avoided situations that placed at risk. (Weiss)

The desire for success empowered these females. The dream of being successful keeps them on the right track, and it developed the attitude of wanting to go to college and have a good career. The research also represents “point persons” which means that people around teenager impact how they live because if teenagers live in risk environments, they are likely to make risky decisions. Therefore, a family member plays one of the most important roles to help teens prevent pregnancy. The research also indicates the concept of “owning consequences,” means that teenagers would be responsible for their actions. For example, a participant said that “There are a lot of consequences if you have sex.” This show a strong belief that they would have to think about their families by not making their parents feel disappointed. She goes on explaining that it is important to develop self-esteem. One of the participants said that she is her own person; therefore, she does what she believes. Weiss says that “Avoidance was accomplished by staying busy with non-risk-promoting activities such as school and after-school activities, and other obligations” (Weiss). She observes that teenagers tend to have friends who have similar values.

It is very critical to think about how to approach the solutions for preventing teenage pregnancy. Abstinence education only tends to be the hope of the future of the youth’s nation. However, funding only abstinence education would not be enough. There is the comprehensive program could be the other option to educate teen in a proper way that corresponds to human behavior. Furthermore, decision-making skills of how to make a right choice toward life are very important.

Annotated Bibliography

Eli Reed. USA. Teenage pregnancy. & quote; I worry that I won’t be a good parent. It didn’t seem realistic to me that I could get pregnant again. Having a baby saved my life. Otherwise, I’d still be on the street. I wanted somebody to love. I didn’t care if it was a dog, a cat, a turtle, a frog.1994.Artstor, library-artstor-org.chaffey.idm.oclc.org/asset/AMAGNUMIG_10311537877

Perrin, Karen, and Sharon Bernecki DeJoy. “Abstinence-Only Education: How We Got Here and Where We’re Going.” Journal of Public Health Policy, vol. 24, no. 3/4, 2003, pp. 445–459. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3343387.

This paper talks about timeline of abstinence education in the United States of America. However, it is encountered that abstinence education has not been proved whether it has been successful or not. This paper is used as a solution to define the standard of abstinence education. Also, it is used as an encounter argument in the essay. It is a reliable source because it is the source from a journal of public health policy.

Rossi, Isabella E. Abstinence Education. Nova Science Publishers, Inc, 2009. Health Psychology Research Focus Series. EBSCOhost.

This book is a useful tool provided by The State Abstinence Education Program and the Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) and the Office of Population Affairs to help families, parents, school and states guide teenagers to refrain from sexual activities outcome. “Abstinence Education Program” is presented as a solution in the essay. This book is published by New York: Nova science Publishers, Inc.2009. This source is also can be found in a Chaffey Database Library.

Stanger-Hall, Kathrin F., and David W. Hall. “Abstinence-Only Education and Teen Pregnancy Rates: Why We Need Comprehensive Sex Education in the U.S.” PLoS ONE, vol. 6, no. 10, Oct. 2011, pp. 1–11. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024658.

The article is focused on comprehensive sex and STD education. The purpose of the article is to make comprehensive sex education into the biology curriculum. This article is used in the essay as the encounter arguments. It is a reliable source. It was written by the scholars, and it was supported by Institutes of Health (U.S.)

Weiss, Josie A. “Preventing Teen Pregnancy by Avoiding Risk Exposure.” American Journal of Health Studies, vol. 25, no. 4, Dec. 2010, pp. 202-210. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=67311169&site=ehost-live.

This research explains how rural teenagers think about teen pregnancy, and the research show how they think influences their decisions toward sexual choices. The author represents the perspectives of analyzed data that collected from participant such as desired future success, peers’ pressure, self-esteem and owned the consequences of choices. This research is used as a solution of teen pregnancy in the essay. The research was provided by Weiss, Josie A. who dedicates herself studying about decision making of the people who live in rural areas, and she is specifically interested in preventing teen pregnancy.