Adolescent pregnancy is when girls usually age thirteen to nineteen become pregnant at such an early stage. Teenage or adolescent pregnancy is something that is not acceptable in most communities and is seen as an abomination in places like Africa. It is totally unacceptable in Africa that, one could be banished from her village or town, or even be disowned by their parents. Nowadays, teenage pregnancy is gradually becoming something that is seen as common and normal in many communities and because of that, the rate of school dropout is gradually increasing each year.The topic to be discussed in this literature review is about the need for teenage pregnancy prevention. The reason why teenage pregnancy prevention is important is because the rate at which teenagers are getting pregnant is drastically becoming a major issue which has so many negative effects on education, the government, the pregnant teenager, the kid of the teenager and a whole lot. Many people came with the idea of having sex education in public schools in order to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy while others believed that sex education is somewhat inappropriate for kids in public schools. Allison T. Chappell, a faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Criminal justice in collaboration with Scott R. Maggard and Sarah A. Gibson who are all in the same department as Allison wrote about people’s arguments for or against the introduction of sex education in public schools. According to Chappell, in A Theoretical Investigation Of Public Toward Sex Education, she states that, “One of the primary arguments in support of sex education in public schools is the notion that it may prevent teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases”(Chappell, Margard, Gibson 2010). Researchers estimated that the number of sexually transmitted infections are mostly from teenagers in the United States. People that support the sex education program argue that, teenagers would be more educated on safe sex and would have the idea of use use of contraceptives and STD prevention. On the other hand, people against the sex education program argue that, “sex education in public schools argue that it may lead to an increase in sexual behavior among teenagers”(Chappell, Margard, Gibson 2010). People on the opposite side believe that, sex education would influence teenagers to have more sex and that would likely end up with more pregnancies. Sex education is a major controversial issue and people have different opinions about whether it should be a program or whether there should be an age limit and also topic limit on what to be covered. This topic about teenage pregnancy prevention is becoming a major issue among the youth and we need to bring people’s attention to this issue before the youth of this generation fills up the entire place with dropouts and orphans and that’s why this topic is worth reading.
First of all, the reason why teenage pregnancy needs to be prevented is because, the government ends up spending so much on things like foster care, medicaid, welfare, and what have you. All these unnecessary spending could be avoided if teenage pregnancy is reduced and proper education on sex is introduced. Milwaukee is known for being the fourth poorest city in the United States having an incredible amount of 40% of the children living below the poverty line. The children living in Milwaukee are often exposed to sexual activities because of lack of sex education and the idea of the use of contraceptives for safe sex. This is what results in children ending up in foster care and families living on welfare. Beth Azar, a writer and editor who is specialized in the social and behavioral sciences as well as biology and the natural science, wrote about how much the government spends because of teenage pregnancies. According to Azar, “In 2008, adolescent pregnancies cost the United States an estimated $10.9 billion from increased welfare and Medicaid payments, incarcerations, foster care, and lost tax revenue. In Milwaukee alone, a single adolescent birth costs an estimated $79 320 per year in health care and other services” (Azar 2010). This amount is a ridiculous one and could have been used to do more productive things like increasing minimum wages. Now, because of this, taxes are being increased and in order to get enough to cater for kids in foster home and living on welfare. In all, we need to prevent adolescent pregnancy so we can avoid unnecessary spending and ridiculous increase in taxes.
Another reason why we need to prevent teenage pregnancy is because, teeangers are not ready and mantured to become parents and the children end up suffering the consequence. It is too early to be pregnant at the age of thirteen years. Teenagers that get pregnant that early are mostly kids that weren’t brought up the right way. It could be that their parents were also pregnant during their teen years and their kids learnt t=from that and they passed that down from generation to generations. This could be a really serious problem and if something is not done to prevent this, kids having babies would become a normal thing. Dorlisa J. Minnick, a professor with a Ph.D in social work conducted a research with Lauren Shandler, another holder of a Ph.D in social work, about what allows teenage girls think of getting pregnant. According to Minnick and Shandler, “39 percent of the teenage participants were not ready to prevent pregnancy,indicated by indifference to being pregnant, wanting to be pregnant to have a baby to love, having a partner who wanted a baby, or thinking that a baby would bring partners close together” (Minnick and Shandler 2011). This is what teenage girls had in mind. They thought that having a baby would bring them closer to their partners but that is not the case at all. If a guy wants to cheat he can still go ahead and do it, not a baby would stop him from doing what he is used to doing. Teenage girls fall for this every time and end up getting pregnant and can’t take care of the child because they are not expereinced and matured to be a woman yet. Again, Minnick and Shandler stated that, “intentional pregnancies among teenagers, like unintentional teenage pregnancy, have negative outcomes and do not support the myths of alleviating loneliness, keeping the father around, or increasing the likelihood of easy labor” (Minnick and Shandler 2011). In all, teenage girls that have babies at a early stage end up maltreating the kids because of lack of experience and too much stress on them when they realize their partner left after the baby came.
Last but not least, teenage pregnancy should be prevented because it increases the chances of dropouts and low level education on this new generation. Education one big factor in this world, is becoming a thing of the past due to teenage pregnancy. Teens are refusing to get a degree, not even a high school diploma, especially the girls because they do not feel the need to since they are now a parent. This usually does not end well because, without education, one would get a job but not their dream jobs. They would get a job that does not pay good but decent and end up below the poverty line increasing the chance of homeless kids, foster care kids and kids that grow up to rob people for money. According to Minnick and Shandler, “Moreover, early adolescent pregnancy has dire consequences for teenage parents, with about 50 percent of female adolescents failing to earn a high school diploma, earning an average income of $6,500 for the first 15 years of parenting, and becoming increasingly dependent on public assistance” (Minnick and Shandler 2011). In all, teenage pregnancy is a major issue that requires major attention from everybody in order to prevent dropouts and increase in crime due to poverty.
I think we need to come together and help build a teenage pregnancy program at every local communities for children to go to get educated. If there is a need to make it mandatory, then there should because of this keeps on going on for a long time, there would so many dropouts, so many unnecessary spendings and increase in taxes, so many children suffering from maltreatment and depression, and so many unhealthy babies due to lack of nutritious food. Also, there is an increase in abortion due to unwanted pregnancies. Robert D. Plotnick, a professor that holds appointment with the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin, wrote about some of the problems he founds when conducting a research to see why teenage girls engage in abortion. According to Plotnick, “a young woman with low self-esteem is more likely to become pregnant, less likely to abort, and less likely to marry if she carries the pregnancy to term” (Plotnick 1992). Most teens have low self esteem because they came from a poor background and dont have the desire to work hard because that’s how they were raised. Teenage pregnancy can cause the kid of the pregnant teenager to have low self esteem because of unhappy childhood. The teeange girls can not take of the kids so they let them astray and the kids have to survive on their own. Some kids end up in the orphanage, some end up in foster care and they learn all kinds of behaviors in the foster home like stealing, hanging out with the bad guys and smoking and every negative thing that comes with it. Teenage pregnancy has so many negative effects that I think it’s high time we gives this the attention it deserves to help prevent too much of teenage pregnancies in the world.
Azar, Beth. 2012. “Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention: Highlights from a Citywide Effort.” American Journal of Public Health 102:(10)1837-1841.
Chappell, Scott R. Maggard, and Sarah A. Gibson. 2010. “A Theoretical Investigation Of Public Toward Sex Education.” Sociological Spectrum 30:(2)196-219.
Minnick, and Lauren Shandler. 2011. “Changing Adolescent Perceptions on Teenage Pregnancy.” Children & Schools 33:(4)241-248.
Plotnick, Robert. 1992. “The Effects Of Attitudes On Teenage Premarital Pregnancy And Its Resolution.” American Sociological Review 57:(6)800-811.
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