Teen pregnancy and birth has become one of the greatest concerns that affect most societies and the nation in general both economically and socially. There is need to look for the most effective ways of reducing child poverty in the in the society. What is Teen Pregnancy? Teen Pregnancy can be defined as a teenaged or immature girl (usually within the ages of 13-19) engaging in sexual acts and therefore becoming pregnant early. Pregnancy as a teenager gives any young girl a higher risk of running into the societal aspects and cost-effective issues that surround today’s teenage parents. In the midst of the increasing cases of teenage pregnancy in the society today, this article examines the issue, with particular focus on the factors that are influencing it in the society such as the lack of proper moral training by parents, poverty, lack of stiff penalty for those involved, religious inclination, influence of teachers among other related issues. The article further examines the effects of the menace in the social order.
Economical problems to the society
- Affecting the economical growth
To expand on this point we first have to look back in time to the roles of women and men in the general public. Adolescent pregnancy has plagued most nations for more than three centuries. Surprisingly enough it is only more recently that people have come to realize teen pregnancy growth and severe consequences it poses on many aspects of society including economical strains (Donovan, 33).
- Social changes affecting the economy of the society
The social change that leads to this vicinity and this vice is not only based on a revolutionized state in sexual behaviors, but a change in the nature of adolescence becomes another factor. These changes are brought about by the cry off of the average age of menarche. The average age for menarche in girls as estimated in the last ten years was 14.2; this age has gone down by two years since then. The average age of menarche today is estimated to be 12.2. This guide or statistics, therefore, proposes that since girls are able of having children at younger ages they are also more pertinent to have sex at a younger age and this does not favor economic growth in the society (Kirby, 92).
- Social changes leading to creation of poverty in urban and rural areas
The social changes that affect these statistics deal with the growth that has been witnessed in relation to the average age of marriage, typical approaches towards marriage as a consecrated or sanctified establishment, and economic shifts which have led to a need for longer educational careers. Due to the fact above, the society suffers great blow since the populace that is to be given the first priority of contributing to economical growth in the community indulge in such acts. These changes have therefore led to the development of poverty in both urban and rural areas where edification is often not appreciated or taken as a critical issue (Gormly, 1997).
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Effects on education for both the teenage parents
- Affecting the performance at school
Regrettably, the need for higher education is reflected in the fact that only at levels after high school has enrollment increased in recent years, and only in the late teens are whites more likely than blacks to enroll in an educational institution. This has, in turn, aggravated the poor performance in most learning institutions which also affects the society education-wise (Sabia, 750). As the economy demands grow higher and higher many young people are reliant on their parents for a longer duration. This has definitely left some groups without the opportunity to access the financially viable options that allow them to prepare for their future prosperity.
- Early parenthood, truant fathering, and new sexual responsiveness
Johnson, (1995) asserts that, some of the difficulties created by age difference in marriage today roots from the changing duties of women in our society. Women are now more than ever participating in the thing that men used to do and dealing with such problems as maintaining their homes. Therefore, the cost of childrearing and the importance of an education has been lost. Such changes in marriage patterns have brought on an increased truant fathering, solitary parenthood, and a new sexual responsiveness. Sexual standard across the society have also altered due to the fact that young people indulging into practices that were never meant for children.
- Sex loosing its value
Sex has therefore lost the value of being a sacred gesture for married couples. Marriage is no longer valued as a lifetime commitment with the divorce rate exceeding 50% because young people get married and divorce due to their age difference and low thinking capacity. Generally, values have hit an all-time low where virgins are flattering scarce and divorce common.
Effects on the mother
- Contracting sexually transmitted diseases
Newman, (1997) claims Adolescents who are brought up in such a kind of environment face a greater challenge as compared to those who grew up in the past. The sequences of events that lead from adolescence to adulthood have become longer and more multifarious. The reason for this can partially be brought about by the enormous gap linking the time a girl reaches menarche and the time she gets married. A sexual revolution has swept over the people aged 90 which gives advice concerning new attitudes towards pre-marital intercourse. Rates of sexual initiation among adolescents may also rise with higher percentages of teenagers going through coitus at younger and younger ages. Most of the teenagers are likely to suffer the same risk of AIDS and STDs.
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- Suffer loss or limited opportunity for education
With such a high increase in adolescent sexual activity there are many conflicting views and feelings on the subject between women and men in the society that are treated with mixed reactions. A variety of women feel that there is a double standard when it comes to individuals’ reactions concerning sexual activity. It has become a popular theory that men regard sexual activity as an invasion of territory. Many men will admit to the act of looking for sexual activity without relationship ties, and they believe that contraception is the accountability of the female not the male. Females, on the other hand, generally believe that love is the onset for sexual activity and due to this fact the society suffered erosion brought about by mixed reactions. According to Bogat and Caldwell (555), teenager parents (specifically mothers) are likely to suffer loss or limited opportunity for education which could have been helpful to the society. The higher a woman’s level of education, the more likely she is to postpone her marriage and childbearing. Adolescents with little schooling are often twice as likely as those with more education to have a baby before their nineteenth birthday (Planned Parenthood Federation of America).
- Dropping out from schools and children suffering financial constraints later in life
Creating Teens that become pregnant for the duration of their high school are more likely to drop out of school and for that reason the community at large looses legitimate and productive members of the society. A teen mother drops out of school due to the fact that she is not capable of managing the obligation of caring for a baby and studying, and a teen father usually chooses a job over school so that he can provide for his child. (Tunick, 13) argued that teen mothers more often than not have fewer resources than older mothers since they have had less time to gather savings or build up their productivity through work familiarity, education, or training. Because of this, teen mothers are generally poor and in most cases rely on government in order to upkeep their children. Teen mothers may have limited social contacts and friendships because they do not have time for anything other than their baby. Lack of a social life and time for herself may cause the teenage mother to become stressed and develop mental problems. Children who are born to teenage mothers usually suffer from poor parenting that later may have extreme problems in the society by becoming thieves, thugs, street children, which may be of no help to the community. In addition, children of teenage parents start being sexually active before their peers and they are more likely to become teenage parents themselves. These children may also suffer from financial difficulties similar to that of their parents (Eshbaugh and Luze, 1040).
It is evident that teenage pregnancy comes with not only a child, but also many consequences that we as adult suffer in the long run. Since we have clearly identified teen pregnancy as a problem that not only affects individuals, but also affects our society at large, there is the need to look for solutions that may help manage this vice. In so doing, the society will stand a chance to develop productive and accountable citizens.