Teens have been getting impregnated for generations. Culture has influenced it's acceptability and ways of coping. However, there are many risks that come along with teen pregnancy. Also, there have been patterns of race and media to influence teen pregnancies. Ultimately, young women need more self esteem to strive for more out of their lives.
"Many teenage pregnancies aren't accidental but intentional because of girls who see no life goals other than being a mother as realistically within their reach," says Andrea Parrot, a Cornell women's health and human sexuality expert.
That's a major reason why most current sex and pregnancy prevention education efforts "are ineffective at preventing teenage pregnancy and the U.S. has an outrageous teen pregnancy rate -- the highest in the industrialized world," said Parrot, associate professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management in the College of Human Ecology.
Adolescent pregnancy prevention program developed by Michael A. Carrera in 1984, their objective is to help empower youths to have a productive future and develop a desire for having their own personal goals. It helps to educate teens on the consequences of sexual activities starting from ages eleven and up. The pregnancy prevention program model provides opportunities for teens to discover interests and develop talents, plus emphasizes education and employment. With programs such as this one, teens have more options to do a lot of various activities which will enhance their future instead of promoting safe sex they promote no sex at all which decreases the opportunity of teenage pregnancy.
By promoting safe sex in schools and in the neighborhood teens tend to take one message out of it all, and that is to have sex but use protection. These methods that are being use by the schools to prevent teenagers from getting pregnant are not working. Even though teen pregnancy has decrease 22% since the year 1991, the birth rate for teenage pregnancy in the United States are too high. Clearly, the path that the school’s choose in promoting safe sex to prevent pregnancy is not working. Instead, they should promote abstinence programs, which will allow teens to become involved in various activities rather than mingle in the sheets.
"Too many teenage girls see themselves as having nothing to strive for -- they can't see graduating from high school because they have few role models to follow, their teachers give them little encouragement about their abilities, their families are chaotic and their friends are on drugs. Parenting looks like the best thing going, many girls think, because babies provide an immediate source of unconditional love," Parrot said.
Research shows a direct link between teen births and other social issues, including high school dropout rate, poverty, child well-being and the overall health of our state. A child’s chance of growing up in poverty is nine times greater if the mother gave birth as a teen, if the parents were unmarried when the child was born, and if the mother did not receive a high school diploma, than if none of these circumstances are present.
Contraception and abortion became much more available, women became more liberated, and sexual mores changed dramatically. An earlier Policy Brief (Number 5, August 1996) by George Akerlof and Janet Yellen documents how the decline in shotgun marriages contributed to a rising tide of out-of-wedlock births. But this same change in sexual mores led not just to fewer marriages but also to a lot more sexual activity and a rising pregnancy rate among the nation's youth.
As teen pregnancy and childbearing have become more common, they have also become more acceptable, or at least less stigmatized. A few decades ago, there were real social penalties to be paid if a girl became pregnant outside of marriage. Young girls refrained from sex for fear of becoming pregnant and being socially ostracized. Among those who did get pregnant, shotgun marriages were common. Young men had to compete for women's affections by promising marriage or at least commitment. All of this changed during the 1970s and 1980s.
teen childbearing is very costly. A 1997 study by Rebecca Maynard of Mathematica Policy Research in Princeton, New Jersey, found that, after controlling for differences between teen mothers and mothers aged 20 or 21 when they had their first child, teen childbearing costs taxpayers more than $7 billion a year or $3,200 a year for each teenage birth, conservatively estimated.
Not only are mothers who defer childbearing more likely to marry, but with or without marriage, their children will be better off. The children of teen mothers are more likely than the children of older mothers to be born prematurely at low birth weight and to suffer a variety of health problems as a consequence. They are more likely to do poorly in school, to suffer higher rates of abuse and neglect, and to end up in foster care with all its attendant costs.
Teens in today’s society grow up in a highly media-influenced world, spending more than ten hours a day interacting with some form of media. These media can have a huge influence on the values and social norms that these adolescents hold. One huge way in which media affects teens is through sexual behavior. Teens view the media as a “super peer,” experiencing the same types of pressures from the media that they would receive from their peers at school (Brown, 1996). Since eighty-three percent of 20 of the most popular shows watched my teens on television contain sexual content, there is no doubt that the issue of sex becomes prevalent in teenage lives (MTV.com). From this super peer, teens have obtained more careless attitudes toward sexual behavior, especially since most of the shows on television do not even mention the risks of the sexual behaviors they present.