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Teen Baby Trend This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Does today’s generation glamorize teenage pregnancy? About four in ten girls become pregnant before age 20. Annually, about 900,000 teenage pregnancies occur nationally – approximately 52 pregnancies per hour. Almost 40 percent of young mothers haven’t reached the age of 18 when they become pregnant.

An epidemic. How could something like teenage pregnancy ever become so popular that it’s considered an epidemic? Of course we all know the obvious reason for pregnancy, but one perplexing question is why aren’t teens being more ­responsible? One would think that young adults would know enough to be careful. However, not using protection isn’t always the cause of teenage pregnancy.

Surprising as it may seem, some teenage girls may choose to get pregnant because they don’t see any life goals within their reach other than motherhood. Some may be seeking the unconditional love of a child. Or maybe a young woman believes that having her boy­friend’s baby will make him want to stay with her. However, nearly 80 percent of these fathers do not marry the mother of their children.

Sadly, an intended pregnancy doesn’t hold the advantages that young people believe it will. I believe another cause is something many desire and thrive on: ­attention. Attention can cause a big (but false) boost in self-esteem. It provides a temporary happiness that is addictive for some.

If you pick up any magazine like People, Star, or Us Weekly, you are pretty much guaranteed to find at least one article about a pregnant celebrity. Millions and millions of people fawn over these stars. When celeb mommies spill the details about their ­little soon-to-be bundles of joy, people seek to emulate their glamorous lives.

One of the most popular confessional pieces in the ­media recently was about a famous teenage mother: Jamie Lynn Spears. She starred in “Zoey 101” – a popular Nickelodeon show among both tweens and little tykes – for only three seasons before she leaked to OK! magazine about her “surprising and shocking” pregnancy with her older boyfriend, Casey Aldridge.

For months, Jamie was on baby watch. Paparazzi followed her around begging for comments and pictures of her and her developing baby-bump. Every tabloid had something to say about Spears’s unborn child, and most of the articles were positive accounts of the support she was ­receiving from her parents and how she and Aldridge were planning to marry.

Another recent, highly public teenage pregnancy was that of Bristol Palin, daughter of Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin. The young lady’s secret was apparently not so secret in the close-knit Alaskan town where the Palin family lives. When the rest of the country found out, even more news coverage focused on the family.

Very public incidents like these impact regular teens. Not all blame should be placed on the media, however. Schools deserve some of the fault. Some have been known to enact “Bring Your Kids to School Day.” If that’s not encouraging young people to get pregnant, I don’t know what is. Think of all the attention a teen mother would receive as classmates ask about the silly behaviors of her little mini-me.

When it comes down to it, most people sympathize with young moms and commend them for toughing it out and taking care of their babies. But teenage pregnancy has been made into something it is not. It has been glamorized like a new, expensive pair of shoes. Teens may think they are ready, that all a baby requires is someone to feed it and change it every once in a while. Teaching sex education at schools isn’t enough anymore. Today’s teens must be taught the responsibilities that go along with raising a kid. Someone needs to stop children from having children of their own.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 136 comments. Post your own!

FrAme said...
Dec. 11, 2011 at 2:11 am:
I, personally, don't think the word "epidemic" fits this article. Having babys doesn't, under normal circumstances, kill the mother. Again, this is only my opinion. On a happier note, this was very well written and I can understand your point.
 
AriShine This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm :
If I may: "epidemic" can also mean a nationwide negative trend. Yes, the word fits the article perfectly.
 
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FreedomIsMyVirtue said...
Nov. 19, 2011 at 10:59 pm:
I wish I could have written something as great and true as this for our school newspaper.
 
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irishlass317 said...
Nov. 19, 2011 at 12:27 pm:
Very good point. I totally agree. Kudos to you for speaking up!!
 
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sarahmichelle98 said...
Nov. 19, 2011 at 9:14 am:
to be honest, it really depends on the circumstances of the pregnany to say whose at fault. in some cases, its neither of the teenages fault, but in some cases, its both equally. and then of course, it could be more the girls fault, of more the boys. but like i said, it all depends
 
sarahmichelle98 replied...
Nov. 19, 2011 at 9:15 am :
*who's* my bad
 
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Sacrifice said...
Jun. 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm:

I found your article elequently and passionately written. :)

However, I did notice that you focused on all the problems, but offered no ideas or solutions. And I find t personally offensive as a teeenage grl that you placed the brunt of the blame on the pregnate teens themselves, as opposed to the boys who impregnated them.

Just some thoughts.

~Caitlyn

 
aaliona replied...
Jun. 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm :
I feel very similar. Some girls do want the attention or a child, but many are more realistic. That statistic of 4 out of 10 teen girls seems really high. At my school, we had 5 girls get pregnant this year. That is a lot, but our school has over 500 students. That's more like 1 out of 100, instead of the 40 your statistic says.
 
sammey1113This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Aug. 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm :
I don't feel that saying it's the boy's fault is true. Yes, he deserves partial blame, but it comes down to the girl's decision. She frank with the subject and it was well written. Being honest isn't offensive.
 
girl-of-winter-skies replied...
Aug. 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm :
I agree- girls shouldn't be COMPLETELY blamed, especially seeing as a girl on the bad side of the teen baby crisis would have it a lot harder than a boy.
 
ElisabethSinclair replied...
Oct. 28, 2011 at 6:34 am :
Look, people. It is way more the girl's fault than the guy's. The girl should be responsible for her own body. She should go on the pill or force her boyfriend to wear a condom if they are going to be 'doing the dirty deed'. There is no excuse.
 
Sacrifice replied...
Nov. 3, 2011 at 9:39 am :
bull puckey. it is the guys fault just as much as the girl's. HE MADE A CHOICE TOO! just because it doesn't SHOW on him, doesn't mean he shouldn't have to take responceability for the fact that he willing submitted to this as well. Plus, by suggesting that the man is not at fault shows how ignorant you are. What about a rape victim? How would you treat someone like that? "It's your fault that you're pregnent because the person that you, in your words, "did the dirty deed with" decided not to use... (more »)
 
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Hermione700This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jun. 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm:
I completly agree with you. Our world is changing so so much. I can't believe it when i hear of how young people are getting pregnant, its not even funny. It would never be funny. When your an adolecent you may be in love with someone, but once that happens it turns it to lust, because all it was, was your horomones raging. Its so saddening to hear about all of the ways so many girls have had to deal with this.
 
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freeflow23 said...
Jun. 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm:
This is a pretty awesome article with a good message. Not many people could've said it better.
 
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myLifeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 27, 2011 at 8:47 am:
You've written a really great article! It's what teens today need. 
 
radicalhonestyThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jun. 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm :
I completley agree! while i don't know any teen moms(fortunatley), there are a few girls in my school who are labeled as s l u t t y. They actually joke about being on 14 and pregnant! They really don't understand that getting pregnant means a child you have to take care of. And I know a 6th grader who has already french kissed, and I don't want to think about what else she's doing. it disgusts me.
 
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TaylorJade said...
Mar. 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm:
I completely agree with this. I am in the eighth grade, and someone I know, also in the eighth grade, just had her second baby. A second child at only 13 or 14. So... yeah. /: More schools should definitely have classes on what comes with having a baby so young, and maybe, just maybe, it would change things.
 
Tigerz101 replied...
Apr. 7, 2011 at 7:35 am :
OH MY GOD! HER SECOND CHILD!!!!!! AND SHES ONLY IN EIGHT GRADE!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
 
TaylorJade replied...
Apr. 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm :
Yes!!! It is ridiculous!!!!
 
MKimmi replied...
Apr. 13, 2011 at 6:20 pm :
OMG! Same here! Except in 9th grade mother, thought I am in 8th grade.
 
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