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

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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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.
MKimmi replied...
Apr. 13, 2011 at 6:20 pm
OMG! Same here! Except in 9th grade mother, thought I am in 8th grade.
jamikim replied...
May 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm
one time our 1st hour class whent over to the elementary school to help some of the kids. and how sad is it that i saw a 5th GRADER PREGNATE!! not that is messed up.
TaylorJade replied...
May 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm
Holy mess!!!! A fifth grader?! Whoa! That's just completely wrong. And my older brother had a friend that had 4 kids before she graduated high school. She did graduate though, so that's better than most people. /:
MKimmi replied...
May 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm
wat is this world coming too?
TheInnocentOne replied...
Jun. 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm

We're all taking the ride back to the medieval times

Girl starts puberty, the parents marry her off, and she gets to stay home and take care of her 5 kids. Whoppee!

'Cept now the parents would more likely disown her.

Some girls have lost the art of thinking for themselves.

MKimmi replied...
Jun. 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm
Like everything else, the future shall always repeat the past. Nearly everything is like that.
RedFeather replied...
Oct. 28, 2011 at 7:34 am

Holy #@%$! An eigth grader with her second child?!?!?!?! Even greater &#$@ #@%$! A fricking fifth grader?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

I'm in eigth and I just had my first (period) last month! I'm small and I've been glad to push that off this long. I've been dreading this much since puberty, and now everyone around me is throwing their virginity out the window like a dirty kleenex if they haven't already! This is so messed up! As for me, I like my virginity-alot. We'll definately be s... (more »)

RedFeather replied...
Oct. 28, 2011 at 7:47 am
What is this world coming to? After all the hard work that women put into fighting to get us equal rights as men so that we WOULDN'T be valued as just the way to make more sons for husbands that we were married off to, now girls are just throwing themselves around and undoing all that work! Shame! Shame! Shame! SHAME!
Ashlee H. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 22, 2011 at 10:32 am
Great argument! I completely agree with everything you wrote, well said and great transitions!
WritingAngel20 said...
Feb. 28, 2011 at 11:35 am
I agree, like the movie, the pregnacy pact, girls want to get pregant and or don't realize what happens when you become a teen mom, and how much having a baby hurts!
VirginieC This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm
This was well-written and made perfect sense. Good job, and I completely agree.
Freedom_Cow said...
Jan. 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Yep. Being a teen mom sucks. But both of my parents are products from teen motherhood.

Even when from bad situations, good things can happen. It doesn't have to ruin your life because you made a mistrake. Having a kid when you're young will only wreak havoc on you if you let it.


I believe that even though a teenage girl may have a baby, she's not alone, she shouldn't be alone. She also has parents, because she, too, is a child. We all are. Lets just take care of ea... (more »)

jenniraffe replied...
Jan. 15, 2011 at 6:24 pm
what if that girl's parents kick her out? its not uncommon. she could be alone. i agree with you mostly, except for that people shouldn't do stuff like that before they're married. obviously you're not alone, but still, it does hurt peoples lives. i totally agree with the article, though!
Freedom_Cow replied...
Jan. 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I know that does happen, and it makes me sad and a little angry. That's why I've made it my goal to never ostrasize anyone just because they made a mistake.

You're right to believe that people should remain chaste until marriage. Its a noble goal and I respect you for it.


But things happen sometimes, life can be harsh and unforgiving and young girls should not be thrown away for it.

alwayskelley This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 13, 2011 at 9:47 pm
yes i agree with what you are saying about not puttting down those who make mistakes but we definetly should not glorify it either. im  staying pure 'till marraige because i think if you really love someone you should be willing to wait, and if they are willing to leave you because you wont give them what they want then they really dont love you for you but for your body and thats not real love at all
RedFeather replied...
Oct. 28, 2011 at 7:44 am

Absolutely! There are too many players out there who just try to take what they want from who they want whenever they want without ever thinking about what the effects will be!

I'm planning on never haveing my own kids. If I ever decide that I want to raise children, I'm going to adopt - there are too many young children that don't have parents and never recieve the parenting that they need.

BloodyRazor999 said...
Jan. 15, 2011 at 12:37 pm
Thank you this is VERY inspiring!!!
Gigantron said...
Dec. 24, 2010 at 11:19 am

Finally, somebody actually gets it. Thank you for writing this article. It should be common knowledge that you SHOULDN'T have children unless you can financially and emotionally support them for the next 18+ years of your life. 

Don't condemn a child to a life of misery because you were thinking with your pants instead of your brain. 

Aspiringauhor replied...
Jan. 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm
I totally agree! :)
emergingtalent said...
Dec. 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm
It's not fair to the baby either. The baby deserves a father and mother that can provide for it and love it. Teenagers have a lot on they're plate without having to worry abouta baby. Thank you for writing this article.
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