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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!

unknownwriter said...
Nov. 10, 2010 at 4:40 pm:

I JUST DOT GET IT WHY DO THEY DO IT ?!?!?!?!?

 

 
bonez2k12 replied...
Aug. 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm :

sometimes it's planned, but other times it was a mistake i.e. condom broke, or unfortunately, they were raped

 

 
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mexiican said...
Nov. 10, 2010 at 11:21 am:
shut upp u annoying orange. i dont care if u like a bacon. this is serious and ur just pathedic
 
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The Annoying Orange said...
Oct. 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm:
I like BACON!!!! HAHAHA
 
Kaitou_Kid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 27, 2011 at 11:19 pm :
Well you're mature aren't you?
 
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absolute9 said...
Oct. 16, 2010 at 12:29 am:
my g/f talks about having a baby alot, it gets me all worked up because she is just 19, has no job, has not got her drivers license yet and it seems that having a baby is on the top of her to-do list... and me, im like i want the best for my kids, i can hardly feed myself, pay for my expenses... how the heck would a baby fit into my life? yeah... it wouldnt. explaining this to her never seems to stick because she will bring it up a few days later, then i explain all the reasons why it would... (more »)
 
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IamtheStargirlThis 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...
Sept. 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm:

Not stop, but teach and educate. I realized many years ago that a child changes your life forever, you never get the life before you had a child back. There's the eighteen years of it living with you, then the countless years of it visiting, asking for money, having kids of its own.

I've never thought it's bad for a teen to have kids early, it does make things a lot harder for them, and, somtimes, their family. Don't be judgemental.

 
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. said...
Sept. 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm:
I agree. I sympathize with teen mothers. It's not a GLAMOROUS thing. It all looks great and noble on TV, but it's painful, and odds are it will ruin your life.
 
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ThisBreRulezYouSonnn said...
Sept. 5, 2010 at 7:23 am:
I hate the shows about them--glamorizes them even more! I love this article!! This was a topic that NEEDS to be touched upon!
 
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inyouratmosphere said...
Aug. 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm:
I tottaly agree with this article! It doesn't help that reality television shows like Teen Mom make teen pregnancy look like fun! These girls got pregnant in High School and got to starr in a reality tv show on MTV.
 
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ForeverFaith said...
Aug. 14, 2010 at 10:26 pm:
not to mention it is DANGEROUS!! my friend got pregnant and she got very sick. she had severe preaclampsia and her pelvic bone wasnt fully grown so she had to have a c-section. when she was in the operating room she lost a lot of blood and  it took the doctors 4 hours to stabalize her. she now has a leaky heart valve and being a single mom hasnt been easy for her even with the support of her family
 
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unicorn said...
Aug. 14, 2010 at 9:23 pm:
this is halfway true, but who are you to judge someone? you dont know how ther got pregnant. for all you know, they could have been raped. Here, there is a VERY high teen pregnanacy rate. you will atleast see a few prennant people a day. even at the middle school, people get pregnent. however, one of my friends ive known for years got pregnant. but did i judge her? no. im not saying wat she did was smart, but im not gonna judge her. you need to be alittle less judgemental of people. just saying.
 
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 12:23 pm :

this article wasn't meant to judge anyone. In fact, it never really insulted teen moms. It just helped guide people to understand why getting pregnant is such a bad idea. 

 

 
thisbeautifulworld replied...
Dec. 11, 2011 at 6:54 am :
I agree. If anything this was a representation of opinion, everyone has the right to an opinion, definatly not judging
 
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palak said...
Jul. 23, 2010 at 11:07 am:
i totally agree with this article and i do think that media should stop glamourising sex ...nice job !! You deserve a hats off salutation!!
 
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nlagymnast said...
Jul. 1, 2010 at 9:09 pm:
Great article! the media really needs to stop glamorizing sex (and alcohol, for that matter).  This whole thing is really the fault of poor filtering on TV and the internet. Just look at the show Secret Life.  Also schools need a bigger and better abstinence push
 
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Xblue_raspberryX said...
Jul. 1, 2010 at 12:48 pm:
ya i heard this one skool isnt allowed to give the pledge of alegence because it says god in it, but this same skool actually GIVES OUT condoms. this is horrible how even skools are encouraging kids to have sex and that if you wear a condom your safe. it protects 98% of the time. so there is that 2% chance that the girl could get pregnant and the condom could break. im kinda iffy about the skools teaching about sex education in the fisrt place. all theyre doing is showing the kids how to  f... (more »)
 
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LuckyDucky said...
May 18, 2010 at 3:49 pm:
Thankfully, the number of teen pregnancies is very low.  I've only been there a year and have seen one legit pregnancy and three or four pregnancy scares.  I wish people would realize that waiting is the best (but hardest) thing to do.  If they do not wait then at least use birth control.  Teens today don't realizes the consequences of having a child at a young age.  I agree with you 100%. 
 
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FoxyRoxy said...
May 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm:
I think that you did a very nice job!!  Why couldn't you have posted this earlier?  I had teen pregnancy as a debate topic recently.
 
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kassidy.14 said...
May 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm:

I really agree with this article.

I don't believe sex education works in schools. If anything, it encourages sexual activity.

 
nlagymnast replied...
Jul. 1, 2010 at 9:03 pm :
You're so right! It's basically telling you, Here's how everything works, and you can do this, this, this, this, and this to avoid pregnancy and STDS.  Oh, but remember kids, abstinence is the only 100% way.   Ugh i'm in a health class right now and this bothers me. 
 
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