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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Wheat_Wheat said...
Dec. 15, 2009 at 8:10 pm
First of all I would like to respect the point of view you are coming from. But what happened to those days when it was okay to be 16 and  pregnant . When this country was first founded it was 100% okay for a girl to be a teenager and having children. Now who are we to judge someone choice? If a young girl wants to have a child who are we to stand in her way? It's all personal decisions, and personaly i do not mind. I do think that this world is becoming over populated but not from tee... (more »)
Anne P. replied...
Apr. 4, 2010 at 11:42 am

I see your point. It is true that back then girls used to marry at a young age. However, the parents and relatives were involved. The couple would first be married. The parents would help their daughter in raising the baby and giving advice. Very rare was it that the father would leave his wife and child to live by themselves. And, not being surprising, girls back then were more responsible and mature, and better housekeepers. They were trained all their lives to take ca... (more »)
invisiblesoul said...
Dec. 15, 2009 at 8:01 pm
So, listen to your heart AND your head, and you'll realize that the only way to be absolutely sure that you won't get pregnant before you're ready, is to abstain from sex until marriage, which is exactly how God planned it to be.
Just_Another_Shadow said...
Nov. 23, 2009 at 9:27 pm
children know the dangers of teenage  pregnancy . plenty of people are a teenage baby or friends of one. my best friends brothers bestfriend(*and since were close its like hes my brothers best friend) was a teenage baby but it wouldnt have changed him any if she would have used a better  condom . most teenagers know well what the risks are, we dont need to be tought anything. everybody makes mistakes, so dont criticize the ones who have
LonWlofzHowl replied...
Jan. 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm
Have u wittnesed upcolse...... didnt think so. I have so dont judge what u havent LIVED
AnneOnnimous said...
Nov. 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm
a common thing for ppl to say here is that its hard. Well, yea, obviously, but the main thing is your future. It is twice as hard to get a proper job, a degree in university and a husband, with a baby. If you are already pregnant , then stay strong and i hope you do well and im sorry you made this bad choice. But don't have a baby, everyone else, til you're grown up. Sure, the baby is cute, but it will grow up to resent you because you had it early and because of it u couldnt get a good life
Wheat_Wheat replied...
Dec. 15, 2009 at 8:16 pm
First off I would like to say that where ever your getting your information it is most defintely incorrect. A baby does not grow up resenting his or her parents because they had them at a young age. It's the parent that resents the child. Second, teenagers that get  pregnant  wouldn't have to have horrible lifes and no futures if teens at schools didn't make them feel so horrible about them selves for getting  pregnant . If children in schools actually cared about theyr class... (more »)
LonWlofzHowl replied...
Jan. 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm
it is soooo nt the other kids. These girls walk around with prodrudening bellies that just seem out of place. But they should make provisons for the future if they find that they're pregnant . But that doesnt mean they should go around jus doing whatever they could catch something
AnneOnnimous replied...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm
can you even imagine how hard it is to have a future if you have a baby?? of course they have a hard time and deserve our sympathy a bit- but it was their decision and if we support them completely the rates of pregnant teens will only go up. And it isn't the classmates of these teens who are making them drop out- it is the sheer amount of work it requires to care for a baby and do a good job at school.
Samii_Rawr16 said...
Sept. 18, 2009 at 7:59 am
This is very sad to hear about these teenagers getting pregnant at such a young and early age. Even if they feel they have no goal in life then why not try and find another goal to succed in!! This is ridiculous that i hear about all these **** pregnancys within a couple days. Its their responsibility to stay abstinant until an appropriate age. I feel that we shouldnt be allowed to have sex until atleast 17 or 18! When haveing sex the first time it may ruin your life.. Trust me I KNOW!!!
S... (more »)
Chrissy_L said...
Aug. 25, 2009 at 7:15 pm
I'll admit it is sad when teenage girls are forced to grow up so quickly and lose much of their future to immediate child rearing, but no one here seems to be considering the actual children. Early or not, it is still a life that is being made, a life with feelings and thoughts and emotions. My best friend in the world was born when her mother was 17. Would it be "better" if her mom had used protection? Whom would I have to play and laugh with? I'm not saying teens should get pregnant, but... (more »)
Sara.M.G.D said...
Aug. 25, 2009 at 1:04 am
May i remind you all that a condom is not 100 % correct and may add that if you all find your selfs judging a young girl for a mistake that she has made think about your self's first we all make mistakes some we cant fix's.
earthgil said...
Jul. 21, 2009 at 12:23 am
I feel that it is unfortunate that young girls have to go through this kind of thing. That they have to take responsibility so early. But i also thank them. They have showed me what can happen, and how to be careful.
wellreadwriter said...
Jun. 24, 2009 at 2:41 am
People in general carry the misconception that teenage pregnancy is and has been on the rise but they should check their facts.

Teen pregnancy has dropped by 42% since its height in 1991 when there were 61.8 births per 1,000. This is due largely to an increased use in contraceptives among sexually active teens and a decrease in sexual activity among teens as a whole.

Teen abortion was at its height in 1988.It has dropped by more than 50% since then

You ca... (more »)
birdie said...
May 28, 2009 at 1:03 am
i agree ,there was a girl at my skool who had a baby at fourteen,people really should think before doing things
samantha R. said...
Apr. 28, 2009 at 1:50 am
I agree teen pregnacy is wrong I am 13 and have a two month old daughter. I had sex because my boyfriend forced my so be careful.
d3nyM3nOt said...
Apr. 23, 2009 at 3:30 pm
i am 15 with a one year old and i love my son. my boyfriend and i are still together and raising him as one. i was worried at first about school and money but he really stepped up and took care of everything. asof today i still makes a in school and frequently go out with friends. my boyfriend is 17 so maybe that why hewas able to step up so easily. but just because my situation is better that some does not mean run off and have a baby because it is hard some days. i just wrote this to be an ins... (more »)
taytay21 said...
Apr. 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm
I totally agree with this story. My friend is 15
mikky replied...
Sept. 18, 2009 at 11:43 am
i also agree that it doesnt have to be the end of ur whole life but the end of ur childhood
emolover95 said...
Apr. 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm
I agree. The media is glamorizing teenage pregnancies. We are just too young to be having children when we are barely growing up. It seems a little unfair to blame a lot of it on society. Cause even if the media wasn't around this stuff would still be happening. I think this is great though. Keep up the great work!
Melissarae9590 said...
Apr. 15, 2009 at 5:50 pm
I totally agree with what you are saying. One of my best friends had a baby at the age of about 17... and even though she loves her baby; she struggles. Once a teen has a baby, their entire life changes. No longer can they go out and party or just randomly hang out with their friends. They now have the responsibity of another human life. I think teenagers should be more protected when having sex and be fully aware of the consiquences. Not everyone considers EVERYTHING that could happen and how ... (more »)
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