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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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proud_expecting_teen said...
Apr. 7, 2009 at 11:16 pm:
First of all i understand fully that having babies at a young age is not pretty at all, but you have to understand that girls like me who are pregnant dont need critism we need helpful advice and somebody to lean on doing these hard times. I am 18 years old and when i have my baby i will be 19 years old. This was my first time having sex when i got pregnant and i wasnt thinking about being like celebrities when i fond out i was pregnant. I was thinking about what now do i have to do to support m... (more »)
 
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iLoveYouYesIDo said...
Mar. 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm:
I don't think it's sad seeing kids raising kids. It was their choice to do it in the first place. It is, in fact, sad seeing our world turn into such a place.
 
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Ashley S. said...
Mar. 16, 2009 at 2:07 am:
I couldn't agree more. I've seen several young "mothers" amd half of them can't take care of themselves.What right do these girls have bringing a child into this world if they can't take care of it.
 
BriarRose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 1, 2009 at 1:06 pm :
I totaly agree; if you can't take care of yourself, then why would you subject a child to that sort of life?
 
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i<3you said...
Mar. 2, 2009 at 6:32 pm:
I agree. It's sad seeing kids that have to raise kids.
 
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Meagan said...
Feb. 28, 2009 at 5:48 pm:
I don't think teens get pregnant for attention because it's mostly all negative. And, not only that, but it's not always their fault. What if they did use protection and it failed them? Are they held responsible for that as well?

I, a fifteen year old, am fully aware of how these women are treated. My mother had me while she was in highschool (and even discussed abortion) and I've heard many of her stories. Not only that but my father stuck around and they have been marr... (more »)
 
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livelaughlove said...
Feb. 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm:
i like how u backed up ur opinon wit actual facts however i think this article nedded a bit more editing
 
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Chuckney said...
Feb. 19, 2009 at 5:41 pm:
I agree with the message of your article. The tone does change quite substantially throughout, though: from more factual at the beginning to very informal by the end. Neither of these are wrong, it's just good to try and keep the style constant throughout.
 
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please check facts said...
Feb. 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm:
The facts in this article are highly suspect. His first statement doesn't make mathmatical sense. If there were 900,000 pregnancies anually, then that works out to about 103 pregnancies per hour, not 52. Here's the math: 365 days times 24 hours in a day is 8760 hours in a year. 900,000 births devided by 8760 hours gives you births per hour. 900,000 divided by 8760 equals 102.7 births per hour. Also, there is no specific school that has "Bring Your Child to School Day." No evidence ... (more »)
 
Outoforder2014 replied...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 3:26 pm :
There may not be a specific bring your child to school day but there is a daycare in ny cousins school and many schools in my area there are day cares and rooms for women to feed and take care of their children during lunch
 
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coolness said...
Feb. 13, 2009 at 5:44 pm:
I totaly agree i think someone needs to stop these children before they have there own
 
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EmoPoet234 said...
Feb. 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm:
I agree with you 100%. Being a teen mom isnt all its cracked up to be. Trust me i know. After having my son Owen i was never the same. i am 14 with a 3 year old son who poses to be my younger brother. I hate it when my friends ask if hes mine because its embarassing. So girls DONT GET PREGNATE TOO EARLY!!
 
LostDaliah replied...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 3:01 pm :
i dont understand how you could be embarrased by your own child. you had options other then keeping him. if your too selfish to claim him for what he is you should have thought about that before having sex at age 10. im 16 and have a 3 yearold. i never once denied my son. then again i knew i couldnt provide a life for him and put him up for adoption. i miss braxton everyday but i know he has a better life then what could be provided by me
 
xoLiebexo replied...
Apr. 4, 2010 at 3:35 pm :

I get that being a teen mom would be hard, which is why teens shouldn’t be having sex before marriage. But denying that he’s your son is wrong. Kids need love and saying he’s not your child doesn’t make it seem like you love him, even if you do.

And I agree with this article. My friend’s mom was a teen mom and though my friend was adopted and has never meet her mom it still has an impact on her. Now, If teens were getting married then got pregnant it would... (more »)

 
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DomoLuvsYou said...
Feb. 7, 2009 at 3:46 am:
i agree with you.I have a friend who thought she was pregnant and she made it seem like it wasnt a big deal.She doesnt understand how much money and time it takes to raise a kid.I know because my sister got pregnant at 17 and she is now 20 and on her 3rd pregancy.My mom also got pregnant as a teen and most of the women in my family got pregnant at a young age.Me personaly i want to get a chance to grow up before i start thinking about kids.Yea i have an older boyfriend, he's almost 18 but ne... (more »)
 
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Liamliayaum said...
Feb. 2, 2009 at 9:52 pm:
Chandler, I agree with your view on teen pregnancy. Whenever a celebrity gets pregnant, the media fawns over them, obsessing even and not paying attention to bigger issues. There have been countless times when I turn on the news and the newscast is about another celebrity couple being pregnant. Mind you, I tend to watch NBC and FOX, but still. The media is not the only one to blame here though. Someone had mentioned earlier that a lot of the blame should go on the parents of the pregnant teen, a... (more »)
 
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baller911 said...
Jan. 29, 2009 at 10:58 pm:
I do agree to the person that wrote this article.Many teenage women,or "girls" are just not caring whether they are expecting or not. I think this is becoming an unwanted habit,but i'll just say,it just happens.Do THINK ABOUT THE AFTERMATH.IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
 
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royalkalibar said...
Jan. 25, 2009 at 6:21 pm:
I don't see babies being glamorized at all to be honest. Even with celebrities. A lot of celebrities are into drugs, and I don't say "Cool I wanna do that!" Teens are having sex, and like someone said earlier they aren't protecting themselves leading to unintended pregnancies. Sure, some teens may actually want the child, but in my opinion the babies are just a consequence to an unprotected one night stand.
 
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cks_=)23 said...
Jan. 24, 2009 at 7:53 pm:
Teen pregnancy has become something that is ACCEPTED. I agree that it has become glamorized. There will always be things in this world we dont agree with but the real PROBLEM here is with the SELF ABSORBED PARENTS that could care less what theyre children do!!!!!
 
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zuri said...
Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:05 pm:
this is crazy.
just because the celebrities are having babies, teens wont want to have them too.
woman are many years older, and teenagers like myself understand that lifestyles for teens and adults are very differant.
after all, who would want to look older than they already are?
the real issue is that not many teens learn about childbirth education. instead of saying, "just say no," educators should say, "it's not a great thing to do, but if your goi... (more »)
 
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