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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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IMA LOSER said...
Jan. 21, 2009 at 7:42 pm
now, chandler i agree with you one hundrea thousand percent i think that teen prefnsncy i9s out of control
 
Nick_Jonas_Luvr said...
Jan. 21, 2009 at 7:24 pm
Good Article! I totally agree with you! Teen pregnancy is being glamourized by the media,and it needs to stop! Also your facts at the beggining of the article really drew me in. Great JOb
 
Cheer_chick217 said...
Jan. 21, 2009 at 7:19 pm
To say that teen pregnancy is caused by seeing celebrities with "bumps" as the tabloid recalls is completely irrelevant and improbable because most teen pregnancies are ashamed of there child and only do it for the sex not the aftermath. That is why abortion and adoption are at such high rates right now. Teens don't do it for attention it's an accident do to not being safe
 
boom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! said...
Jan. 21, 2009 at 7:17 pm
agree with BAMMM!!!!!!!!!!!
totaly true :)
 
Barack Rocks said...
Jan. 21, 2009 at 6:42 pm
I agree, I wrote an editorial on a similar subject. High-school day care centers. High School Day-Care Centers? High schools across the nation are providing a day care center for pregnant teens. This is an outrage; it is portraying the image that if you ignore society, yourself, school, your parents, the media, and God, and go out and get pregnant then the school will take care of you. I believe that most teens are starved of the truth about sex. In Gloucester Massachusetts, a group of teen... (more »)
 
shelli_star said...
Jan. 21, 2009 at 5:42 pm
i agree one hundred percent with your opinions. i think it is true what you said about wanting attention, because its true...most teen girls want attention. And some will go to the extremes to get it. Seeing celeberties pregnant all the time and getting so much attention for it definatlly doesnt help. And televison shows like "Secret Life of the American Teenager," do somewhat show the reality of being pregnant as a teen but it still finds a way to make it seem good...even if not atten... (more »)
 
lainielu13 said...
Jan. 16, 2009 at 5:18 pm
I think teen pregnancy is wrong because children are to young for this and i think that they should talk to people before they try to get pregnant. Most teens try to keep it a secret. I think they should talk to someone in a family care center when they get pregnant.
 
lala1579 said...
Jan. 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm
i agree wit the artical i beleive that teen pregnacy is an outrage it seems that cases is that they want to get pregnant so that their parents would be albe to acepther boyfreing or just for bein stupid
 
snoopy_lover said...
Jan. 15, 2009 at 5:10 pm
ok i agree that its wrong to get pregnant at such a young age but not everyone parents care about what they do. i mean if youre background isnt that great then youre future wont be so great either
 
BellaMae replied...
Nov. 3, 2009 at 9:15 am
Thats not true. Its a sterio type. Kids should see what there parents did wrong, and change it. Thats what Im doind.
 
mrs.sweney todd said...
Jan. 14, 2009 at 11:17 pm
i love the artical and agree w/ almost all of it, i think more teens should think brfor they act and not just do things for glory. I hope that when they do these things they understand the severity of there descisions.
 
Sahar_SaiD said...
Jan. 6, 2009 at 7:10 pm
First of all... everyone is raised different. Some can handle being moms young just like the old days and others cant. People make mistakes...its only human and some people do it because they want to. Who are you to judge what is GLAMORIZED OR NOT. The real issue is the media glamorizing that everyone has to be skinny or blonde to be beautiful. Thats why teens are having sex young and getting pregnant. To feel accepted by a man that was never in your life because your dad wasn't in your life. Di... (more »)
 
BellaMae replied...
Nov. 3, 2009 at 9:14 am
I agree with you partly. No teen can say fully that they are care 100% for this child. There is heath care, you need a job, where you going to life, then next 18 years of you life are devoted to your child. So no teen can say all that and most wouldnt. They want to go out and have sex to feel wanted. but they dont take to seconds to think, what if?
 
Mango_Madness said...
Jan. 6, 2009 at 3:45 am
In my Health Class, students were put into groups to decide upon a topic and create a commercial about it 30 sec. long. My group decided upon it's topic before I came to that school. They were advertizing protection products, stating "Unprotected sex can lead to STD's and accidental pregnancy. Protect yourself. Because it's more than just a plus sign." While I think this is a great message, I find one problem with it: it says UNPROTECTED sex... does this mean it's ok to do it, as long ... (more »)
 
lunafunmonkey said...
Jan. 3, 2009 at 7:15 pm
I agree with you. Last year, there were two girls in my history class who were pregnate. I assume that the father was not the same, but it was sad. They were both very nice girls, and now they have to grow up super fast to take care of their babies.
 
CABhahahaHPhahaTL said...
Jan. 3, 2009 at 7:22 am
I toally agree with you on the attention craving theory, I was with a group of friend talking about some cute kid in a movie when a friend of a friend suddenly said "But my baby is the cutest thing in the world..." at first we thought she was talking about her car and then it dawned on us, she babbled for days and it was none stoop and she would get gloomy when we did not ask her tons of questions or fawn over her bravery. It is an epidemic and it should stop i mean what happened to re... (more »)
 
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