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Teen Pregnancy... Good or Bad?
According to the Washington Post the pregnancy rate among teens has increased
dramatically in the past five years. What is the cause of this? Well, that is a question many are pondering about. Several
experts have blamed this drastic increase on sex-education programs, while others blame
an increase in poverty. Despite the cause, it is evident that drastic action, without a doubt,
needs to be taken to get this teen pregnancy under control.
Through sex education programs in schools throughout the United States, teens no
longer believe in abstinence. Some truly believe if sexual intercourse is performed, as
long as protection and precautions are used, such as condoms and birth control, nothing
"bad will happen" such as a baby. Is this what teens are really learning in sex education?
Teens of this generation are not properly educated about the risks of teen pregnancy.
Imagine how difficult it must be for a 16-19 year old, without a high school diploma, to
land a job that pays well enough to support their self plus the infant.
The cost of raising a child, according to the New York Post, is estimated at roughly $20,000 annually! One must take into consideration that a child doesn't stop at age 17. Now what 16-19 year old can afford an annual cost of around $20,000 without even graduating from high school? Most college tuition rates for an academic year are near the same amount.
According to The Odyssey Years, a national campaign for preventing teen
pregnancy, the majority of young teen mothers say they had sex because they thought
they would be with the guy forever. A lesson was learned when the father walks out and
wants nothing to do with the child. The campaign also states that many of the teens who
become pregnant at a young age, were born to teen parents as well. Most teens agree that
if their parents found out they were sexually active the world would end. Most parents
know how difficult raising a child can be, right? To an extent this statement is true
however, not all couples receive help from rich mommies and daddies. Some are thrown
out, forced to fend for themselves in this dog-eat-dog world of ours. Not to mention the
harmful effects on the child's health being born to a mother who isn't yet fully developed
physically. Mental disorders, physical handicaps, and premature birth are all serious
effects that can be caused by a 17 year old giving birth. So why risk it?
Now for the quite notorious MTV. Nearly half of the teenage population in the United States admits to watching MTV at least an hour a week. Why is this a big deal? Well, shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant are obviously shows about pregnant teens. If one were to
watch this show, they would see why these shows are not reliable. These shows are
documentaries based about teen mothers and their "hardships." Partying while their
parents watch the kid they made, hanging out with friends, basically acting as if they do
not have a kid… Yeah, that sure is hardship all right. Shows like these should not even be aired if they are basically encouraging teens to get pregnant with the opinion that it seems "fun."
According to many magazines, such as People, Seventeen, and Cosmo Girl are
encouraging a trend that seems to be increasing at an alarming rate. This escalating trend
is the baby bump… Apparently, this trend is growing even faster than the mini dog in
Chanel Bags permanently attached to the hips of teen girls everywhere.
Perhaps there might be some good that comes out of a high school student having
a child. Many colleges offer grants and tuition discounts for single parents. However, that
would require them to graduate, which most of them don't do. Obviously, that option is
out of the question. There aren't many choices left other than simply waiting until one is
What can be done to done to reverse this trend? What can teens do in order to prevent their selves from growing up way too quickly? Well, first sex education
programs, other than just an average high school health class, need to be required for high
schools. Maybe have speakers or just general information about the risks given to
students once a month, or possibly, outlaw abortion so that isn't a back up option for
student, or even ban those awful encouraging TV shows so that teens will stop thinking
pregnancy is "cool." This teen pregnancy problem needs to be taken care of before it spirals out of control.