Teenage Pregnancy

There is presently a large number of youthful women in the 13 to 19 age range, so as to while the birthrates are declining, the best number of teenagers is growing.

Teenage parenthood it’s not a new social phenomenon. Historically, women have tended to initiate childbearing all through their teens and early twenties. all through the past two decades the U. S. teenage birthrate has actually dropped (Polit and others, 1982). In the late 1950s, 90 out of 1000 women under 20 gave birth as compared with 52 out of 1000 in 1978. Several circumstances contribute to the current emphasis focused on teenage pregnancy and parenthood.There is presently a large number of youthful women in the 13 to 19 age range, so as to while the birthrates are declining, the best number of teenagers is growing.

These statistics don’t distinguish between intentional and unintended pregnancies, or pregnancies going on in or out of wedlock. From the 1978 figures, only one in 6 pregnancies concluded as births going after marriage, and 8 in 10 premarital teenage pregnancies were unplanned.The declining birthrate is not permanent for all teenagers: among those 14 or younger, the birthrate is growing.These trends are going on at a time when contraceptives are increasingly accesible to teenagers as a signifies of avoiding unwanted pregnancy.The evidence documenting the unfavorable consequences of unplanned teenage pregnancy and teenage parenthood, whether intended or not, has continued to mount.There is an unmistakable and dramatic trend away from teenagers giving their children up for adoption.

Teenage Pregnancy Rate

Of the 29 mlln. young people among the ages of 13 and 19, more or less 12 mlln. have had sexual intercourse. Of this group, in 1981, more than 1.1 mlln. became pregnant; three- quarters of these pregnancies were unplanned, and 434,000 finished in abortion (What Government Can Do, 1984). the amount of pregnancies increased among teenagers in all age groups all through the 1970s, but among those who were sexually active the pregnancy rate has been declining. as a result of increased and more consistent usage of contraceptives by teenagers, the rate of pregnancy among them has been going up more steadily than their rate of sexual task. even though the number of teenagers who are sexually active increased by two-thirds through the 1970s, through half of U.S. teenagers are sexually inactive (Teenage Pregnancy, 1981)

Teenage Birthrate

About 5 percent of U. S. teenagers give birth per annum. A recent study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute showed teen birthrates here to be twice as high as Canada, England, and Wales, 3 times as high as Sweden, and 7 times higher than the Netherlands.

Out of Wedlock Births

Although slowed due to the availability of legal abortion, the rise in the out-of-wedlock birthrate has continued among nearly all groups of teenagers. The rise has been steepest among 15- to 17-year-old whites. the amount of premaritally conceived births legitimated by marriage has been Adoption and Care by Others. nearly all unwed teenage mothers keep their children in the household with them. Ninety-six percent of unmarried teenage mothers 90 percent of white and virtually all of black mothers keep their children with them (although in numerous cases, grandparents or other relatives help watch out of the baby).

Repeated unintended Pregnancies

As may be expected, 78 percent of births to teenagers are first births. anyhow, 19 percent are second births, and 4 percent are third or higher order births. The sooner a teenager gives birth after initiation of intercourse, the more probable she is to have subsequent births while still in her teens.

Teenage Contraception

Reasons for Nonuse

Nearly two-thirds of unwed teenage women report that they never practice contraception or that they use a technique inconsistently. in keeping with the Guttmacher Institute (Teenage Pregnancy, 1981), only 9 percent of unmarried teenagers surveyed mentioned that they didn’t use a technique of contraception for the reason that they were trying to become pregnant or were earlier intentionally pregnant. Forty-one percent thought they couldn’t become pregnant, essentially because they believed, mostly mistakenly, that it was the improper time of the month.

Of those who had found out they could get pregnant, the major factor given for not using a technique was that they had not presumed to have intercourse. Of the 15 percent who didn’t practice contraception for the reason that they were pregnant, the overwhelming majority were pregnant accidentally. About 8 percent mentioned that they had wanted to use a technique but “couldn’t under the factors,” or that they didn’t know about contraception or where to get it.

Relationship to Pregnancy

The relationship between pregnancy and contraceptive use is dramatic: about 62 percent of sexually active teenagers who have never used a technique have experienced a premarital pregnancy, compared to 30 percent of those who have used a technique inconsistently, 14 percent of those who have continually used some technique (including withdrawal), and just 7 percent of those who have continually used a medically prescribed technique (the pill, IUD, or diaphragm).

The Health Belief Model

Current analysis has examined the Health Belief Model (Zellman, 1984), a value-expectancy approach to explaining and predicting health routines that goes beyond straight information giving. This approach may be used to intervene in contraceptive use among teenagers. for the reason that contraceptive action involucres a preventive health measure followed by accurate and permanent use, the model may have helpful applications to both the prevention and compliance aspects of contraceptive routine.

Sex Education

The subject of sex education stays a divisive one. On one side are those who argue that Americans should learn to accept adolescent sexuality and make orientation and birth control more simply available, as it is in parts of Europe. On the other side are those who contend that sex education is up to the parents, not the point out, and that teaching children about birth control is tantamount to condoning promiscuity, or violating family religious beliefs and values

Sex Education in The Schools

“Eight out of ten Americans believe that sex education should be taught in schools, and 7 out of ten believe that such courses should include information about contraception” (Teenage Pregnancy, 1981, p. 38). Only a handful of states need or even encourage sex education, and fewer still encourage teaching about birth control or abortion. Most states leave the question of sex education up to the local school boards. Only a minority, anyhow, provide such instruction.

Parents and Sex Education

Parents are a child’s earliest models of sexuality; they communicate with their children about sex and sexual values nonverbally. anyhow, most adolescents report that they have never been given any advice about sex by either parent, despite the fact a majority of teenagers like better their parents and counselors as sources of sex information.

Studies state that both parents and their children believe that they should be talking about sexuality, but that parents are extremely comfortless doing so (Sexuality Education, 1984). Organizations, this includes churches, schools, Planned Parenthood affiliates, and other agencies serving youthful people, offer programs created to help parents teach their children about sexuality. Most would agree that sex education should take off early, before a child’s sexuality becomes an issue.

Family preparing Services

Most teenagers and adults approve of making contraceptives accesible to teenagers, and most parents favor family preparing clinics providing birth control services to their children (Teenage Pregnancy, 1981). The clinics have had the expected result of improving the quality and consistency of contraceptive use among teenagers. They have in addition been credited with preventing an estimated 689,000 unplanned births, and possibly a higher number of abortions, among teenagers.

However, most teenagers are sexually active for numerous months before ever searching birth control help from a family preparing clinic or doctor (Teenage Pregnancy, 1981). just a few come to a clinic in advance of establishing sexual intercourse, and numerous come for the reason that they fear often correctly that they are pregnant. The major factor teenagers give for the delay is concern that their parents will understand about the visit. Nevertheless, more than half of teenage patients have advised their parents about their clinic visit, and only about one-quarter would not come if the clinic needed parental notification. But most of these would restart to be sexually active, using less effective techniques or no contraceptives and numerous thousands would get pregnant as a result.

Solving the Problem

Although we have most of the know-how and resources necessary to solve the trouble of teenage pregnancy, we have failed to do so. in spite of the growing public concern and the plethora of reports, there has been small action. The elements of a comprehensive national program have been put forward, with varying emphases, by a couple of groups. Elements of such programs include (Teenage Pregnancy, 1981):

Realistic sex education

An expanded network of preventive family preparing services.Pregnancy counseling services.Adequate prenatal, obstetric, and pediatric care for teenage mothers and their children.Educational employment and social services for adolescent parents.Coverage by national health insurance of all health services relevant to teenage pregnancy and childbearing.

No one program can probably solve the numerous problems that are connected with teenage pregnancy. The solution must come from numerous elements of society: parents, the churches, the schools, point out and local legislatures and government agencies. Most people agree about the importance of reproductive health services and analysis for teenagers, but there is not yet the willingness to pay the expenses for such programs on many communities of the nation.

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