Teenage pregnancy can be defined as pregnancy that occurs in young girls below the age of twenty, regardless of whether they are married or of adult age (Christensen and Rosen 1). Teenage pregnancy has been increasing at an alarming rate especially in the United States, Africa, and United Kingdom. It has become a of global concern because it not only affects the teenager and her family, but the society in general. An Increase in teenage pregnancy will in the end, lead to increased child poverty as well as degradation of the child’s well-being.
Causes of teenage pregnancy
One of the major causes of teen pregnancy is absence of affectionate supervision from parents or guardians. In the current society, parents are either too busy or too permissive. Apart from the provision of basic needs, parents and guardians are not involved in emotional stability of the girl child.
Teenagers, especially girls go through intriguing situations and changes in which they need parental support to understand and accept the changes. In case they lack this affectionate supervision from their parents, they seek answers from boyfriends who “seem” to be giving the affection and attention that ends up with a pregnancy.
Another major cause of teenage pregnancy is peer pressure. As children grow to teenage hood, there is increased pressure to fit into certain peer groups. The peers may then push the girl into having sex in order to fit well in their group. In addition to this, the modern society allows the teenagers to have a lot of time and space with the opposite sex on their own, which results to instances of pregnancy at teenage hood.
Other factors key to this concept is sexual abuse as well as the use of drugs and alcohol. Teenagers are exposed to alcohol and drugs making them lose control over their sexuality when drunk thus leading to pregnancies. Sexual abuse on the other hand occurs when the girls go for sex for pleasure without understanding the sexual impact. It is also evident when an adult sexually victimizes a teenage girl or a minor (Health Care Veda Ezine 1).
Lack of sex education in schools to teenage girls has also contributed to increased teen pregnancy. This is because it leads to the indulgent in sexual activities without understanding the possible effects. It is therefore important to let girls understand issues surrounding sex and their sexuality as well as the possible impacts.
This is the duty of teachers, religious, parents, and the entire society to impart the knowledge (Christensen and Rosen 1). On the other hand, the media has contributed to teenage pregnancy by advertising and showing programs, talk shows, as well as playing songs that advocate for sex. This makes teenagers practice what they see on the media thus ending up with pregnancies.
In most cases, teenagers do not have the knowledge of using and accessing contraceptives, something that contributes to teenage pregnancies. Other factors such as socio-economic and environmental issues are instrumental in causing teenage pregnancies.
Effects of teenage pregnancy
The effects of teenage pregnancies are many and unpleasent. Besides getting pregnant, the teenage girls and their children are at risk of being infected with STDs including HIV/AIDS. Additionally, there are health implications associated with early sex and pregnancies such as obstetric fistula, infant death, maternal death, eclampsia, and cervical cancer. In addition, other complications come about due to the undeveloped pelvis of the teenage girl (Health Care Veda Ezine 1).
Teenage pregnancy also brings about physical and psychological trauma to the girl since she is faced with many dilemmas exposed to her by the family and the society. It also makes the parents feel ashamed because of their alleged negligence as viewed by the public or society (Christensen and Rosen 1). Lastly, teenage pregnancy has largely contributed to child poverty, since the girls are forced to drop out of school to take care of their babies.
It can thus be concluded that teenage pregnancy is a problem to the entire society. Moreover, since it largely caused by factors in the society, it is the obligation of every member of the society including religious leaders, parents, teachers, and the teenagers themselves to participate in addressing the issue.
Christensen, Sue, and Rosen, Ann. Teenage Pregnancy. 1996- September 25, 2011.
Health Care Veda Ezine. What are the causes of teenage pregnancy? 2009- September 25, 2011.