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krose1223's avatar

What do you think about the teen pregnancy rate?

Asked by krose1223 (3254points) December 20th, 2008

The teen pregnancy rate is going up in most places. I’m no expert or anything but I don’t t think it really means anything… I don’t think it means more teens are having sex, I just think it means less teens are having abortions. I think it is becoming more acceptable to carry the baby than to get an abortion. Not too long ago being pregnant in high school was unheard of and abortion was the only way.

Do you think the rates mean anything besides more girls carrying the baby?
Do you think more sex ed would help?
Some studies are trying to prove the media is to blame, do you agree?

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14 Answers

krose1223's avatar

(I might add so this doesn’t become an issue, obviously I think protection needs to be pounded into the head of anyone who is sexually active, especially teens!! And I don’t think we need to give teen pregnancy the ok either, I think it is an issue that needs to be taken care of._

cookieman's avatar

I would agree that it is becoming more accepted in some circles to have a baby as a teenager. I also think less woman/teens are considering abortion as an option. I wish more would consider adoption.

Practical, age appropriate sexual education starting as young as Kindergarten should be in place everywhere. It is not due to a whole host of reasons including budgetary and pressure from religious and/or conservative groups.

That being said, parents need to be the first line when it comes to sex ed and many are not. My daughter is 6 and we’ve already started discussing sexuality with her.

krose1223's avatar

well said. I couldn’t agree more.

girlofscience's avatar

Birth control needs to be more encouraged…

Abortion shouldn’t be a form of birth control, but if birth control fails, abortion is necessary for teenagers. That’s too young to have a baby.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I think it means two things: 1) access to birth control is less, and 2) teens feel they have less engagement with a future, as in access to education after high school.

Mizuki's avatar

This always happens after 8 yrs of Republican rule. Those abstinence programs work great!

KatawaGrey's avatar

I think teen pregnancy rates are going up because it is becoming more acceptable to have children younger. Families do not disown their daughters so teenager maothers are getting more support.

@cprevite: perhaps more teenage mothers do not consider adoption because it is a hard thing to give up a baby, whether you are ready to take care of one or not. If I got pregnant, I do not think I could give up the baby even though I am not ready to be a mother nor do I want to have a child now. My mother and I have had this discussion and she even said that if I got pregnant and didn’t abort the fetus, she would discourage me from putting the baby up for adoption. After nine months of carrying this child around and then spending a day or more giving birth, how hard would it be to walk away from that child?

krose1223's avatar

@katawagrey- I think for some people it might be easy because they know it is what’s best for the child. I think adoption is a very selfless act. Of course it is going to be hard but in certain circumstances it is what is best for the child. I got pregnant when I was 17 and if I was any younger I would have given my son up for adoption no questions asked. I wouldn’t have been able to give him the life he deserves. I kept him because I felt I was motivated enough to give him everything he deserves. I know many people who are adopted, and one or two people who have given their child up for adoption, and it is such a good thing. After nine months of carrying a child I think a good parent would want to give her child the best, and sometimes that is another family.

cookieman's avatar

@KatawaGrey: Oh, I agree that giving your child up for adoption would be extremely difficult – doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do for the child.

Believing in a woman’s right to choose does not limit that choice to either abortion or birth. There is a third choice – adoption.

In my opinion, abortion is about the mother (or parents); birth and keeping the child is about the mother (parents) and the child; meanwhile, the choice of adoption is all about the child. As krose1223 said, it’s a “very selfless act”. Which is why it’s so rare in a society that is anything but.

Nimis's avatar

The propagation of image seems to be outracing the propagation of information.
Kids are molding themselves in the image of adults before having the knowledge and experience of one.
I’d imagine that could possibly factor in a bit.

galileogirl's avatar

You are watching too much Fox News again. The teen birth rate went from 21 per 1000 teen girls in 2005 to 22 per 1000 girls in 2006, statistically insignificant. In fact over the long term the news is very good, since it was 97 per 1000 in 1957.

So what is the cause in the DROP in teen pregnancy in the last 50 years. Education, equal opportunity in work and school, and access to birth control. (Are you listening Gov Palin, etal?) After a rise in the Republican era 1980–1992, there was a significant drop in the 90’s when minor mothers stopped getting direct welfare payments.

Can we bring it down even further? Sure. Make sure every teenager gets complete sex education and the consequences of teen pregnancy. Provide birth control on demand. And stop glorifying and romantisizing teen parenthood.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Sex Ed would help somewhat, but teens will not stop having sex. It’s a natural urge and hormones kick in around that age, so it’s gonna happen whether we want it to or not. I say we make contraceptives readily available to teens.

Zuma's avatar

Thank you galileogirl, its just a one-year uptick—and a tiny one at that.

Unfortunately, the right-wing media have jumped on it claiming that, despite a 34% decline in teen pregnancy over the past 15 years, it represents a “complete failure” of the sex-education and contraception approach to managing teen pregnancy. They are calling for a return to Abstinence Only programs, even though empirical studies have shown these to be resounding failures, insofar as they actually lower the age at first intercourse, increase sexual experimentation and pregnancy rates among teens who were exposed to them instead of conventional sex education and contraception programs.

The teen pregnancy rate has been on a steady decline since 1991, where it topped out at around 61.8 live births per 1,000 girls aged 15–19, to 40.5 in 2005—the lowest level in 65 years. This rose four-tenths of a point to 41.9 births per 1,000 in 2006. Most of this was accounted for by young teens, aged 15–17 who, as galileogirl notes, experienced an uptick from 21 to 22 live births per 1,000 teens.

Most of this uptick has occurred among Hispanic teens, who tend to be more heavily dependent on state funded family planning clinics than other ethnic groups. Also, whenever family planning clinics experience cutbacks, the first thing to go are walk-in clinic visits. This disproportionately affects young teens, who tend to have trouble making and keeping any kind of appointment. When pitted against schools and prisons, State Family Planning programs tend to get the short end of the stick in state budgets, even though it is one of the most cost effective programs going.

So, this relatively tiny increase in teen pregnancy could be explained entirely in terms of local family planning clinics responding to tighter budgets, and restricting teen’s access to contraceptive services.

Mizuki's avatar

galileogirl rocks!

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