Preventing Teenage Pregnancy

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Preventing Teenage Pregnancy

Preventing Teenage Pregnancy

Preventing Teenage Pregnancy


The most important reason to educate about teen pregnancy is to be able to devise methods on preventing it. Teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. are falling, but they are still much higher than most other industrialized countries. Teenage pregnancy carries high charges in periods of both the communal and financial health of mothers and their children. Teenage mothers are less likely to obtain prenatal care, and their young kids are more likely to be born before term, to have reduced birth weights, and to have developmental delays. Teenage mothers are furthermore less expected to complete their education than moms over twenty years of age.

The Problem


Approximately one million adolescent women become pregnant every year, and it is estimated that two out of every five (40%) 14-year-old American girls will become pregnant before they reach their 20th birthday (85% of which will be unintended). Approximately half of adolescent pregnancies end in birth, one-third in abortion, and the rest in miscarriages. Also, one- eighth of all adolescents 13 through 19 years of age and about one-fourth of sexually experienced adolescents become infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), including HIV (AIDS) each year (Calhoun et al 1998).


The costs of a teenage birth include less education for the mother, larger families, greater likelihood of a single-parent family, and fewer economic resources. Approximately 53% of Aid to Families with Dependent Children, a $22.2 billion government assistance program, goes to families that started with a teenage birth (Botting 1998).


An adolescent who is sexually active and does not use any contraception has a 90% chance of getting pregnant, and, if her partners are infected, she has a 90% of contracting a STD in one year. While contraceptive use has increased among teenagers and is almost as prevalent and as effective as that of unmarried 20-year-olds, it is not used frequently enough or in the most effective manner by either group (Babb 1994). This is because 1) a considerable number of young women are compelled or compelled to have sex, often by older males; 2) most types of productive birth control require advanced designing which adolescents do not do well; 3) contraceptive materials are not conveniently available to teenagers; and 4) some teenagers, particularly those from very-low-income and/or abusive families dwelling in depressed or brutal neighborhoods may not be sufficiently inspired to prevent pregnancy (Hofferth, 1991).

Types of Prevention Programs

The ...
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