Teen On Birth Control

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Teen on Birth Control


When a fetus is conceived in a woman or female adolescent under the age of 20, it is considered a teenage or adolescent pregnancy (Young, 289).Early research on the consequences of teen childbearing suggested that adolescents who gave birth were less likely to graduate from high school, more likely to have low earnings as an adult, and less likely to marry than women who delayed childbearing (Darroch, 244). However, these studies did not fully account for the fact that young women who bore children early were more likely to be disadvantaged to begin with than those who did not. As a result, it was not clear whether poor outcomes in adulthood among teen mothers stemmed from prior disadvantages, or whether they were, at least in part, a result of the childbearing itself (Hotz, 683).

More recent research shows that when the disadvantaged backgrounds of adolescent mothers are more fully accounted for, the negative effects of early child-bearing are substantially smaller and in some cases erased. Thus, poor outcomes in adulthood appear to be more the result of the social and economic disadvantages of teen mothers than the result of the early childbearing. Put another way, the new research implies that delaying childbearing among these young women would not result in increased educational attainment or adult earnings or a higher likelihood of marrying. However, researchers have not yet fully investigated whether family income levels moderate the long-term impacts of teen births (Young, 296).

Problems in Teenage Pregnancy

Although normal human development includes puberty and increased sexual interest, a resulting teenage pregnancy has many developmental risks for both mother and child during pregnancy, at birth, and throughout life. First, adolescent pregnancy tends to postpone or stop a female adolescent's formal education. With little education, teenage mothers are likely to have little earning potential and economic security (Hotz, 689). Research from the United Kingdom also suggests that adolescent fathers lose as much as 15% of their educational achievement and earning potential. Additionally, fathers of children born to adolescent mothers rarely provide enough income to fully support their children, so many teenage mothers and their children live in poverty and use social welfare programs to survive (Darroch, 245).

A teenage pregnancy also limits a female adolescent's social and personal growth. Adolescent mothers tend to have more pregnancies and spend more of their young adulthood as single parents than women who postpone childbearing until adulthood. Considering that their sexual partners tend not to marry them and that many cultures prohibit childbearing outside of marriage, teenage mothers also experience a great deal of social stigma. In addition, teenage mothers have fewer chances of future marriage, and if they do marry their chances of being abused, abandoned, or divorced increase (Hotz, 684).

In view of the educational, economic, social, and personal challenges facing pregnant teenagers, some turn to abortion. In many countries, adolescents have difficulty finding and paying for safe abortions (Rosen, 62). Furthermore, teenagers often delay obtaining an abortion until later gestation, which can lead to life-threatening medical ...
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