Teen Pregnancy: 100% Preventable

by Ashley B on December 6, 2012 - 12:25am

     34% of teenage women will get pregnant each year under the age of twenty. Of that 34%, 80% of the pregnancies are unplanned (teenhelp.com).  Teen pregnancy is a growing problem in society because teenagers are having children when they aren’t fully grown themselves. Taking a financial and emotional burden on at a young age causes a continuous struggle that even adults, at an older more prepared stage in their life, have to try to balance to ensure happiness for themselves and their child.

     Throughout my 19 years of life, I have always been through Brockport’s education system. When I was in high school, I saw an increase of women getting pregnant at a younger age and had to eventually take a leave of absence from school to take care of their newborn. There needs to be more emphasis on pregnancy prevention within the community and education system to solidify the hard facts to teenagers who question whether using contraception during sexual acts. One class that has one unit that talks about pregnancy isn’t enough to convince teenagers that their acts can hold serious consequences for the rest of their life. Teenagers need emphasis on the financial instability, emotional problems that can arise from the family or significant other if they leave the pregnant mother, and how the teenager is going to lose the freedom they possess currently at their age.

     Research has shown that when educating students about sex prevention, strictly talking about abstinence and not including information about contraceptives or STDS makes prevention less effective than including all three at the same time (Kirby, 2007). The method of this research was directed towards students between the age of 12 and 18. The focus was not on students that were pregnant or were parenting. The education programs were found in schools, in health, and STD clinics, and in community organizations working with the youth (Kirby, 2007). Results yielding that any sort of prevention talk, whether it be about STDs or contraceptives, showed a 61% positive affect on teens having a better understanding of their sexual actions. This research shows that with proper education, using multiple tactics, American can see a lower pregnancy rate in the future (Kirby, 2007).

     The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is a group that makes their purpose known right in their title. “National Day” is a program that runs through the month of May that has facts upon teenage pregnancy, the consequences from sexual behaviors, and interactive quizzes that have results, which seem to have affected teenagers in a positive way upon thinking about their behaviors.www.stayteen.org not only gives hard facts about teen pregnancy, but insight on how being a teen parent has “life-long challenges.” Media and memorabilia support The National Campaign in their quest to continually see pregnancy rates drop and their efforts are working. 63% of the people that took the online quiz said that it made teen pregnancy consequences seem more real and since 1980, the rate of teen pregnancy has dropped. 

     The National Campaign said to have 700,000 teens that have been participating, but personally I did not know that May was teen pregnancy prevention month. High schools and other educational places should make the program aware to teens to get the word out there about the program and continue prevention. The National Campaign has the right idea to take prevention to the Internet because teens obviously are an avid user of the Internet. I think that if Facebook or Twitter, being a social network, should promote this issue because teens might pay better attention to the issue if they can’t avoid the topic. Like stated above, to get this action started in Brockport or in a different part of the community then awareness needs to be raised. Facebook or Twitter would be a good jumping off point because social media is a big part of the world currently. Local schools and other facilities could make it known that May is national teen pregnancy prevention month too. 

     The next plan of action is to raise awareness. Parents, teachers, people in the community, social networks should promote contraceptive use. Teenagers need to know the continuous struggle they are about to endure from the huge life change they made. Parents need to be more open with their children and education systems need more emphasis on teen pregnancy in comparison to the one unit in health class. Having the “sex-talk” become more open and less awkward could lead to a positive change in teenager’s lives and it all starts with awareness.           

 

References

1. Chappuis, Marcel C. 2012. Teen Pregnancy Statistics. Retrieved September 8, 2012

     from http://www.teenhelp.com/teen-pregnancy/teen-pregnancy-statistics.html

 2. Kirby, Douglas. 2007.  “Abstinence, Sex, and STD/HIV Education Programs for

     Teens: Their Impact on Sexual Behavior, Pregnancy, and Sexually Transmitted Disease.” Annual Review of Sex

    Research 35(18): 143-177.                                                                             

3. The National Campaign. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned

     Pregnancies, 2012. Web. 06 Dec. 2012. <http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/national/default.aspx>.

 4. Weiss, Josie A. "Preventing Teen Pregnancy By Avoiding Risk Exposure." American

     Journal Of Health Studies 25.4 (2010): 202-210. Academic Search Complete. Web. 23 Sept. 2012.