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 Poor Teens More Likely to Get Pregnant

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futureshock

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PostSubject: Poor Teens More Likely to Get Pregnant   Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:21 am

Adolescence is an in-between time when you begin to leave childhood behind and enter adulthood. This is an important time in your life. It allows you to get to know yourself and to come to a better understanding of your place in the world.

In some countries, the end of adolescence is signified by a special ceremony or ritual in which a teenager participates in order to formally begin entry into adulthood. In the United States, growing up can be a slow process that takes many years. Some young adults don’t leave their parents’ house or gain full financial independence until their mid-to late twenties nowadays. For some young girls, however, adolescence abruptly ends when they get pregnant. Girls who become mothers find themselves taking on the added responsibilities of motherhood while they are still only teenagers themselves.

It’s important to note that teen parenthood involves both young men and women. Because the mother is most often the primary caregiver, however, she is often affected even more. It is her time, energy, health, and finances that are most powerfully affected by pregnancy.
Teen Pregnancy by the Numbers

The United States leads other industrialized countries in teen pregnancy rates. Nearly 850,000 American females under the age of nineteen—28 percent African Americans, 43 percent Caucasians, and 29 percent Latinas— became pregnant in 2000.

A baby is a huge responsibility, requiring constant care and attention. Also, the costs involved are high. Only 22 percent of teen pregnancies are actually planned, meaning that 78 percent are accidental. Nearly half of teenage girls who get pregnant unexpectedly will end up having abortions, and most will remain unmarried.

Unmarried teen parents are at a disadvantage, so it’s important that they educate themselves about the specific challenges and resources available to them to help face those challenges. It has been shown that children of teenage mothers are at a great disadvantage when compared to children whose mothers are even just a few years older. Children of teens often have difficulties in school; they are 50 percent more likely to repeat a grade and twice as likely to drop out of high school. More often than not, teenage mothers suffer from poorer health than their non-childbearing counterparts. In addition, they are more likely to end up in jail. A child born to an unmarried teenage high school dropout is ten times more likely to live in poverty by the time he or she reaches school age. About 17 percent of all teenage mothers have another child within three years of their first.

Does being a teenage parent automatically mean that you will be poor? No, but reports indicate that the median income of noncustodial fathers (fathers who do not live with their child but must pay child support) is below the poverty line. Teenage mothers who drop out of school have only a 1 percent chance of getting a job. This means that they will have to struggle with the difficulties that arise from living on welfare. Teenage fathers seldom earn as much money as men who become fathers in their twenties.
Sexual Activity Among Teens

The Guttmacher Institute—a nonprofit organization focused on sexual and reproductive health research, policy analysis, and public education—has reported that 52 percent of girls and 59 percent of boys under the age of eighteen are sexually active. Many sexually active teens use some form of birth control in order to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). However, teenagers from low-income families are twice as likely as teens from higher-income families to have an unplanned pregnancy while using condoms or birth control pills. In other words, while poorer teens might use birth control almost as frequently as wealthier teens, they may make more mistakes and use it incorrectly.
The Influence of Family Income on Pregnancy Choices

The overwhelming majority of teenage births are a result of unintended pregnancies, meaning the teen mother did not really mean to get pregnant. Studies show that a young woman’s household income has a big impact on what she decides to do after she becomes pregnant. The majority of girls who have abortions come from households that are relatively wealthy. The poorer a pregnant young woman is, the less likely she is to have an abortion. Abortion is a very personal decision, and many people feel it is morally wrong or violates their personal and religious beliefs. It is also a relatively expensive procedure, and many teens can’t afford an abortion even if they do not have personal objections to it.

Many poor people depend on the publicly funded Medicaid program to provide for their health care, and Medicaid does not provide funds for abortion. It is easy to see why abortion is not a realistic choice for a lot of young women. Even clinics where abortions cost less than at private hospitals charge a few hundred dollars for the procedure.

Research shows that girls whose parents have had some form of higher education put off having children longer than other girls. Girls who are positive about their future and feel they have opportunities are more likely to choose abortion than those who feel that their future is bleak. The highest concentration of teenage pregnancies occurs among teenagers who come from poor or low-income homes.

Planning and Choosing to Become Teen Parents

What about girls who choose and plan to become pregnant while they are teenagers? Though the majority of childbirths among teens are unplanned, a number are the result of a deliberate choice by the teen to become pregnant. About 22 percent of teens who give birth become pregnant on purpose.

In some cases, older teenagers who have decided to get married may also decide to start a family early. If the marriage works, it can be the start of potentially long, stable family life. But these cases are rare. Most teen mothers do not marry or live with the baby’s father. And few teenage girls have the financial resources to raise a family on their own. In fact, the fastest-rising pregnant population is young teenage girls who have very limited financial resources.
Reasons Teens May Want a Baby

What are some reasons that might lead a young woman to intentionally become pregnant when she still has so much growing up to do herself? There are many answers to this question. Some girls talk about wanting something to call their own. Maybe they don’t get the kind of love or attention they need at home, and they think that having babies of their own might make up for this. Having a baby is a huge responsibility, however. Having a baby changes your life forever. A baby should never be thought of as simply someone who will love you. You have to be able to give endless amounts of love and to sacrifice a great deal for your child. You have to give a child far more love, attention, time, and energy that it can ever give you back, especially in the early years.

Perhaps a girl is in a hurry to grow up and thinks a baby is a sign of adulthood. Some girls may see their friends having babies and get pregnant themselves just to get the same kind of attention and not be left out. Having a baby definitely does not make life easier, more sophisticated, or more adult. In fact, it will make you more tired, more stressed, more impatient, and more financially strapped. Teen mothers also often experience depression and anxiety once they realize the magnitude of the responsibility that they’ve taken on. If you have trouble with adult responsibilities now, a child won’t suddenly make you feel more grown up overnight. And few things are more damaging to a child than being raised by a parent who isn’t really ready.

Peer pressure to be part of a popular crowd is something all teens deal with from time to time. Sometimes doing something just to be popular or like everyone else can have serious consequences that will affect the rest of your life. You probably have a pair of shoes or jeans that were once “cool” and now sit at the back of your closet. A baby is a person and can’t be put away or traded for something or someone else once it’s not cool anymore, but often teens don’t realize this until it’s too late.
Unwed Teen Mothers

During the early 1960s, 33 percent of teenagers who gave birth to their first child were unmarried. By 1980, the number of teen births outside of marriage had increased to 48 percent. In the late 1990s, the figure rose even further. An astounding 75 percent of teenage mothers were not married.

Why are so many unmarried girls suddenly having babies? Some say that it is because of a change in ideas about family. With so many children being raised by single or divorced parents, teens may find it more acceptable to become single parents themselves. Another reason might be that the large numbers of young immigrants in North America are from countries where having babies at a young age is relatively common.

Advertising, music, television, movies, and other forms of popular media may also influence teens to have premarital sex. Sexually explicit song lyrics and images in music videos send the message that sex is fun and exciting and without any negative consequences. Television shows and movies often show people having casual sex, usually without mentioning or using birth control. The consequences of unsafe sex are rarely shown.

Another reason for continued high rates of teen pregnancies could be a lack of information in schools about both abstinence and effective birth control methods and their correct use. Two studies published in 2005 indicate that laws limiting teenagers’ access to birth control and information about contraception fail to reduce sexual activity and actually increase the risk of unplanned pregnancy and STDs. The first study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that one in five teenagers would have unsafe sex if their parents had to be notified when they got birth control at a family planning clinic. The second study, published in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, discovered that the more teens know about birth control and the more positive their attitudes are about it, the more likely they are to use it and the less likely they are to become pregnant.
The Man’s Role in Birth Control and Parenting

And what about guys? What is their role in sex and parenting? It takes two people to create a pregnancy—and to prevent one. Negotiating issues of birth control with boyfriends is not always easy. Some young men are aware of the importance of using condoms, especially to protect themselves and their partners from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). But some young men try to argue with their girlfriends about using condoms or other forms of birth control or say something like, “If you really loved and trusted me, you wouldn’t make me wear one of those things.” Such an attitude not only increases the danger of pregnancy, but it also puts both partners—and their

http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:QcVjLRlVWGUJ:
www.teenhealthandwellness.com/article/378+young+teens+pregnant+on+purpose&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=28&gl=us&client=firefox-a

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Erulissë



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PostSubject: Re: Poor Teens More Likely to Get Pregnant   Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:29 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this saying more that poor teens are less likely to get abortions rather than poor teens are more likely to become pregnant?

there's probably alot of connections there between education, poverty, etc. Complicated situation.

Glad as fuck I am not a teen.
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PostSubject: Re: Poor Teens More Likely to Get Pregnant   Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:24 pm

Erulissë wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this saying more that poor teens are less likely to get abortions rather than poor teens are more likely to become pregnant?
Now that you ask, I see your point. I don't think it actually answers that directly. It says this:

Quote :
The highest concentration of teenage pregnancies occurs among teenagers who come from poor or low-income homes.

So, I don't know. I see what you mean about the title. Maybe I'll change it anyway.
Quote :

there's probably alot of connections there between education, poverty, etc. Complicated situation.

Glad as fuck I am not a teen.
lol!

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