Teen Pregnancy in the United States



It further highlights the rate of teenage pregnancy in the United States to bring forth the high rate over the years. Next, the analysis talks about the various reasons that contribute to the high rate of adolescent pregnancy, which include early menarche and lack of good education or career. The most important segment of the article comes next where the various social repercussions of teenage pregnancy is discussed. The focus of the article then moves on to the steps that could be taken in order to ensure that this issue is dealt with in the most effective manner. It is seen that a multi-dimensional approach is necessary to find out the best solution to the problems related to teenage pregnancy in the United States. Not only there is need for a more comprehensive educational plan, there is also the need to introduce programs that support the further education and the career of the adolescent mother. In addition, support is also necessary for the mother to understand how to raise the child. The article concludes by discussing the need for a combination of the programs so that there is a comprehensive method to prevent both teenage pregnancy and to support adolescent mothers. MAIN ESSAY Adolescent pregnancy has become a social issue that attracts a very high level of attention because the United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy among the industrialized countries. The rate of teen pregnancy in the US is almost double of that of Great Britain and over 10 times that of Japan (unc.edu, 2005). Therefore, it is no longer an issue that concerns just the teenager and the family, but it has become a social issue that has larger implications and repercussions that has local and national impact. The peak period for teenage pregnancies was during the early 1990s when the teenage birthrate was over 60 births per 1000 women. Over a period, this rate has come down slowly. During 2006, this number reduced to 41.9 births per 1000 women (guttmacher.org, 2006). Researchers feel that there are two main reasons for this high rate of teenage pregnancy. One is that the age of menarche is now much lower than what it has been before. This results in increase in sexual activity without the awareness of its consequences at a much earlier age, resulting in teenage pregnancy (Kaplowitz, 2006). The second reason is schooling and education. Very often, it has been noticed that those teenagers who do not have a robust schooling and those who feel that their career and educational prospects are bleak become pregnant during teenage. Other factors such as poverty, lack of strong family bonds and sexual abuse are also some of the reasons of high adolescent pregnancy. It has been widely recognized that teenage pregnancy has many social consequences. Most of the teenage mothers are unemployed and hence, the government has to shell out a huge chunk of the tax payers’ money for this. In addition, the children born to teenage mothers also do not receive a healthy family environment or good education, thus. contributing to a vicious cycle (whqlibdoc.who, 2004). In addition, teenage is also not a suitable age for childbirth and often results in serious health consequences and even maternity deaths. In order to face this problem effectively, steps should be taken at many different levels. First and foremost, a good educational program should be initiated that creates awareness about sex education so that the instances of teenage pregnancy reduce. The next course of action that needs to be taken is to develop vocational education planning and career counseling to young teenage mothers so that they continue their education and have a good career (encyclopedia.com, 2009). Programs such as the School-to-Work Opportunities Act and Educate America Act enabled in