Did You Know: 3 in 10 girls in the United States gets pregnant before age 20.
Finally Some Good News – Teen Pregnancy
Could it be? Good news about teen pregnancy rates? According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, teen pregnancy rates in the United States declined 38 percent between 1990 and 2004. Teen birth rate also declined 32 percent between 1991 and 2006. This was the case across all ethnic groups. More teenagers are waiting longer before having sex and those who were sexually active were using contraception. Great news right?
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Well, it is good news that teenage pregnancies are were falling because it is noted that some teenagers are waiting longer. That is commendable. Shows better self-control. Shows perhaps some teenagers are putting a greater value on themselves, their body, as well as their actions.
However the fact that most of the decrease was due to the wider use of contraceptives doesn’t say anything about the continual growth of promiscuous living. Promiscuous living is live and well, all the more as media continues to feed such lifestyles as normal and something to be emulated. Sex is glamorized, one night stands common, making “love” and giving yourself to someone painted as something special. TV Shows, Movies, Music videos among other forms of media also often portrays that happiness can only be found in that one and only, thus fueling girls to make it their goal to find that perfect guy and giving up themselves along the process. As recent as 2007, 50% of teens have already had sex, 33% already by 9th grade.
That Wasn’t the Only Catch
Unfortunately this good news has recently taken a back step. Between 2005 and 2007, teen birth rates turned positive increasing 5 percent. The decline in sexual activity and the increase in contraceptive use both have come to halt.
% Decline on an Alarming Number is still Alarming
Between 1990 and 2006 we’ve seen visible decline in teen pregnancy rates and and teen births, but it’s still been estimated that 3 in 10 girls in the United States get pregnancy by age 20. 3 in 10. Let that sink for a moment. Think about your daughter and 2 of her friends. It is very possible that 1 out of the 3 will be pregnant by the time they are 20. When segmented into ethnicities, some of these pregnancy statistics become even more alarming. For example both Black and Latino girls show a pregnancy rate before the age 20 over 50%. That is every other girl. It gets no better in the following years as 6 in 10 pregnancies to women aged 20-24 were unplanned.
As of 2006, the United States also has one of the highest teen birth rates worldwide. 1.5X the rate of the United Kingdom which is the highest teen birth rate in Europe. 3X the birth rate as Canada. 8X the teen birth rate of Japan.
Most Teenage Pregnancies Don’t make it to Birth
Many media outlets are reporting that The National Campaign reports there are 730,000 teen pregnancies and more than 400,000 teen births annually. That is a very significant figure, however another small tidbit of statistic that is being lost here is.
What happened to the 330,000 pregnancies that did not result in a birth? 330,000 babies are aborted or simply don’t survive and reach birth. That is 45% of all teen births. Children of teenage pregnancies are far less likely to to get regular prenatal care which only compounds the problem that teenager births are often premature with low birth weights. Teen births are also twice as likely to suffer abuse and neglect. Also let’s not forget the psychological pains that will weigh on the teens mind if their child either is aborted or doesn’t make it to birth. The psychological trauma and emotional pains often go unreported but is well documented.
The Teenager Mother?
- Often undocumented psychological trauma and emotion pains of losing a child either through abortion or immature deaths.
- Fewer than half of teen mothers age 17 and younger ever graduate high school
- Fewer than 2% earn a college degree by age 30.
- 25% of teen mothers end up with a second child within 2 years.
- 8 out of 10 fathers don’t marry the teen mother.
- Daughters of teen mothers more likely to become teen mothers
Countering the Teen Pregnancy Statistics
Before we all despair, statistics show parents still have strong influence.
- 50% of the teenagers say their parents influence their decisions about sex more than friends.
Also there are ample teaching moments to give even after they have given themselves always to instill proper values or at least have an open dialogue about the issues of sex.
- 6 in 10 teenagers who had sex wish they had waited
Lastly, parents still can use their authority to control a teen’s media intake. Parents can screen movies, limit TV shows, filter the type of music their teens listen to, and monitor or filter their internet usage. Be strict about what kind of content they watch. Studies have been published that Links Pregnancy with Watching Sexy TV Shows. Parents need to take control.
Also parents themselves can hold themselves to a higher standard by not watching any movies, TV shows or any other questionable material that promote promiscuous living or glamorizes sex. It can be beneficial both for your child, but also allows concerned parents to push against and refuse to support bad programming.