Sunday, March 25, 2012

Teenage Pregnancy: the Emergence of a New Trend

      Teenage pregnancy, although statistically proven to be on a downhill spiral, is an issue that remains prevalent in this country. It isn't a rare occurrence these days to log unto facebook to find a former elementary/middle/high school classmate of yours post pictures or a status announcing a newborn baby. Unlike previous generations where sex was only an activity of married couples, an average of five out of every ten teenagers today engage in sexual intercourse at least once in their high school years (Santrock, 2011, p. 358). Such a statistic helps to explain the prevalence of teenage pregnancy, but why is that?  What is the reason behind this sex craze? Can we point to one thing as the main factor behind this modern day "baby boom?" Certainly not, however, there are many aspects that contribute to this ongoing development.

      Let's start of by dissecting the infatuation with sex among this generation. The concept of sex is something that is promoted constantly in almost every aspect of life in modern day. Be it the music we listen to, the movies we watch, the shows we watch, etc, sex seems to be one reoccurring theme that all these things have in common. Take for example the music that teenagers of our generation listen to: artists have the tendency to refer to sex and promote the act in their music as if they were being paid to do so. One could argue that they are in fact being paid to do so, as the concept of sex is something that attracts a large audience. Nevertheless, a vast majority of this audience happen to be curious teenagers caught up in a stage of experimentation. The messages, highly endorsed by their role models and idols, are bound to influence the decisions these teenagers make in life.

      The lack of guidance, be it from parents or even the church (or other religious affiliations) play a role in the increase of sexual activity among teenagers as well. As we all know, most religions promote abstinence until marriage, and since a huge portion of teenagers today lack that religious affiliation, they lack that sense of urgency to honor that code. The absence of a parental figure, or even involvement in a teenagers life serves as another huge contributing factor as it gives them the leeway to make risky decisions, some of which like sexual activity leading to teenage pregnancy ends up jeopardizing their future.  It is statistically proven that children who receive proper parental guidance are less likely than those who don't to engage in sexual activity at an earlier age and risk teenage pregnancy (Santrock, 2011, p.359).

      Shows like Teen Mom and 16& Pregnant are supposed to educate teenagers on the hardships that pregnancy can bring unto one's life, however one could argue that these shows do in fact make teenage pregnancy seem much more appealing that it actually is, as it could potentially give some teenagers the idea that a baby could be their gateway to early fame.  A naive mind could think that having a baby may grant her access to being the next big reality star on MTV because of these shows.  They might even think that the concept of having a baby itself is "cool" because the stars of these shows that they look up to have babies as well.  I applaud MTV for its efforts, but shows such as these can create a delusion of what teenage pregnancy really is, as most of the babies end up being taken care of by others who weren't responsible for it anyway.

      Finally, peer pressure can be blamed indirectly for playing the role of a contributing factor to teenage pregnancy.  As we all know, peers have the power to influence our lives in various ways.    As a teenager, your peers' involvement in sexual activity might serve as reinforcement for you to do the same.  Simply because they do it and avoid pregnancy doesn't mean you are bound to have the same luck, as they might be on birth control or be beneficiaries of other contraceptive methods that you don't know about.  It's needless to say that they might be ready and prepared for sexual activity when you simply are not.  It is important to stay in your own lane and not jeopardize your future for the enjoyment of a few minutes, but if you chose to do so, protection is a MUST.

     To sum it up, teenage pregnancy is still a major issue in this country, despite its decline.  This problem needs to be addressed because many promising futures are being altered due to the pleasures of an activity once reserved for married couples.  Having a baby is a blessing, but the timing of it can make it unpleasant. To all my females out there, before you consider letting a boy insert his willy inside of you without protection, think about the potential damages it can cause to your life.  Think about the burden of having to carry a baby for nine months, the pain of birth itself, the risk of not making it past birth, and the dreams that the little one could potentially shatter for you.  Is it all worth it? Are you willing to do all this for a boy who most likely won't be by your side to nurture his own creation?  Those are all things to think about.  And to the fellas, are you ready to give up your education and pursue a full-time career in the workforce in order to cater to this new family that you didn't envision having anytime soon?  Or are you just gonna run away from the problem and live the rest of your life knowing that you are a coward?  Before you plan on engaging unprotected in an activity that is supposed to be for a man and his wife, ask yourself if you are man enough to handle the aftermaths of your decision.  At the end of the day, it's not worth it.  

Santrock, J. W. (2011). Life-Span Development. (13rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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  1. nigga u fuck bitches left and right,so who the fuck is you to say something like "To all my females out there, before you consider letting a boy insert his willy inside of you without protection, think about the potential damages it can cause to your life. " a child is not damage to life, its a gift from god. There are hundred of alternatives above abortion.

    1. First off, I do not "f*ck b*tches left and right." And I never said having a baby was a bad thing, if you paid attention to the article you would know that. Nor did I ever mention anything about abortion. Having kids is great, I wouldn't know but I assume so, all I'm saying is that the timing can impact your life. Having a kid as a teenager changes your goals in life, as you start to live your life as a provider for your kid, as opposed to trying to reach your own individual goals.

  2. Having a child at a young age is not only detrimental to ones life aspirations but also to the life of that child. Children being brought up by immature parents can have harmful psychological effects in the long-run. This could lead to future generations making the same mistakes and become part of this endless cycle.