Causes Of Teen Pregnancy

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A common complaint about today’s teenagers is that they don’t have strong morals. People see televisions shows like MTV’s 16 and Pregnant and assume that this is a common theme among teenagers in the United States. But the truth is just the opposite. According to a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, Teen pregnancy rates are at a 25-year low, and they’re continuing to fall. (Guttmacher). The Boston Globe observed that “In 2010, about 614,000 pregnancies occurred among teens ages 15 to 19…which is about half the 1.3 million pregnancies that occurred in 1990.” (Kotz) A drop off that large in such a relatively short span of time is remarkable. This essay will analyze this trend of declining teen pregnancy, and try to investigate its potential causes.
In 1990, teen pregnancy rates hit an all time high. The cover of one issue of the Chicago Tribune from October of 1990 decried the growth and lamented the “State and Federal Funding [is] failing to turn the tide” (Stein). The article points out clearly what the author believes the issue at the time to have been. “[The teen mothers’] pre-mothering days… were marked by ignorance, fear, curiosity, poverty, instability and rebellion.” The resounding opinion laid the fault of teen pregnancy on mothers not being careful or being too wild. It is from this stereotype of women, often poor or of color, being too foolish to understand the consequences of their decisions. TV Shows like 16 and Pregnant depend on and further this trend by showing young women, who often had a history of underage drinking or drug abuse, who are often Black or Latina, or who come from impoverished backgrounds struggling with the effects of underage pregnancy.
But although 16 and Pregnant often takes advantage ...

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...eduction in teen pregnancy.
Teen pregnancy continues to be an issue. Although teen pregnancy has been cut nearly in half in the last 25 years, it still continues to be a huge economic and public policy issue. “U.S. teen birth rates remain disproportionately high compared with other developed countries” (“Study Examines”), as many studies observed. But it’s clear that public awareness of the issue, its causes and its effects, along with outreach programs to instruct teens on the risks and dangers of teen pregnancy and unsafe sex can have dramatic effects on the issue and lead to massive reductions in the problem. Continuing on this path and increasing public knowledge on these issues is a surefire way to continue to decrease the number of girls who become pregnant before they become adults, and continue to secure greater economic access to women in the future.

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