Every year over 400,000 babies are born to girls who are younger than 19. 25% of the girls who have a child go on welfare within three years of the birth of their child. By age 22, 34% of those girls have not earned their high school diploma or GED and by age 30, less than 2% have earned a college degree (Foreman 27). I am a child born to a teenage mother, and my mom is a part 2% of girls who had a child before the age of 19 and was able to get her college degree, before she turned 30. Girls in this present time don’t understand the risk that comes with childbearing at a young age.
Teenagers and the Importance of Abstinence Teenagers need to be taught to practice abstinence. By learning this important lesson, youths will be less likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases, and they will be safe from unwanted pregnancies that could lead to abortions. Three million people under the age of 20 in the United States become infected with a sexually transmitted disease each year. With 66 percent of high school students having had intercourse by graduation, these numbers are not surprising (Planned Parenthood-Helping Young). The effects of sexually transmitted diseases can be devastating.
In today’s society, sexual education must be a staple subject in the high school, and maybe even the junior high school, curriculum. Many young teenagers are learning about sex from the wrong outlets, such as television, which makes them unable to make informed, educated decisions about their sex lives. A study published last month in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that abstinence education deters sexual activity in young teens. The same study also showed that students who receive formal sexual education classes wait longer to have sex and are more likely to use contraceptives (Pappas). The decision whether or not to allow sex education classes to be taught in school system is a continuing dilemma.
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Other causes of teen pregnancy can be due to the “teen rebellious stage”, and girls that feel like they aren’t getting enough attention and think getting pregnant is the only way to feel important (Kirby 89-94). Most teen girls are asked to drop out in the later stages of pregnancy because they do not to “encourage” other girls. High schools are starting to try to educate girls in their care they not only want to teach them about sex, they want to teach them what to do if they ... ... middle of paper ... ...ions on Two Decades of Research on Teen Sexual Behavior and Pregnancy. "The Journal of school health 69.3 (1999): 89-94. ProQuest.Web.