Teen Pregnancy : A Social Problem

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Teen Pregnancy Teen pregnancy has been a problem in the United States for many years although it hasn’t always been addressed. During the 1950’s and 60’s teen pregnancy rates were at their highest peak. However, teen pregnancy was not acknowledged as a social problem at that point in time – a phenomenon known as social invisibility. Social invisibility occurs when a social network that normally connects a group to the larger society is disconnected, leaving the subgroup isolated. Later, during the 1970’s and 80’s while rates dropped off, teen pregnancy captivated the public, government, and media attention. In fact, according to Jennifer Beggs Weber in Becoming Teen Fathers, “Many Americans and policy makers still worry that early childbearing has reached “epidemic” proportions” ( 901). Teen pregnancy is a major social issue because it is a problem that affects everyone, not just the teens involved. For example, teen pregnancy takes a toll on the education and welfare systems as well as the children themselves. As the nation with the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world, it is imperative that the U.S. identifies effective mechanisms to reduce teen pregnancy. This issue is not only critical, but time sensitive because teen pregnancy rates are increasing. Teens do not realize the consequences that accompany pregnancy and this issue is a major concern in today’s society. Teen pregnancy is caused by a lack of communication between parent and child, peer pressure, the media, and a lack of sexual education. One main reason for teen pregnancy is a lack of communication between the parent and the teen. It is important for the parent to provide guidance for the teen by encouraging healthy habits and providing a resource for emotiona... ... middle of paper ... ...tressed out and less capable of performing well as a parent ( ). Moreover, teen pregnancy affects the baby’s father as well. Some people may think childbearing is a problem that just affects the mother but that isn’t the case because sexual involvement includes males and females. According to Jennifer Weber in her dissertation concerning teen fathers, “both teen mothers and teen fathers are charged with managing the potential stigma of having a child at an early age” (Weber #). However, teen fathers face a unique set of stereotypes such as being absent in their child’s life. Other stereotypes include involvement in gang membership, fighting and drug behaviors. They are also more likely to deny the paternity of the child and accountability. Society may view early childbearing as a terrible thing, but some teen fathers believe their life will change for the better.
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