The Importance Of Teenage Pregnancy

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Teenagers, ages seventeen to nineteen, are likely to be sexually active - the median age of sexual intercourse is seventeen years old. Over the last couple of decades, teenage pregnancy rates in the United States have declined. Despite this recent decline, more than 800,000 teens become pregnant each year; this means that thirty-four percent of teenagers have had at least one pregnancy before they turn twenty (Finer & Philibin, 2013). Women in the general population are more likely to use contraception, such as condoms and birth control. Therefore, the women in the general population are less likely to contract a sexually transmitted infection, or STI. Contraceptive use among girls, as young as fifteen, is very similar to the contraception use among their older counterparts (Finer & Philibin, 2013). Women in the foster care system are another population of women who struggle with teen pregnancy. On September 30, 2012, there were an estimated 399, 546 children in the foster care system (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2013). Children in foster care live in a variety of placement settings and may move among or between settings while in care (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2013). For example, children may move from a relative foster home to a group home. Nearly half of the children placed in foster care are placed in a non-relative home due to physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and/or caretaker inability (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2013). Children in the foster care system stay for an average of two years. Children in the foster care system face many struggles after transitioning out of the system. Some of these struggles include: no place to stay, do not go to college, unemployed, and most children receive ... ... middle of paper ... ... diseases among foster care youth. Given the findings from other studies that Comprehensive Sexual Education can have an effect in the declining of teenage pregnancy rates; it is evident that it may have a causal relationship. “Research clearly shows that Comprehensive Sex Education programs do not encourage teens to start having sexual intercourse; do not increase the frequency with which teens have intercourse; and do not increase the number of a teen’s sexual partners” (Advocates for Youth, 2009). Based on the connections between Comprehensive Sexual Education, teenage pregnancy, safe sexual behaviors, and sexually transmitted diseases, it is hypothesized that intervening by allowing Comprehensive Sexual Education into the foster care system will have a direct, positive impact on the pregnancy rates among teenage women transitioning out of the foster care system.

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