Teenage pregnancy has a great negative impact an adolescent’s life and future career goals teenage girls may have.
Inadequate birth control methods and lack of sexual education lead to health-related infectious and unwanted pregnancy among girls under 19 years old. Teenage pregnancies have always been a potential public health concern because they usually involved girls with low educational attainment, with risk behaviors, substance abuse or family problems.
The majority of teenage girls become unintentionally pregnant creating a group of women for whom prenatal changes are perhaps the most stressful and pose the most psychological and health risks.
Inadequate sexual education and lack of access to reproductive health services have often been cited as the main causes of unwanted pregnancies among teen girls. Many girls under 18 years old know little about contraception and other precautions during their sexual experience. Lack of guidance from adults and lack of information about possible health-related concerns are the causes of the high pregnancies rates among low income families and in single parent families.
The direct causes of inadequate parental support and lack of sex education at schools lead to delayed education or early childbearing. No access to income and unemployment of parents develop some personal risks and challenges for young adults.
Another cause of early pregnancies is drug and alcohol abuse. Many teens involved in risky sexual behavior use drugs and alcohol which have serious effects on their physical and mental states. It is considered that increased smoking and alcohol use lead teens to having sexual intercourse after they became drunk and lost control.
Social factors place teens at high risk for pregnancy: sexual experimentation, initiation of high risk behavior (including alcohol abuse), a sense of invulnerability, less well-developed cognitive and social processes, and less access to healthcare and reproductive healthy services.
According to statistical results, 25% of sexually active students have had three or more different sexual partners.
Up to two thirds of sexually active students report no use or ineffective use of contraception. The effects of drug and alcohol abuse include emotional euphoria, physical relaxation.
Desire to mature, desire to experiment and lack of self control are the causes of teenage pregnancy among low income families. Teens believe that sexual relations are a part of an adult life and try to prove their maturity. Mass media and peer pressure play also a great role in sexual activities and values of teens involved in sexual practices and sex. TV and other media create inadequate understanding of maturity and portray false assumptions about sex. Information coming from mass media and friends promotes sexual practices and behavior, but do not prevent teens from pregnancy.
False social images of adult life and desire to mature popularized by media may lead to unwanted pregnancy and life challenges faced by teens age girls.
The majority of low income girls who become pregnant are runaways or homeless youth, and those who have lost a parent to AIDS, and dropouts. Poor economic conditions, poverty and low income are connected with substance abuse and teenage pregnancy. Growing up in low income communities, teens may feel a great sense of fear and hopelessness about any attempt to mature and build their future career. While sexual experience with multiple sexual partners declined among teen age boys, there are no significant changes among teen age girls.
Statistical results of low income communities show that 49% of students have sexual intercourse by age I8, engage in sex with high risk partners, have multiple sexual partners etc.
Many teenage girls understand their responsibility only when they become pregnant. Some schools include comprehensive sexual education programs in school curriculum and promote healthy life style. Educators admit that sex education is important as it prevents sexual practices and informs children about contraception. This type of intervention does not promote sex but helps to inform high school students about the precautions and possible consequences of sexual intercourse.
School-based programs are helpful because many high school students are afraid of parental disapproval and fear to communicate directly about their personal and psychological problems. For young girls, pregnancy and having a baby will be an issue of a serious concern.
Pregnancy rates have declined over the last decade because of the increased number of sexual education programs and interventions promoting increased abstinence, appropriate information about childbearing and sexual activities. Recent years, the role and importance of education has increased greatly, so many students prefer to pursue their career and postpone childbearing to later in life. Some of the educators believe that aabstinence has a significant protective effect on students and their educational achievements, but sexual education is all insignificant. Many young girls who become pregnant in their teens have never finished their education.
Successful school performance and high level of motivation to continue education and develop their careers force many students to refrain from some or all aspects of sexual activities.
In sum, social-economic factors are the main causes of unwanted pregnancies among girls living in low-income communities. Lack of information and sexual education, and inadequate access to reproductive health services also lead to unintentional pregnancies. Teen pregnancy is a social and economic problem affected low income families with financial and social problems. Lack of parental control, indifference of educators, drug abuse and false media images lead to such life challenges as early child birth or abortions.