The hot topic of teen pregnancy has been a hot button topic historically in the urban communities. Now teen pregnancy has become more than just an urban problem. Everything from Pregnancy Pacts, Bristol Palin, Maury Povich, and reality TV has shown that this problem has become more of a problem for America. This guest post written by Maria( @MSquaredSTL) will dive into this issue within out country….
Back in 2007, I was asked to be a guest on the Don Wolff’s, Justice for All radio show that airs locally in Saint Louis on KMOX. The subject of the show was one that I’m quite familiar with…..Teen Pregnancy. During the interview, Don asked some questions that I’m quite sure everyone wants to ask a teen parent. How did you get pregnant? Did you use birth control? What did your parents say? Did you explore other alternatives? What were you thinking? These were all questions that I had asked myself in the eight years since I had conceived my daughter. I considered myself a pretty intelligent teen, how could I allow something like that to happen? Is it my fault? Should I blame it on my mom, who was a teen mother herself? Should I blame it on my single parent household? Should I blame it on the economic hardships my sister’s and I were born into? Or what about society, who has somehow, grown accepting of children parenting children?
If you walk into any public high school, you are guaranteed to see at least a handful of pregnant girls. According to a recent story on Fox News, there were 86 teen girls at a Memphis High School who were pregnant or gave birth in one year’s time! And let’s not forget the TV show 16 and Pregnant on MTV that has grabbed the attention of over 3 Million viewers each episode. The show chronicles the journey of these teen parents through their pregnancy and the birth of their child. And while, I disagree with many media outlets that seem to think that the show glorifies teen parenting, I don’t think the show has helped to magnify the extent of the issue either. You can find some of these girls who appear on the show, on the covers of magazines! They practically become celebrities. This is where my frustration begins. When I watch the show or read these stories, I can’t help but think to myself, when did this become the trendy thing to do? What glamour could any 16-year-old possibly find in teen parenting? I definitely didn’t feel cool while waking up at 2am for feedings, changing diapers every hour….and not to mention the glares I received from the ever so judgmental public eye. I missed out on so many things because I had to become an adult in a year’s time. What about college? How could I hang with my friends, play soccer, or do anything with a baby tagging along. I saw other girls my age that had children and came back to school in 2 months like nothing had happened. Maybe it wouldn’t be so hard. Little did I know, it would be the most difficult thing I’d ever endure in my life.
We all have our opinions on how to solve this problem. Some say birth control education, others say complete abstinence. And while we can debate about that till the end of time, the truth is no matter how much we don’t want them to, teens are having sex! According to a study done by the Center for Disease Control, more than 30 percent of sexually active teens surveyed, stated that they have had unprotected sex. Needless to say, this unprotected sex, is leading to teen pregnancy’s occurring at alarming rates. We can brush this issue under the rug and pretend that it’s not our problem. But, the correlation between teen parenting and so many other issues is undeniable. So, rather than shinning this spotlight on these unrealistic stories, we have to educate these teens on the real facts. They need to know the relation between teen pregnancy and poverty. Reports say only a third of teen mothers achieve a high school diploma. And less than 2% earn a college degree by age 30. How about the studies that say children of teen mothers are found to have poorer performance in school. Or that daughters of teen mothers are far more likely to become teen mothers themselves. And the sons of these teen mothers are more likely to end up in prison. Of course we all know exceptions to these stats, but those are a diamond in the rough. Rather than figuring out how to help these girls by offering more government assistance, we have to find a way to lower these numbers. It’s apparent from the aforementioned stats, their pregnancies not only affect them, they will affect the future of our world. We must end this cycle!
What are your thoughts on Teenage Pregnancy? Speak Your Mind!!
- Teens Are Less Harlot-y Than Ever [Teen Pregnancy] (jezebel.com)
- Teen pregnancy rate hits 40-year low (ajc.com)
- Sex Education: The War on Children (rippdemup.com)
- Legislating Morality: Should The Plan B Morning-After Pill Be sold Over The Counter? (rippdemup.com)
- 1 million packets of birth control pills recalled in US as they ‘might not’ prevent pregnancy (thehiphopdemocrat.com)
- Is Religion the Ultimate Deal Breaker? Relationship with God > Relationships (nwso.net)