Teen pregnancy has been a part of society for thousands of years. Women would have children at a young age because the survival rates were extremely low. However, over time the average age to have children is in your late 20s to early 30s. Within the past decade, couples decide to have children in their late 30s to early 40s because they want to make a ‘name’ for themselves and establish a career. On the other hand, teen pregnancy was an epidemic in the nineties, however, since MTV released its hit reality show 16 and Pregnant and the spin-off show Teen Mom in the late 2000s, teen pregnancy dropped a dramatic 44% since 1991.
Teen pregnancy is a problem in many parts of the world, the United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy among developed countries. Many people question why teen pregnancy rates are so high? Many believe it’s due to large amounts of sexual exposure on TV and in the media. Others believe that it’s due to the lack of sex education in school. These allegations are correct, but experts state, “contraception remains crucial in the fight against this complex social issue. A sexually active teenage girl who does not use regular contraception has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within one year.”
- 3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant before the age of 20. That’s nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year.
- Parenthood is the leading reason that teen girls drop out of school. More than 50% of teen mothers never graduate from high school.
- About 25% of teen moms have a 2nd child within 24 months of their first baby.
- Less than 2% of teen moms earn a college degree by age 30.
- In many cases, the child’s father is either missing or unable to provide the proper financial support; almost 80% of teens do not marry the fathers of their children.
- 60% of teen pregnancy result in births while around 25% of all teenage pregnancies end in abortion.
- In 2008, the teen pregnancy rate among African-American and Hispanic teen girls, ages 15 to 19, was over two and a half times higher than the teen pregnancy rate among white teen girls of the same age group.
- Children who are born to teenage mothers are immediately placed at a greater risk of developing many physical, social, and behavioral problems.
- More than half of all mothers on welfare had their first child as a teenager. In fact, two-thirds of families begun by a young, unmarried mother are poor.
- Teen pregnancy costs the U.S. almost $11 billion per year; this includes increased medical care, foster care, increased incarceration rates among the children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue.
Photo Credit: thecandiesfoundation.org