Teen pregnancy is an awful epidemic sweeping across our nation. Absence of authority, lack of guidance, low self-esteem, and faulty morals are predominantly to blame. If we do not get a hold on this phenomenon it will effectively continue to poison the innerworkings of our society with great ease. The two reasons for continuation of teen pregnancies are the horrible state of our economy and absolute ignorance.
With the United States Unemployment level of nine percent there are large numbers of people out of work. One would think that this would mean more supervision of children in the home, but in reality it is anything but that. Those who are down trodden, desperate, and preoccupied with financial burden have more on their mind than enforcing positive behaviors and mannerism in their children. The emotional turmoil that manifests in the realization of being financially unstable is crippling those who are unable to support themselves and they are either turning to drugs to disconnect them with reality or breaking their necks trying to find a job. That leaves teens unguided, left on the back burner, and missing the essentials for positive growth.(1)
On the other hand, the remaining ninety-one percent are busy breaking their necks at a job which is not compensating them what they are worth, preoccupied with maintaining a place in their institution of work, and consumed with the task of preventing themselves from losing their mind at the thought that they could be added to the increasing level of unemployed persons of the world. They are usually working odd hours, some holding two jobs to maintain their lifestyle, and are rarely home, preventing them from participating in normal child rearing processes that are imperative to their teens. In such a sensitive subject as teen pregnancy one is enticed to search for a person to blame. Everyone wants to blame the parents and the emotionally unstable, irresponsible teen but few dare to delve deeper into the inner workings of our society as a whole to find an answer. I however, have no problem with challenging the status quo in any instance and at this moment I choose to bring the cat out of the closet.(1)
In a society where television shows babysit generations of affection hungry children, shows like “Thirteen and pregnant” only influence children in the misguided belief that having a child whom one can unconditionally love and receive unconditional love. These teens need affection and a sense of direction, and the only direction they feel led to is the one our media has glorified. Our government is so quick to set rules and boundaries about what is acceptable in respect to laws and norms yet fails continuously to produce a remedy to this epidemic. Even though teen pregnancies have dropped from 1991 to the present date the percentages of teen pregnancies versus adult pregnancies are enough to put any mother in a mental institution. In 2009, a total of 409,840 infants were born to 15−19 year olds, for a live birth rate of 39.1 per 1,000 women in this age group. Nearly two-thirds of births to women younger than age 18 and more than half of those among 18−19 year olds are unintended. Feeling a bit mentally unstable yet? (2)
Good parenting is obviously the key to solving this problem but my questions to you are where is the time for good parenting in a society whose economy is slipping into a coma? How can a parent get control of their household when they are never there? In what way would you expect a person to fulfill their parental duties, when they are in need of emotional aid themselves? These questions are severely serious and need to be considered before passing judgment on any individuals. More importantly this epidemic will not easily throw up its hands and retreat easily and this is evident in the slow decline in teen pregnancies over the past decade. There are deeper realities that need to be addressed before this will ever get to a controlled state and we Americans should have a greater understanding of cause and effect because it is the only way we will see what is the major negative aspect aiding in the birth and death of thousands of fetus’ across this Nation.
1.) “United States Unemployment Rate.” TradingEconomics.com – Economic Data for 196 Countries. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.
2.) “CDC – About Teen Pregnancy – Teen Pregnancy – Reproductive Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.
- Giving Thanks: Teen Pregnancy, Rape, & Sex Abuse All Decline (psychologytoday.com)
- U.S. Teen Pregnancy Rate at Record Low: CDC (sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com)