Although teen pregnancy rates have dropped recently, teens still continue to get pregnant at a ridiculous rate. The 61.8 births per 1,000 in 1991was much worse as opposed to the 2011 39.1 births per 1,000. The rates have dropped because of increased use of contraception and more common use of contraception. The amount of teens not using contraceptives has dropped since the 90s from 16% in 1991, to 12% in 2011. The teenagers are also using double contraception (condom and birth control pills) more often, almost doubling from 5% to 9%. In 2009, 410,000 children were born to teenage mothers as opposed to the 367,752 in 2011.
May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, but the government condones and funds abstinence-only sex education. Although while 62% of girls and 70% of boys have had sex before the age of 18. Abstinence-only sex education leaves out education on birth control and doesn’t have any actual effect on the students. The abstinence-only sex education programs don’t seem to deter teenage sex or teenage pregnancy, yet they still receive plenty of funding from the government. Even though the government backs the abstinence-only sex education, 89% of parents feel that sex education needs to contain more information about teen pregnancy and contraceptives.
I personally believe though that teenage pregnancy is being stopped by the fear of pregnancy put in teenagers’ minds by the media. Some 34% of teenagers will get pregnant before the age of 20. Seeing their own friends getting pregnant at such a young age may make a young couple think twice about whether to use contraception or not. Shows on T.V. like MTV’s “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant” display the hardships and horrors of having a child and raising them. Seeing actual kids their age try to raise babies puts an image in their heads of them with a child, and if they can actually raise a child or not.
Teenage pregnancy statistics are very sad for the families and the parents. Only 2% of teenage mothers will have graduated college by the age of 30 and they are 25% more likely to have a kid within one or two years of their first child. They are more likely to have more children throughout their lifetime than older mothers. Only a third of teenage mothers will graduate high school as opposed to the 75% national average. The children are also affected by having such a young mother. Sons of teenage mothers are 13% more likely to end up in prison and the daughters of teenage mothers are 22% more likely to have a child in their teen years. Hopefully the increased national sex education and use of contraceptives will help deter the teenage pregnancy rate in the country and these sad statistics can slow down even more.