Posted: Friday, June 1, 2012 3:22:41 AM
I believe that there are multiple reasons for the decrease in teenage pregnancy rates. One is an increased awareness of the burdensome consequences of an early pregnancy. Another is an increased knowledge of and access to birth contraceptives. But I think the most important reason is the greater social acceptance of individualism and empowerment among the youth of today.
You see, the age we live in now is a much more liberal society in comparison to the past. I believe that this greater respect for individualism invites more a more decisive, more self-confident youth. For example, a couple of months ago, I overheard a 16-year-old girl talking with her friend at the library. They shall be given the names Alexa and Adriana, which are not their real names. Alexa had asked her friend Adriana, "Why haven't you guys done it yet? Everybody's done it." Adriana then replied, "I don't want to be pressured into doing that sort of stuff. I'm too young to have kids, and if he can't respect my decision, then too bad for him."
I think this is most telling of the different mindset the youth today have. Through numerous improvements in health education, many youth now understand the consequences of early pregnancy. But our social culture is also more accepting of individual rights, which means that not only do youth understand the consequences of early pregnancy, but they actively recognize their individual right to decide for themselves and resist peer pressure.
The peer pressure of before that drove many into conformity is now scorned, and many teens today are empowered because of this. Individualism is more accepted than in the past: that's the reason why in pop culture, many more celebrities are actively supporting the LGBT community; and that's the reason why teen pregnancy rates have fallen. In today's era, the individual is praised and encouraged—and with a self-confident individual comes wiser decisions, free from malicious pressure.