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Teen Pregnancy

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
I only came to this board to see the fuss that started a buzz on Petfinder, and was pretty shocked that everyone was having such a great time discussing a ten mom and the joy of her expected child.
I do feel badly for her situation now that the whole story has come out. I will now take the advise given to begin a thread here not about Tasha, because she is in a whole new catagory now.....But about irresponsible young girls who become pregnant.
I firmly believe that you should be married, set financially and then bring a new child into this world. My parents took in Foster children while I was growing up, so I got to know alot about the feelings of the children. Teen girls think it is "cool" to have a baby now. The girls that have sex and become pregnant are now becoming the popular girls instead of being sent off to "visit an aunt" in alternative school. I can't believe with all the new and easy forms of birth control, that unmarried girls are still getting pregnant. And don't give me the "birth control is againt my religion" crap because if you had religion, you wouldn't be having sex. I was a virgin on my wedding night April 26th and I am darn proud of it. Sure, I've been tempted, but I felt that my promise to God and to myself was much more important thean the body of some hot guy. I heard that Isreal doesn't have this problem...I wish that the US and other countries would figure out a way to get morals back, and to prevent all of these unwanted childrn. It is the children and the community that suffer. We all have to pay more to support kids whose mother is on welfare. Plus, they have more kids because the more kids you have the more money they recieve. It's crazy. So, if you must do it....do it responsibly. We are sick of paying for your mistakes.
post #2 of 44
Some teens are good moms and ALOT of teens are pursured into sex even if it isn't rape. Once they are pregant what is done is done, i think the time to worry about it is before they even start having sex and that needs to be done by parents and teachers. I became active at 17. Actully Nov 29th 1996 and i would not change it for the world. I have only been with my husband. Yes I could have ended up a pregnant teen and was lucky I didn't but me and him are married now and if i would have gotten pregnant then we might have married sooner.
I don't think that teenage moms are the problem. I think it is anyone that just goes out and gets pregant with out thinking regardless of there age. Some single moms do have the money to handle being a mom, and some teens ARE married and stable enough to have a kid. I hate it when people just put everyone into a group.
Having sex with someone you love doesn't make you a bad person. I can say i have only been with my husband and it is true..but the first time was way before we were married..i just don't see the problem. I knew i loved him, i knew i wanted to marry him and he felt the same way about me.
post #3 of 44
Some teens are better mothers then women twice their age. I think it needs to be looked at on an individual basis. If your issue is with unwed mothers, then that isn't just teens. Not everyone wants to wait until they are married and "financially secure" - only you can determine for yourself what is "secure". Women now days can make a number of choices. The only choice that really disturbs me are mothers (no matter the age) using abortion as a means of birth control.
post #4 of 44
Most teenage girls who become pregnant, are impregnated by an adult male. The younger the girl, the older the man. The research shows, for example, that 15 year olds are most likely to become pregnant by a man who is over 25 years of age NOT by a 15 or 16 year old boy. What this tells me is that there are a bunch of slimy *******s out there who prey upon vulnerable girls who don't have the emotional or psychological ability to see that they are being manipulated and used.
post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 
Teens need to be educated before that can happen! They need to know all the birth control methods, how to use them, or just abstain! You don't miss something you never had.
I don't just blame older men. The girl who is sleeping with them knows....The girl is most times the one starting a sexual relationship. Sure men do also, but the girl has the right to not do it. (we are not discussing rape here)
Anyway, Is it so hard to say no and not have sex? I think not.
post #6 of 44
Some sociologists believe that more and more teenaged girls are deliberately getting pregnant because their parents are divorced and the girls want a new "family". It's an interesting theory. What really worries me is that an awful lot of these kids are not practicing "safer sex" and are leaving themselves wide open to HIV. I have no objections to premarital sex, but I think people should keep STDs in mind.
post #7 of 44
I can agree with Puppiluv that teen pregnancy is a big problem here in the US. I don't think that a 13-16 year old girl can possibly be that great of a mother, not because of any personal shortcoming but just because of the age and development of her socially, physically, and emotionally. They can do it, sure. They may even raise a well-adjusted child, probably with lots of help from her own parents, but there are a lot of sacrifices that come with a baby that many young girls aren't prepared to make. Like zero social life, not getting much of anything for yourself, possibly sacrificing your own future for the sake of another life that becomes more important that your own.

Of course, there are success stories of teen mothers who went on to do great things. For every one of those there are probably 5-10 others who are living on welfare with 3 more babies. They may be devoted to their children, but they aren't responsible members of our society.

I can also speak with a bit of authority on the subject because I did get pregnant at 15-16 (it was right around my birthday, and that's important to a girl that age ). I had a miscarriage, and while I was devastated at the time it was definitely for the best. I went through college thinking....."could I be doing this with a 3-4 year old?" The answer? NO!

Say what you will about individuals you know, but it is a burden to our society, from a sociological standpoint whether or not you agree with it on moral or religious grounds. I was raised by good parents (with good moral values that I chose to ignore), but they sure weren't open about talking about sex. Birth control wasn't discussed. It may have been discussed in school, briefly, but adolescents have that whole immortality complex - the same thing that makes them think they can drive like idiots and not get into an accident. "It can't happen to me." Besides condoms, birth control isn't readily available to girls who are half afraid of their own bodies to begin with. Put a sponge in WHERE? I'M NOT TOUCHING MYSELF THERE!!! EW! (OK, that was at least the attitude of myself and the girls I knew.)

Somehow we have to either change the perception that sex is the greatest thing since sliced bread (did anyone having sex as a teen actually have an orgasm? I know I didn't!), or at least open the lines of communication between parents and their kids to HONESTLY discuss sex and birth control options. Just saying "don't" doesn't always work. It didn't for me.
post #8 of 44
Originally posted by puppiluv
I don't just blame older men. The girl who is sleeping with them knows....The girl is most times the one starting a sexual relationship.
That is not what the research shows. Also, if you look at the cognitive development (brain functioning) of a 15 year old versus that of a 25 year old, you would know that the man is the one in charge. At 15, the brain is still quite undeveloped...especially that part of the brain that enables us to control our emotions and behavior. That is why teenagers do stupid things sometimes that us adults would never do and it is also why teenagers are so emotional. By age 21 or 22 these parts of our brain are as developed as they are going to be. So a 25 year old is easily able to make healthy choices IF he wants to, whereas a 15 year old is much more likely to follow what her emotions and her body are telling her.

So, teen age girls, because of their level of cognitive development are much easier to manipulate than are adult women. If you couple that with a slimy, self-serving, manipulative adult male AND if you have a girl who doesn't get much support from her parents for being emotionally powerful and strong, AND if the girl believes that sex equals love, then it is real easy to see that this girl will find it next to impossible to say no to the adult man who is telling her that this is how two people share their love.
post #9 of 44
I think Heidi brought up a very important point. Not only are most girls half afraid of their bodies, most are entirely uneducated about their bodies. My mother, who was a teacher, had a student who got her first period. She was screaming and crying and crazy, because she thought she was dying. No one had EVER told her about her body. To me, that's abhorent.

But I think it plays a big role in teen pregnancy, too, among the other issues discussed here. How can you expect a teen to make any decision about sex, birth control or abstinence if they don't know a darn about themselves?
post #10 of 44
Peer pressure is so strong that if sex and pregnancy are considered to be cool, the young girls without very strong self-esteem will fall for a line, even from a boy their own age. Although hormones are raging, I don't think they're beyond control. I think the girl is afraid she'll lose her boyfriend if she doesn't "give in." Then she is shocked to discover that this boy who professed his love for her suddenly disappeared from the scene.

I sat in a lounge of a local two year college not long ago. Two boys, about 19, sat down at the same table as I because it was the only one available. I kept trying to read, but couldn't help overhearing the conversation. They really loved it when the girlfriend stayed overnight. I expected to hear something about what a wonderful girl she was-at least, but the biggest reason was that the girls would get up early, cook their breakfast, and tidy their rooms! When the girls came in and sat down, they lay their heads on the boys' shoulders and looked at them as if they were gods! They didn't even enter the conversation. They just "worshipped."

Guess what? There's an old saying, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk free?" Most of these young guys are not looking for a serious relationship. Many only want sex and a housekeeper. Don't fall for the line, girls. You will end up with the short end of the stick. RESPECT yourself! If your faith doesn't say no, let your common sense say it! The guys who just want sex will be out of your life ASAP. Your love won't change him. Have some self-esteem, please! You are the one who will pay the price otherwise, STDs, pregnancies, or just heartache.
post #11 of 44
I keep thinking of something my sociology professor said one time. "Boys give love to get sex, and girls give sex to get love." I took the class years and years ago- but the saying has stuck with me and life experiences have shown me that this saying is very true.

When I grew up, sex was whispered about in corridors, not shouted from the rooftops. I would hate to be a teenager growing up in today's world, the morals and the family values have surely slipped out of place. It would be scary to say the least.
post #12 of 44
it is hard to say no. I'm not going to lye. I wasn't a teenager that long ago and I clearly remember all the times I said no. But it got to a point where it was what I wanted! I made my decession based on what I knew. I also wanted to be on bc pills but had a bad reaction to them and I was allergic to latex. There was no way my catholic mom would let me try the shot so what did that leave me with? Just alot of luck, and a risky meathod. So i don't think ihave the right to judge any girls that are in a long term realtionship and end up pregant. Now the ones that are just sleeping around for the fun of it...that does bug me.
post #13 of 44
Val, Do you think most high school girls and other teens are emotionally stable enough to choose a long term relationship? Most of the "steady relationships" I knew about broke up in six months or less.

I had an aide who told me she has been having unprotected sex since she was sixteen, and didn't think she had AIDS. She gave blood to the blood bank as a free method of getting her blood tested. She was nineteen, and had spent a year in college. Scary! The BF said protection ruined the sensations, so-no protection. She's afraid of losing him. This was last fall. I hope she lives to be old enough to make good decisions. Right now, she is willing to risk her life. All young people think they're invulnerable.
post #14 of 44
Before all of this happened to me, I was a virgin saving it for someone I loved. I regret ever meeting this guy and going out with him. It was my own stupidity, and I regret it. Now that I am going to keep the baby, I am going to raise it with my own love. I am going to forget about the father and focus on the future. Giving up my baby would kill me. I am already emotionally attached to it. I know I can make a great mother. I don't party, when I go and have fun, it's either a movie or a long walk in the park. I enjoy spending time with my family more than my friends. Being a mother is hard work. My mom raised 4 smart kids. Of course I was the girl who got pregnant. Are'nt the older ones always first?

As for teaching teens about sex, it ian't going to help much. They here from their friends that it feels good and everyones doing it. They go out and think it's okay to have sex, even unprotected. In my school they did'nt teach much about sex. They just told us NOT to do it. We were'nt educated about STDS, AIDS and pregnancy. It's such a shame that kids are 13 and pregnant. It horrifies me, and I don't want to set a bad example. I'm pregnant and my parents are 100% behind me. I thank god for that!
post #15 of 44
Originally posted by Jeanie G.
Val, Do you think most high school girls and other teens are emotionally stable enough to choose a long term relationship? Most of the "steady relationships" I knew about broke up in six months or less.

I had an aide who told me she has been having unprotected sex since she was sixteen, and didn't think she had AIDS. She gave blood to the blood bank as a free method of getting her blood tested. She was nineteen, and had spent a year in college. Scary! The BF said protection ruined the sensations, so-no protection. She's afraid of losing him. This was last fall. I hope she lives to be old enough to make good decisions. Right now, she is willing to risk her life. All young people think they're invulnerable.
Some are. My bestfriend in highschool married the guy she started dating in 9th grade, I married the guy i started dating the summer before 12th grade, and my other friend married the guy she started dating her junior year. So it does happen. One waited until she was married but me and my other friend didn't. I totally and completly do not regret for one minute making the choice not to wait. But it depends on the person. Me and him always had a game plan for it I got pregnant, what we would do. I remember my first time perfect and it was perfect, we were each other's first. Now i'm not saying any 17 year old should sleep with there boyfriend and that it will work out okay but for some it does. BTW I went to a catholic all girls school
post #16 of 44
My babysitter that my husband I use for our kids once in a while is a sophomore in HS. She has several friends who either have kids or are pregnant. Its shocking to me.

When I graduated HS, there was one girl that delivered a baby that year. And she was the talk of the school. It was unheard of, and that wasn't all that long ago ( about 10 years). Nowadays, I see and hear about teenage moms so often that it scares me.

I don't think its appropriate to say that every teen mom isn't going to be a good mom. But I don't think being a teenager with a child is right. Its difficult enough having children when you have a husband, home, and are financially stable. A teen mom has none of that normally, and in the end I think the child pays the price.

Some of my daycare children that are enrolled in my care have young moms. And although they do a good job taking care of the children, they are not able to always provide them w/ the extras that a married couple could. Children are expensive, and it goes way beyond diapers and wipes. I'm learning this myself w/ my own kids. My 7 year old now plays sports that costs me hundreds of dollars a year. My 3 year old is involved in dance, which costs money.

Bottom line is kids aren't cheap. And they are more work emotionally than I think any teenager can handle. Just my opinion though, no flames please
post #17 of 44
You aren't going to come close to convincing me that teen pregnancy isn't a HUGE problem in the US. I work at a school where the poverty rate is 90%. Most of our kids are from one-parent families, where the mom was/is a teenage mother. Many of these kids have multiple siblings, each with a different father. One little first grader's dad was a 5th grade student of mine not too many years ago. A 7th grader I had 2 years ago is already a father. This situation is very common in generational poverty. It is also quite common for males of generational poverty to hang their reputations on being a 'lover', when being a 'provider' is often out of their reach, due to an incomplete education and poor job skills.
post #18 of 44
deb25- that is the saddest thing i've ever heard...i can't believe kids are having sex so young!

i personally think as a 'teenager' myself, that we shouldn't be having kids so young.the impression that i get from people that i know who are my age who have kids is that what they feel like they have missed out on their 'teenagehood'. whilst we are all out clubbing, having fun etcc.they are stuck at home tending to a baby. some of them have after a year or 2 of being a stay at home mom resort to leaving thier babies with their parents so they can 'catch up' on being a teenager, and those that don't may start to feel some resentment to the child for holding them back.

i think that if you're not going to be on some sort of birth control, DON"T have sex! its as simple as that. i don't want children at the moment and i know that as a fact, and i do everything i can to ensure i don't get pregnant. i don;t think i would want a child till i am about 30. i think i have too much going for me at the moment (i have just moved into my own place after flatting with friends for the past 2 years, University, and volunteer work) i plan to move to canada, and start a career that a child would be a serious burden at this stage in life.

i don't believe in the idea of abortion but i think that if i was to find out i was pregnant now i would have one, because i know that i couldn't provide for it the way i would want to. kids are expensive and i would only want to be able to afford the best for them. and its the same with my cats i only have 2 because if i had anymore i know i couldn't afford the best for them and thats not good enough for me.

well thats just my opinion..
sorry for the long post!

post #19 of 44
Tybalt, I think I made it clear how I feel about teen sex and pregnancy. And I was raised in a family with a strong work ethic. I have believed for a long time that social and educational psychologists had totally ignored genetics. It was nurture, not nature that caused society's problems. Parents were often blamed for poor parental skills when one of the children got in trouble. "The parents just don't care about these kids" could be heard in teachers' lounges everywhere.

The pendulum has swung the other way now, but I think it's equally foolish to put the blame entirely on genetics. The truth lies in the middle of two radical views. I believe that genetics plays a huge role in human nature, but we can't give up on the child raised in a family with a history of underachievement. I'm sure you'd agree. All is not hopeless for those who are inspired. Teachers, pastors, and community leaders can help these young people to break the chain.

As always, I enjoy reading your intelligent posts, whether or not I agree with you!
post #20 of 44
Tybalt, You have a family history for which you should be very proud. My older sister was an R.N. with a B.S. in nursing, and I have a degree in education. We were the first to go to college also. However, my father was such a reader I couldn't call him uneducated. I'm very proud of my heritage. My father was a carpenter, and his father, a farmer-very hard workers.

I am just so glad to see that responsibility is being placed on the individual now, and not completely on the parents. We do have innate traits, and they influence us, as does our family, but when push comes to shove you and I are responsible for our own acts-inless we are mentally ill. Now that the experts agree, when are those living in generational poverty going to get the message? I'm reminded of the number sung by the street gangs in West Side Story, "Officer Krupke",* and that movie is about 40 years old! I preferred teaching high school students to any other grade, so I'm referring only to those who have no ambition other than to live off the state or their parents-to those who have no self respect.

We need to modify the welfare laws, as we discussed in another thread, not to abandon those in need, (Good grief, no! I'm a democrat! ) but to help people to be self sufficient and take pride in their contribution to society.

*Gee. Officer Krupke, we're very upset;
We never had the love that every child oughta get
We ain't no delinquents,We're misunderstood,
Deep down inside us there is good!

Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
post #21 of 44

There is a huge difference in families who are in what is referred to as 'situational' poverty, as opposed to what sociologists refer to generational poverty.

If you can find a copy of the book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne, I would encourage you to read it.
post #22 of 44
Situational poverty is when a family or an individual experiences poverty through 'unexpected' circumstances....death, divorce, loss of job, or as in the case of many Americans, when ancestors immigrated to this country. They do not have money, but retain, for lack of a better term, middle class standards by which they lead their lives.

Generational poverty, as the term suggests, spans generations of a family and brings with it a different view of the individual's place in the world. There are many characteristics these people share, the most striking of which is a lack of knowledge of the hidden rules of middle class society or how to act in it.
post #23 of 44
No, I don't think you qualify for generational poverty status. One of the things is the dependence on government support, such as welfare. It's obvious that although your family did not have a lot of money, you were still raised with middle class values, so to speak.

And, IMO nobody gets special dispensation to act like a jerk. The generational poverty cycle tends to perpetuate itself, so one of the many by-products is the continual birth of children, often by teenage mothers.
post #24 of 44
Situational poverty is like my ex-husbands great-grandmother who had 7 kids and lost her husband in an accident, and tried like h--- to raise them right. Gernerational poverty is when my ex husbands mother got pregnant when she was 14, all her kids except one are on welfare, all her grandchildren are on welfare, and in about 15 more years all her grandchildren will be on welfare. My ex in laws make fun of me because I don't have kids so I have to work for a living, just as they make fun of my ex because he hasn't figure out how to "work the system". Of course I work. I own part of a home (the bank owns the rest of it) a van, a pickup truck, and cloths and nice things. I also have 11 animals to feed. Needless to say I don't get along with that bunch of jerks. My ex-sister in law told me when she was 14 that she needed to get pregnant so she could get her own welfare check.

post #25 of 44
Bingo, Jude.
post #26 of 44
I hate to say it, but teenage pregnancies are not a problem restricted to the States. As a secondary school teacher in Germany, I see it often, despite very frank sex ed classes in public schools. Last year there was an article in a German newspaper on teenage pregnancies and abortions in Germany - I was shocked to see stats for girls aged 10 to 12! Teenaged girls run a higher risk of problem pregnancies and births than women in their twenties, probably because their bodies are not always fully matured. Why aren't kids in U.S. schools getting more sex ed? I thought that was really pushed when Koop was Surgeon General under Reagan. I don't think treating premarital sex as a moral issue does one bit of good - kids have to know about their bodies, sexual practices, contraceptives, and risks before they can make their own decisions.
post #27 of 44
Teen pregnancy is common in NZ as well - my sister got pregnant when she was 17, but she is a wonderful mother to her daughter - she just completed her nursing degree and works full time in the pediatric ward at the hospital. I admire her for it.
I dont think it will do any good to judge someone for having a baby when a teenager - if shes pregnant, what can you do? The best thing to do is support her and be there for her. I believe that Tasha has a lot of love in her heart and will be a wonderful mum to her baby. She already has the support of her family and thats very important.

Tasha - I just wanted to say good luck.
post #28 of 44
They should be, Tybalt, but who is to teach them any different? People do look up to their families, and that IS who they will learn the most from. And as long as the governmental programs that are meant to help people get out of that situation can be manipulated to give them a life of free support, they will learn how to do it from their parents and see it as an accepable life choice.

It's pretty sad that I'm considered an anomoly in my field (secretary) because I have a strong work ethic, will take on more and try to improve the company I am working for, and have a sense of loyalty to the company. That's a totally learned trait, I got it from both of my parents the same as my sister did. The company that I work for now went through 7 secretaries/receptionists in the 2 years before I came on. (Not that this has anything to do with teen pregnancy, except to show how different learned traits can be.)

Jcat - the problem is that there are enough parental and religious groups who say that kids shouldn't be learning that in school that it isn't taught in any depth at all. Then there are probably more parents who just won't talk to their kids about sex, so for those kids there isn't much education at all. They learn it from their friends and TV/Movies (yeah, the definitely portray sex accurately in the movies! LOL)
post #29 of 44
I was one of the few in my high school class who was NOT having sex. During my sophomore and junior years, I can recall at least 20 of my contemporaries, who either had babies or multiple abortions. I knew that my getting pregnant would KILL my grandmother and my mother would kill ME. Besides, the boys that I went to school with were SO dumb. I didn't want to talk to them, much less SLEEP with them.

Brilliant young lady, that I was, I married at 16 (still a virgin). He was 23 and working. My birth control method failed and, 10 months later, I was a mother. Luckily, I was a big, strapping healthy gal and had big (10 LB 1 oz) strapping healthy son. The marriage didn't last (I grew up and he didn't) but I"m none the worse, for waiting until marriage.
post #30 of 44
As long as society condones teen pregnancy, there will BE teen pregnancy. Pre-1960's it was not accepted and there was not the vast numbers of teen moms there are now. It is no longer shameful to be 14, unmarried and pregnant. There are thousands of lower and middle class young teens who are currently pregnant and not ashamed of it. (The rich don't condone it because they want their children to go to college and succeed above all else.) Herpes didn't stop the epidemic of teen pregnancy. Aids did not stop the epidemic of teen pregnancy. As long as we, as a society, accept it without flinching, it will exist. Anyone long for the good old Victorian values? Do you think they will ever return?
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