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The Causes of Teenage pregnancy - Understanding Our Teenagersfrom: www.pregnancyexposed.com
Obviously, the reason at the base of any pregnancy is sexual intercourse. But several researchers would like to know why the phenomenon of teenage pregnancy is so widespread. The easiest answer is that teenagers want to get pregnant; while this is not untrue in all cases, at least 70% of teen pregnancies are unintentional.
Research has shown that one of the causes of teenage pregnancy is the lack of a sense of personal responsibility for their own actions, lack of maturity, and most importantly a lack of knowledge regarding sexual intercourse and contraception. Related to this, teen pregnancy is often closely associated with poverty, limited education and employment opportunities.
52% of teenagers admit not understanding sex or birth control and this is a reflection of one of the most fundamental causes of teenage pregnancy, ignorance. Indeed, teens in North America, especially girls, are bombarded with mixed messages concerning intercourse. Sex is seen as immediate gratification with no consequences, but preparing for sex makes a girl promiscuous. Sex is seen all over the tv and in videos, but equal treatment for birth control methods is completely absent. Open discussions about intercourse are very rare.
If an adolescent girl experiences low expectations for her future or lack of control over her life, she is more likely to get pregnant. Depression in general is another one of the causes of teenage pregnancy, leading girls to engage in risky sexual activity. Abuse of alcohol or drugs also leads to poor choices about sex and contraception, often ending up in pregnancy. Growing up in a family without an adequate amount of love or a father figure may also be one of the causes of teenage pregnancy; an adolescent girl will fall prey to the attentions of an older man in the hopes of receiving affection. Most girls are pressured by their boyfriends into having intercourse because they believe this will make their boyfriends love them more.
Researchers have studied European pregnancy rates and have seen that the large difference (ten fold between US and Holland, for example) in pregnancy rates between the US and most European cities lies in the fact that the European countries had better sex education, contraceptive services, acceptance of teenage sexuality, and low child poverty.
Surveys of adolescents have been performed to try and understand how they view the causes of teen pregnancy. In a 1996 study, 75% of girls and 57% of boys reported that teenage girls had sex because their boyfriend wanted it. One in three boys between the ages of 15-17 admitted having had intercourse because pressured to do so by his friends. 70% of girls in a 1997 study said that it was embarrassing for them to purchase birth control or request information from a doctor.
The exact relationship between factors associated with teen pregnancy and teen pregnancy is unclear at the moment. What the majority of researchers agree on, however, is that teenagers need to be more educated about the real consequences of sex and contraceptive methods.
Christine Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of pregnancy. Her website Pregnancy Exposed provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you will need to know about teen pregnancy. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.
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