Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Factors that Lead to Teen Pregnancy Essay -- Teen Pregnant Pregnancy E

Factors that Lead to Teen Pregnancy Although the overall rate of teen pregnancy has been declining, the rates have remained high for teens that are most vulnerable. The great majority of Americans believe that teen pregnancies are a serious national problem, indeed a problem that is the major component of what is thought to be national moral decline. However, what causes these teens to become pregnant at such a young age? A large body of research has identified a number of factores that underlie teen sexual and contraceptive behavior, pregnancy, and childbearing. There exists a three part framework of the factors underlying teen pregnancy. There are biological antecedents, including gender, age, testosterone level, and timing of puberty. These factors are causally related to adolescent sexual and contraceptive behavior and pregnancy. A second group of antecedents can be viewed as â€Å"manifestations of social disorganization or advantage† (Kirby, 1997). These include factors in the community and the family such as violent crime, poverty, unemployment, family marital disruption, parents’ lack of education, poor child rearing practice, lack of parental support, and inappropriate sexual pressure or abuse. The second group also includes factors in the individual teen such as lack of religious affiliation, drug and alcohol use, engaging in risk behaviors and deviance, delinquency, poor educational performance, and low expectations for the future. A third group of antecedents are attitudes and beliefs about sexual behavior and pregnancy. These include beliefs, personal values, and perceived norms. Among the many factors which may lead to teen pregnancy, the four that are most predictive of early pregnancy are poverty, early behavioral problems, family problems, and a low self esteem. There are several theories about the reasons why so many young women in poverty become pregnant and carry to full term. Faced with an unintended pregnancy, many teens living in poverty are likely to view early childbearing as a positive, desirable choice. These teens feel that becoming pregnant may in fact improve their lives. Economics may also be responsible for the lower percentage of poor teens who terminate their pregnancies, since Medicaid policies in most states do not pay for abortions, but do pay for services related to childbirth. In addition, some re... ...hildren who are less likely to have early intercourse." Early childhood experiences can make all the difference. Higher levels of parent to teen communication have been related to less permissive sexual attitudes, whereas poor communication with parents and lack of parental support has been linked to earlier initiation of sexual activity. Both high levels of parental supervision and close relationships between adolescents and their parents were related to later timing of teen sexual activity. In addition, parental marital disruption and living with a single parent is associated with the early onset of sexual behavior. This finding probably reflects such factors as lower family incomes, less partental supervision, and parental modeling. The large, complicated, and interrelated accumulation of factors suggest that the course that leads to adolescent sexual activity and pregnancy is complex. Kirby states that â€Å"not merely one or two, but a multitude of antecedents are related to one or more sexual behaviors and pregnancy, including characteristics of the teens themselves, their peers and sexual partners, their families and their communities and states† (Kirby, 1997).

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