Teenage Mothers, Prenatal Care, and Injuries
an article by our site
There were 390,190 teen abortions in 2008. There were 18 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–19 in 2008. According to Reuters, birth and abortion rates among U.S. teens fell to record lows in 2008 as increased use of contraceptives sent the overall teen pregnancy rate to its lowest level since at least 1972, a 2008 study showed. But disparities among racial and ethnic groups continued to persist, with black and Hispanic teens experiencing pregnancy and abortion rates two to four times higher than their white peers, said the Guttmacher Institute, the nonprofit sexual health research group that conducted the analysis. (Source: Reuters, “Teen pregnancy, abortion rates at record low, study says”, James B. Kelleher, 2012)
Teens need to learn about condoms so they don't end up as teen mothers—which is usually a disaster
There is less pressure on teens to marry—teen mothers who don't marry sometimes continue to live with their parents; they are no longer rejected by their families. Also, various government agencies now provide financial support which wasn't available in 1960. The government does nothing to encourage pregnant teens to marry. There are conflicting studies regarding whether teens are better off married or not. Marriage seems to help when the husband is older, has finished high school, and is working.
41% of first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, but MCs preclude most such possibilities due to the need-filling situation of lots of nurturing friends
Even at an all-time low, the U.S. teen pregnancy rate is still the highest among developed countries. Recently, the relatively low rate of teen pregnancy is due partly to teens becoming careful about contraception. During the 1970s, the number of sexually active teenagers increased by two-thirds. In the early 90s, among 15-17 year olds, almost 50 percent of boys and 33 percent of girls were sexually active. Knowledge of contraception has not kept up with this increase in sexual activity: only 14 percent of teenage girls used contraceptives the "first time" back then. Among those who used contraceptives in the early 90s, many depended on unreliable methods such as withdrawal or rhythm. Almost 66 percent of teenage girls who were having sex either never used contraceptives or used them inconsistently. In addition, they believed that if they used contraceptives they are premeditating sex. However, if they have spontaneous, unplanned sex, then they can more easily reconcile the activity. The more guilt and anxiety about sex, the less likely one is to use contraceptives.
Surveys are great marketing, sociological, and demographic research tools
Interestingly, 0.6 percent of 10-year-olds, 1.1 percent of 11-year-olds, 2.4 percent of 12-year-olds, 5.4 percent of 13-year-olds, and 11 percent of 14-year-olds are sexually active. A fifth of all 15-year-olds are sexually active. By the age of 16, that number rises to 33 percent. More than half of all teens are sexually active between the ages of 17 and 19, but more teens are delaying sex altogether than in years past. Researchers found that some 25 percent of all teens that were surveyed went on to reach the age of 20 without becoming sexually active. But the chances that a teen between the ages of 10 and 19 is sexually active are at their lowest levels in 25 years. (Source: National Survey of Family Growth, 2006-2010)
"Many of the motivations for teenage pregnancy are born of hopelessness, the feeling that opportunities in life are few and limited, and one might as well have a baby as do anything else." These feelings are most common among lower-income teens who see success in school or work as impossibilities.
Many of the motivations for teenage pregnancy are born of hopelessness
"Research has discovered that girls who get pregnant in their teens harbor a number of misconceptions about their menstrual cycles. Some thought there was no way to get pregnant at the same time they lost their virginity, while others had an incorrect understanding of how ovulation works and at what point in the month they were most fertile. Still others thought they couldn’t get pregnant at all, although why they believed that is unclear. . .Research conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that 40% of respondents said contraception wasn’t important because they thought they would get pregnant regardless." (Source: Half of Teen Moms Don’t Use Birth Control — Why That’s No Surprise, Bonnie Rochman, healthland.time.com, 2012)
The childbirth rate for 15 to 19 year old teens
"It is paradoxical that those very young women, black and white, who are the poorest, the least educated, often the least nourished, generally the least endowed with societal and emotional supports—in short, the least equipped to be mothers—are having babies at such an alarming rate." Sociologists are concerned over the incidence of child abuse and neglect among children of teens. Teen parents are often depressed and frustrated, and have less patience with small children than do more-mature parents. And a young girl who grows up feeling neglected and unloved is more likely to become a teen mother herself "to make up for the nurturing she didn't have." It's obvious that the one of the WORST reasons for having a baby is for the mother to get nurtured by the baby. (Source: Helmore, Kristin, "Many teens see motherhood as their only source of fulfillment," The Christian Science Monitor, November 18, 1986, p. 28)
2014 statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reveal the following numbers for teens that had at least one major depressive episode in the previous 12 months:
- 17.3% of adolescents that had a major depressive episode in 2014 were female.
- 5.7% of adolescents that had a major depressive episode in 2014 were male.
- 5.7% were 12 years old.
- 8.7% were 13 years old.
- 10.7% were 14 years old.
- 13.0% were 15 years old.
- 14.1% were 16 years old.
- 15.1% were 17 years old.
Depression rate in the U.S. in 2011, for comparison with teen statistics
Children of teen parents tend to be premature, often suffer from a variety of illnesses, and are often involved at birth with drug problems. Abuse is also a problem. Most teen parents stay out of school and out of work, and tend to have a second child. Prenatal healthcare is not always forthcoming.
Infants of teen parents are 45 percent more likely to require neonatal intensive care. The average medical costs through the first year of life are approximately $32,000 for preterm infants vs. $3,000 for a full-term infant. One state's Children's Services Division estimates that 40 to 60 percent of its caseload comes from households begun by teen parents. (Source: MANAGED CARE January 2010. © MediMedia USA, http://www.managedcaremag.com)
Children of teen parents tend to be premature and often suffer from a variety of illnesses
Nationally, a statistic states that 70 percent of the men and women in prison are children of teen-age parents.
70 percent of the men and women in prison are children of teen-age parents
A book by the Urban Institute, The Changing American Family and Public Policy, disputes the beliefs that increases in divorce and employment of mothers outside the home are the major cause of teen-age drug use, suicide, high school dropouts, murder, and poor school performance. It also disputes the notion that the level of welfare benefits has a major impact on teen-age pregnancy and family breakup. The book also challenges the idea that a return to the "traditional family," in which the mother stays home, would reverse the unfavorable social trends of recent decades.
In the 1970s, according to the figures in the book, almost all statistics on S.A.T. scores, high-school graduation rates, drug and alcohol use, delinquency, teen-age homicide rates, teen-age suicide, birth rates among unmarried women, and other teen-age social indicators, got worse. But in the late 70s and early 80s these statistics leveled off or improved, although the rate of women employed outside the home continued to rise. The authors contend that there is no direct correlation between female employment and these unfavorable trends.
The authors said their findings strongly suggest that in the unlikely event that parents . . . restored the "traditional family," the levels of drug use, alcohol consumption or crime would not return to the low levels of the 1950s.
In mid-1991 some media began reporting that women were leaving the workplace in hordes to become full-time mothers. USA Today and the Washington Post claimed to identify this "new" trend. However, it turns out that the decline of women in the work force was precisely equal to the decline of men in the work force during the same period. And the number of working mothers with children under 18 actually increased from 66.6 percent in June 1990 to 66.8 percent in June 1991.
"Teachers report that each year, fewer of the children who start school are mentally or emotionally equipped to learn what they're supposed to learn. Attempts to fix the educational system, however praiseworthy, won't be effective if what's broken is the part of a child's life that's spent outside of school."
" . . . we must understand that our schools can't do it all. Using schools to achieve racial balance, eliminate poverty, fight drug abuse, prevent pregnancy, and reduce youth suicide is simply too much. Our teachers and principals should be required to address educational issues, not unmet social needs. Moreover, those who demand our schools' improvement would be well advised to pay significant attention to the social issues that have played such a critical role in the decline of our public education system. If we wish to improve the educational performance of our schools, we must first improve the quality of life for our youth. Only then can we fairly evaluate the degree to which our schools are fulfilling their educational objectives." (Source: Dudley, William, and Szumski, Bonnie, eds., America's Future, Opposing Viewpoints, p. 232.)
The PBS series "Childhood," shown in October and November 1991, is one of hundreds of sources that make the following points:
- Research has proven that fathers or others can be as good nurturers as mothers as long as they're interested in the child and feel nurturing toward the child.
- If nurturing comes from many sources and insecurity is virtually absent (in childhood), youngsters become ready to nurture others almost as soon as there is another needing it. (The Baka on the PBS series exemplified this perfectly.)
- In the past extended families, close-knit neighborhoods and communities kept nurturing levels high and kept unfair pressures on mothers low; but modern industrial society attempted to define the female role as exclusive maternal caregiver in spite of the fact that in the past mothers had been a vital part of the work force—doing farming, gathering, crafts, etc.
- Too much authoritarianism or permissiveness undermines a child's security and produces aggressiveness.
- Quality day care will always be good for the child. It will encourage better learning and socialization. GOOD day care is never a risk to kids and never weakens any mother-child bond. Yet bad day care is a risk to the child, and it is critical that the United States follow the example of other developed modern societies that ASSURE good day care.
Note: The series pointed out that in many primitive societies the cultural traditions themselves assure adequate and varied nurturing sources for all children. Therefore no government assistance is required. Societies like these never adopt the isolated nuclear family format.
What remained when most social tasks were exteriorized in the 1950s was the isolated ‘nuclear family,’ held together less by the functions its members performed as a unit than by fragile psychological bonds that are all too easily snapped