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Teen Pregnancy Essay

1287 words - 6 pages

Teen Pregnancy

Before we venture into the controversial aspects of teen pregnancy, I think that it is imortant to answer a vital question brought up by one of our classmates. This question addresses how teen pregnancy has evolved and how times have changed to bring upon such a serious issue. To begin answering this question we must take a look back in time to the roles of women and men in our society. Teen pregnancy is not just a rare virus that has recently sprung up and will someday dissapear due to some type of cure. Adolescent pregnancy has plagued our country for over three centuries, but it is only more recently that we have noticed its growth and severe impact on many aspects of ...view middle of the document...

Some of the reasons for the increased age in marriage stem from the changing roles of women in our society. Women are now more than ever participating in a mans work world, and dealing with such problems as maintaining their homes, the cost of childrearing, and the importance of an education. Possibly due to these factors, the rate of married white female teens dropped from 7% in 1960 to 2% in 1984. The largest decrease was seen in the black population where the rate for married black females dropped from 16.2% to 1.6% in the past 25 years. Such changes in marriage patterns have brought on increases in single parenthood,absentee fathering, and a new sexual awareness.

Sexual norms accross the society have also altered. Sex is no longer valued as a sacred token for married couples. It is treated casually and lightly and can be as natural for some people as eating and drinking. Marriage is no longer valued as a lifetime commitment with the divorce rate rising to as high as 50%. Values in general have hit an all time low where virgins are becoming scarce and divorce common.

Adolescents growing up in this kind of enviornment face a greater challenge than those who have grown up than in the past. The sequence of events that lead from adolescence to adulthood have become longer and more complex. This is partially due to the enormous gap between the time a girl reaches menarche and the time she gets married. Thus young people must wait longer to begin the shift to adulthood but face more complex desicions when they do.

A sexual revolution has swept over the 90s which intales new attitudes towards premarital intercourse. Rates of sexual initiaion among adolscents rose dramatically through the 70s, with higher percentages of teenagers experiencing coitus at younger and younger ages. 75% of males living within the United States have participated in sexual activity by the time they are 19, along with 65% of females. Each and every one at the same risk for pregnancy, AIDS, and STDs.

With such a high increase in adolescent sexual activity there are many conflicting views and feelings on the subject between women and men. Many women feel that there is a double standard when it comes to peoples reactions to sexual activity. It has become a popular theory that men regard sexual activity as a conquest of territory. Many men will admit to seeking sexual activity without the ties of a relationship, and they have also been known to say that contraception is the responsibility of the female not the male. Females, on the other hand, generally believe that love is the onset for sexual acitivity. Relationships usually play a part in their decision to have sexual contact. Thus explaining the statistic that 71%...

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