What are so many teenage girls getting pregnant? What developed nation has the highest rate of teen pregnancies? What are the causes of teenage pregnancy in the United States? What is jellyfish parenting? How to prevent teenage pregnancies? How many teens get pregnant and have babies in the United States every year? How much does teen pregnancy cost?
The United States has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the world, it ranks highest among the developed nations, the United Kingdom is second.
Out of every 1000 teen age girls (between 15 and 19) in the United States, 52 became pregnant and had babies. In the United Kingdom the figure was 30 out of every 1000. To compare, Japan, the Netherlands, and Italy, all had fewer than 10 out of 1000, and most other developed nations were under 20 out of every 1000 teenage girls. Source Link.
While we can understand why teenage pregnancy rates might be high in undeveloped nations; lack of sexual education, lack of contraceptives, forced marriages at a young age, rape, poverty, there is really no good excuse for high rates in a developed nation.
Why are so many teenagers getting pregnant in the United States?
There are many contributing factors to why so many teens are getting pregnant in the United States as compared to other developed nations. It is not just one thing, but perhaps a combination of factors affecting each girl differently.
Jellyfish Parenting has been blamed. This is a style of parenting in which the parents set low expectations of their children and has been criticized for causing all kinds of behavioral problems. The children are given few rules, raised more like friends than children, and are not really given any motivation. Without rules and boundaries the kids flounder, becoming spoiled and often have low self esteem. Teenage pregnancy may not even seem “wrong” to them because their parents never set expectations to the contrary.
Absentee Parenting may also play a role. Teens come home to empty homes with "nothing to do" while both parents are at work. Parents who are too involved with work, or each other, and ignore their teens are putting their teen at risk.
Lack of a Father Figure has also been cited as a probably cause for so many teenage pregnancies. The earlier the father left, the more likely the girls were to get pregnant later in life. With girls whose fathers left when they were young having a 5 times greater risk of teenage pregnancies.
Increased Sexuality is another concern and possible cause. In developed nations teenage girls are often menstruating earlier than ever before. Boys are also becoming sexually mature at younger ages than in the past This may be due to nutrition, or even hormones used in food. It means that teenagers are having sexual feelings younger than they did even 100 years ago. Teens in America are exposed to sexual images more than those in many other nations, and reports show that teenage boys in the USA have sex at younger ages than boys in more conservative nations.
Some teens are ashamed to talk to their parents about sexuality and birth control. While teens may know about the birth control pill, or condoms, they are largely unaware of other methods of birth control. It is the nature of some ultra religious parents to shelter their children from such things in the belief that exposing them to it somehow seems like giving them permission. All of this has backfired and failed in the United States as clearly teenage pregnancies are 10 times higher than in some developed nations where sexuality is talked about openly and honestly, without being necessarily glamorized. In particular criticism is raised against teaching abstinence only and not offering more information as could be provided in an “abstinence – plus education” program.
Some teens are made to feel ashamed of their sexuality, they are even taught that masturbation is a sin. Many people who are taught to feel this way express it in other ways. Other cultures suggest masturbation as a form of birth control.
Girls who were abused, either raped by a stranger or family member, at a young age are more likely to become pregnant as teens.
According to a study in Medical News Today, teenage births cost the United States government 9.1 billion dollars.