Sara Samuel is a 16-year old teen writer who goes to boarding school in New Jersey. She loves reading and playing soccer. Her least favorite things include Physics, waiting, and soy products.
One-third of all teenage girls, or 750,000 young women, will experience a pregnancy before they are 19 years old. The statistics and the frequency with which unplanned teen pregnancy occurs are undoubtedly alarming. But what, exactly, is the causing the increase in teenage motherhood?
First, adolescents do not perceive sex as a “taboo” subject as older generations once did. “That’s what she said” and other sexual comments and jokes abound on high school campuses all across the country. Even acts of sexuality are not out of place in the teen’s world today: stories of couples “hooking up” are no longer noteworthy in the regular series of gossip that inevitably reaches the ears of all teenage mothers. Second, such a lax attitude towards sex encourages an insatiable curiosity and comfort level with the topic. Teenagers have become accustomed to hearing about sex, and, as a result, is becomes less daunting, with more decisions being made rashly.
The teenagers of today are comfortable, even obsessed, with the topic of sex. Body parts have become swear words common in the vernacular of teenagers—both boys and girls alike. The locker room has become a forum for young men to declare sexual experiences. Girls are more likely to discuss birth control or personal issues in the rear of a classroom. With this abundant talk of sex, teens are only more curious to engage in it. Virgins are intrigued by the mystique that surrounds the foreign experience, and those who have experienced sex are encouraged to do so again by the accompanying social stigma of “maturity”. Overall, whether by their own volition or intrigued by social dynamics, teens are more than willing to experience sex. The average adolescent is not shy when speaking to his or her best friends about sex, and those friends are not generally of the mind to discourage such talk. There exists a basic acquaintance with sex, and teenagers are not afraid of what they know. Teens are more willing, and less thoughtful, when engaging in the familiar, and this lack of caution can result in pregnancy.
Overall, it is not the blatant desire of teenagers to throw their lives away and to disappoint that causes teenage pregnancy. At its roots, teenage pregnancy is a social problem and can only be rectified when individuals act rationally, making choices based not on popularity or curiosity, but personal beliefs and circumstances.