Abigail is 15 years old from Los Angeles, CA. She likes photography, spending time outdoors and creative writing. She loves English and Art History and hopes to travel around the world when she’s older.
Pregnancy has taken over the teenage world. It dominates the media, including television shows, the news and books. “The Sex Talk” truly is an inevitable (and awkward) topic that all teenagers and parents have; however it is a complete necessity to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Not only has teen pregnancy controlled television shows such as the popular 16 and Pregnant, but it has become a common dinner-table topic. Teen pregnancy has always been a stigma in our strictly structured society, but recently it has become popular and glamorized. The label that has been hypothetically branded into teen mom’s skins will never be removed.
Babies ARE cute, but to think that ones life can be washed away over a fun night with your boyfriend out by the lake is not an ideal situation. I strongly believe that “the gift of life” is the best gift to give, but at the appropriate time. At the peak of your teenage years is probably not the best time to get pregnant and may mix up future plans.
Remember in ninth grade health class when the teacher taught you all about “safe sex, condoms, peer pressure” and you just pushed it to the side of your brain? Well that can come in handy now. Sure, we all get that same talk from the same teacher about choosing the right time to do things, but even SHE knew that we weren’t paying attention. However, important facts can help the prevention of unplanned pregnancy. Education (however boring it may be) is really the best way of prevention.
The portrayal of teen pregnancy has definitely been through television. On MTV’s hit reality series, 16 and Pregnant, the viewer is shown the life of a teenage mother. As watchers we get a full 360˚ view of what it’s like to be a teen mom. Maci Bookout, one of the more famous stars of the show, has made great strides in getting her life together after the birth of her son, Bentley. She faced great challenges such as sorting out her differences with her estranged boyfriend, Ryan. However, she has become closer with her family and (scary as it sounds) has become an adult in a blink of an eye.
Many teen moms are faced with the same issues everyday, and unlike Maci and the other “stars” of 16 and Pregnant, their life isn’t on MTV. They have to face challenges all by themselves. Teen mothers do love their children very much, but they are faced with the constant reminder of a mistake that they made. They have no camera crews following them around, no endorsements that may come with appearing on a show and especially a reality check. They are faced with the role of being a mother at a very young age.
Statistics show a dramatic increase in teen pregnancy over the past couple of years. Shocking yet true, it is a reminder that teen pregnancy is not as glamorous as it appears on television.
According to guttmacher.org:
– 46% of all 15-19 year olds in the United States have had sex at least once.
– The majority (59%) of sexually experienced teen females had a first sexual partner who was 1-3 years their senior.
– According to several websites, this dramatic increase of teen pregnancies hasn’t been seen since the early 90s.
Teen pregnancy is a topic that should not be handled lightly. Pregnancy can happen to anyone. As teen pregnancy rates are reaching an astronomical rate, we really need to be informed. There are many touchy subjects focused on pregnancy such as abortion, emotional state and who will care for the “unwanted” children of accidental teenage pregnancy. If one looks past the glamorization of pregnancy through the media and focus on informing teenagers in a comfortable atmosphere the risk you take when you have unsafe sex, teen pregnancies in America will go down.
(Teen Pregnancy Statistics)
(Informative website about risks and if you do get pregnant, what the options are)