TEENAGE PREGNANCY AND THE EFFECTS ON FAMILY
January 22, 2012
Teenage pregnancy refers to pregnancy in a female under the age of 20. It generally refers to a female who is unmarried and usually refers to an unplanned pregnancy. A pregnancy can take place at any time after puberty, with menarche (first menstrual period) normally taking place around the ages 12 or 13, and being the stage at which a female becomes potentially fertile. Teenage pregnancy depends on a number of societal and personal factors. Teenage pregnancy rates vary between countries because of differences in levels of sexual activity, general sex education provided and access to affordable contraceptive options.
In the United States the topic of sex education is the subject of much contentious debate. Some schools provide "abstinence-only" education and virginity pledges are increasingly popular. A 2004 study by Yale and Columbia Universities found that 88% of those who pledge abstinence have premarital sex anyway1 most public schools offer "abstinence-plus" programs that support abstinence but also offer advice about contraception. A team of researchers and educators in California have published a list of "best practices" in the prevention of teen pregnancy, which includes, in addition to the previously mentioned concepts, working to "instill a belief in a successful future", male involvement in the prevention process, and designing interventions that are culturally relevant.2 On September 30, 2010, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved $155 million dollars in new funding for comprehensive sex education programs designed to prevent teenage pregnancy. The money is being awarded "to states, non-profit organizations, school districts, universities and others. These grants will support the replication of teen pregnancy prevention programs that have been shown to be effective through rigorous research as well as the testing of new,...