05 Sep 2009

Sample Essay: Social Problem/ Issue

Introduction

Though pregnancy is still common to women in their twenties, teenage pregnancy still remains. Teenage pregnancy is one of the most prevalent social problems. At a very early age, young women become pregnant when they should still be in school. The causes of teenage pregnancy or the driving force which leads these women into premarital sex may be varied. They might be seeking for attention form their parents which they thin they can find through companionship with the opposite sex. The impulsiveness of teenagers may also bring them the fate. Since teenage years is the time wherein teenagers ask so many questions about themselves and become curious about many things, they may be led by their curiosity into it which later resulted to pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy not only takes the teens out of school but also adds to another social problem. It is just a chain of social problems one leading into the other. Usually young women at their teens would be confused when they found out that they are pregnant. Becoming a teenage mom would be very scary hence they would tend to abort the baby. Abortion rate is basically affected by the number of teenage pregnancies. Young women who get pregnant at their teens invites more problem particularly that their body isn’t ready to bear just yet; it may cause complications to both her and the baby.  The problem is more than just the health of the teenage mom and the baby but it will also invite emotional and social stresses to the mother.

This paper aims to answer the most important questions regarding teenage pregnancy. The health effects of the pregnancy to the mother’s young body and to her baby will be examined. The social problems that may arise with teenage pregnancy and the emotional stress that a teenage mom may experience will be tackled. This is a social issue thus it is part of the government’s responsibility to help the teenage women stay away from this problem as well as heal the wounds that teenage pregnancy may have caused to those who are already afflicted.

Literature Review

Teenage pregnancy though is slowly declining in number since 1990 (Agence France-Presse, 2008). In the United States, teenage pregnancies have declined steadily but it remains to have the highest rate of teen pregnancies among the fully industrialized nations (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2007).  Effective birth control measures may have helped in lowering the cases or may be there was lesser sexual activity among teens. Though a dramatic decline of 23% was observed, teenage pregnancy still remains high. Approximately 1 million teenage girls become pregnant every year in the United States alone (Women’s Health Channel, 2008). In 2004, about 6.4 million pregnancies were recorded in which 4.11 million ended in live births, 1.22 were aborted and 1.06 million were lost due to miscarriages or stillbirths (Agence France-Presse, 2008). Most teenage mothers become pregnant again in as early as two years after the first pregnancy (Women’s Health Channel, 2008). About 85% of teenage pregnancies are unplanned which leads to more problems in any society.  Teen mothers are usually at risk for not having prenatal care as about 7.2% of pregnant young girls do not seek any medical advice (Weiss, 2008).

Teenage are mostly unplanned and facing it can be very difficult for the teenager particularly the mother. There would be confrontations with each other and with themselves. They may decide whether they should continue with the pregnancy despite the upcoming consequences or they may opt to abort it. One of the most immediate effects of teenage pregnancy however is the changes in her body that the teenage mother experiences. Since physical changes are obvious win a pregnant mother, the teenage mother may feel awkward about her body and may not like what she feels. Her lifestyle would be changed eventually and her hobbies such as sports may be limited by the growing baby inside her uterus (Pregnancy Center).

Teenage pregnancy brings along health problems to both the mother and the baby.  Low birthweight can attributed to the fact that teenage mothers do not gain adequate weight during pregnancy. This may in turn result to child mortality since babies’ with low birthweight are most likely to have organs which are not yet fully developed. Under developed organs would lead to sever complications as bleeding in the brain, respiratory disorders and intestinal problems. Since most teenage pregnancies can be considered unplanned or unwanted as the worst case scenario, the teenage mother tends to disregard the need for nutritious and healthy foods which is essential for the baby’s proper development. Poor eating habits and lack of nutritional supplement such as vitamins are just common things. Whereas nutritional counseling is one of the most important cares for the teenage mother and her baby especially that the body of a teenage mother is still growing and still needs nutritional support, this is actually disregarded. Some teenage mothers may even take drugs during pregnancy which can lead to major health complications to the baby. Alcohol use and cigarette smoking cannot be totally eliminated during teenage pregnancy because at most teenage mothers do not know its effect to their baby. Any substance taken during pregnancy is harmful as this may complicate pregnancy which may lead to premature birth and other birth complications (Weiss, 2008).

Everyone knows the importance of prenatal care during pregnancy. However, since most teenagers do not know this, they tend to ignore this and may even go through pregnancy without prenatal care at all hence they won’t be given proper advice on how to take care of their pregnancy. Delayed pregnancy testing can be the main cause for lack of prenatal care. But it also includes fear of the reality that they are pregnant and denial (Weiss, 2008). According to American Medical Association, babies born without prenatal care is as much as 4 times more likely to die before 1 year old (Women’s Health Channel, 2008).

Social, emotional and health problems may associate with teenage pregnancy. Worse is that the mother and the child shares these problems. A young girl would tend to become emotional affected should she learn about her pregnancy. She my fall into depression due to lack of someone to confide with about her situation or may become resentful about her partner for allowing such thing to happen. Frustration can also overcome them especially if they would begin thinking about herself becoming a worthless mother. The effects of peer pressure may even heighten at these times of the teenage mother’s life causing much emotional stress on her part (Teen Pregnancy Help, 2007).

Children born of teenage mothers usually do not receive adequate nutrition. They also tend to receive less health care, cognitive and social stimulation which may later result to their poor academic achievement. About 50% of children born to teenage parents are most likely to repeat the same grade level. Their school performance can be considered worse and they may not even complete high school The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2007). These children may also experience abuse as their mother may not have fully accepted the reality that she is already bearing a very big responsibility or neglect which may result from the lack of complete parents.  Recent analysis have shown that incidents of abuse and neglect per 1,000 families reached to 110. Usually this is a single-mother headed family (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2007). Data says that about 13% of boys born to teenage mothers become delinquents and 22% of girls born to teenage mothers may share the same fate as their mother’s, becoming a teenage mother herself (Women’s Health Channel, 2008).

Teenage births associates with low annual income for the mother which may due to the fact that the teenage mother may never be able to finish school (Women’s Health Channel, 2008). In 1990, a study showed that almost half of all teenage mothers who were unmarried were receiving welfare within the first five years of the child. The increasing number of single-parent families can be accounted for the persistent poverty for a period of twenty years as documented in 1998 Economic Report of the President (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2007).

For the teenage fathers, they may have increased delinquent behaviors and may become addicted to drugs. They may become social problems themselves. They too, may not be able to finish school as their attention should focus on the baby hence reduced earning potentials. In the United States, an estimated amount of $7 billion was spent on public assistance, child health care and involvement with criminal justice system (Women’s Health Channel, 2008).
In 1996, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy was organized. The concept underlined in this campaign is the country’s strategy to reduce rate of teen pregnancy in the aim to improve the overall well-being of a child and reduce persistent poverty. The fact that teenage pregnancy can lead to major consequences not only for the mother and baby’s health but to the society in general, this social problem must be addressed properly and immediately.

As of August 2006, twenty-one states and the District of Columbia all favored to allowing minors t have access to contraceptive services in spite of lack of parents’ consent. Texas and Utah however requires parents; consent before thy can have access to these services. In publicly-funded family planning clinics which give counseling, records that about ninety percent of their clients are below 18 (Guttmacher Institute, 2006).

Conclusion

Teenage pregnancy remains an ugly part of the society. When these teenagers should have been in school, they may become corrupted and robbed off of the life of being a teenager since pregnancy and giving birth entails a very big responsibility.  First thing is that to avoid this problem, parents should be the first to educate their children about premarital sex so they would know and may help them avoid the consequences which includes teenage pregnancy.

Reference

Weiss, Robin Elise LCCE (2008).Teen Pregnancy. Retrieved May 6, 2008 from, http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/teenpregnancy/a/teenpreg.htm

(2008).US teen pregnancy rate near historic low-study. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved May 6, 2008 from, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/

world/view/20080415-130440/US-teen-pregnancy-rate-near-historic-low-study

(2008). Teen Pregnancy: Overview, Health Risks to the Baby and other Consequences of Teenage Pregnancy. Women’s Health Channel. Retrieved May 6, 2008 from, http://www.womenshealthchannel.com/
teenpregnancy/index.shtml

(2007).Effects of Teen Pregnancy. Retrieved May 6, 2008 from,

http://www.teenpregnancyhelp.net/effects-of-teen-pregnancy.html

(2007). Teen Pregnancy- So What? The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Retrieved May 6, 2008 from, http://www.teenpregnancy.org/whycare/sowhat.asp76

2006).In Brief: Facts on American Teens’ Sexual and Reproductive Health. Guttmacher Institute. Retrieved May 6, 2008 from, http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_ATSRH.html

Cause and Effects of Teen Pregnancy. Retrieved May 6, 2008 from, http://www.pregnancycenters.org/cause-teen-pregnancy.asp

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