Essay teenage problems Debra June 17, 2017
Essay teenage problems | Arrow Leadership
For most teenagers, the real consequences of having a child at such a young age are unknown. Teens need to be aware of the harsh reality of raising a baby and the negative effects that an unplanned pregnancy can cause in both the mother and the child's lives. In the article "The Decline of Teen Marriage Is a Serious Problem," Patrick F. Fagan talks about the effects of having a child out of wedlock at a very young age. He states that the mother's new offspring can experience the following: "Lowered health for newborns and increased risk of early infant death; Retarded cognitive, especially verbal, development; Lowered educational achievement; Lowered job attainment: Increased behavior problems; Lowered impulse control; Warped social development; Increased Welfare dependency" (1). Teenage mothers must be aware of the tremendous effect their offspring will have on society in the future, and the high risk of the cycle repeating once this child becomes a teen. Teens must also be aware of the fact that an unplanned pregnancy will take a toll on other aspects of their lives. For example, as Fagan points out, less than one-third of teen moms who have a baby before they are eighteen finish high school (2). When exposed to such information about the results of an unplanned pregnancy, teens are forced to analyze whether sex is worth the risk of forever changing their lives, and those of their future children.
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Another form of teenage pregnancy prevention that is being taught in schools is various contraceptive techniques. Although abstinence remains the best way to prevent pregnancy among teens, it is a fact that there are still a large number of them who will be involved in sexual relations. For this reason, it is important that teens be provided with broad information on how to do so responsibly using various contraceptive techniques. Most of the sex education in schools consists of one message: "Don't have sex--but if you do, use a condom" (Khouzam 3). The problem that rises from this is that teenagers are not being exposed to extensive information on the various forms of birth control, condoms, and other methods of prevention that are available. According to Helen Lippman, contraceptives are talked about in sex education classes, but only as being ineffective in preventing pregnancy and diseases (1). Also, these classes on contraceptives should include information on how to obtain the different methods of birth control. Jocelyn Elders has also advocated school-based health clinics nationwide with the purpose of reducing teen pregnancy with the availability of contraceptives (Khouzam 3). This is a way to ensure contraceptive use for many young teens who, rather than going to their parents for help in obtaining birth control, choose to have sex without protection simply because that protection is not made available to them.