Why are so many teens having babies?
I'm a 17-year-old honor student at Gibbs High School. I used to walk around campus and see many pregnant girls and teen fathers, and it would aggravate me. I'd say to myself, "Are these people ignorant? There are things they can use to prevent this!" Now I realize I was the ignorant one.
Birth control is out there, but sometimes it's an inconvenience. Either students are too embarrassed to buy it, or it is too expensive (which is why I feel condom distribution in schools is a great idea), or they just plain forget.
The day I got pregnant, I wasn't thinking about protection and neither was my boyfriend. The end result is my baby growing in my body.
I feel I can do just as well as any adult. I may need a little help, but I know I can make it.
Everyone has the right to their opinion. I had my opinion. I didn't realize it would change so drastically after I'd walked in their shoes. I no longer scorn those teen parents. Instead, I applaud their bravery.
When my parents were growing up, if a teenager got pregnant, it was considered a disgrace. That teenager was usually sent away to a distant relative until the baby was born, and the teenager was no longer allowed to be with her friends because her friends' parents wouldn't allow it. When a teenager had a baby, that was usually the end of her life as she knew it.
Now it seems as if it's no big deal for a teen to have a child. I see it every day in school. We even have special programs in schools to help teens with babies. I believe that all the special programs and care that are given to teen mothers make it acceptable for teens to have children.
One of the main reasons that the birth rate among teenagers is so high is because no one thinks that they could get pregnant. Also, some people just don't care. Many parents didn't install good morals in their children when their children were young. Some parents didn't sit down with their kids and have a talk about the birds and the bees.
Adults are going about the problem of teenagers having babies the wrong way. Maybe teens who want to help stop this problem should stand up and teach others about it. Teens who have babies should talk to others about how hard their life has become. Teens are tired of listening to adults talk about how hard it is to be a teen with a baby, when most adults don't even know what being a teen is like anymore.
Teens are having so many babies simply because they are having sex too much. The question to ask, therefore, is not "Why are teens having so many babies?" but "Why are teens having sex so much?"
A major reason teens have sex is for entertainment. It is true that society does not offer them much to do besides homework, but that is no excuse. In American society, the family unit is in pathetic condition. Parents and guardians must be the ones to take on the responsibility of arming teens with strong morals and values. It is not a government problem.
In my opinion (speaking as a mother-to-be), there is a lack of communication in the home these days. There are more broken homes. The parent then needs two jobs, which doesn't leave much time for the parent to notice change in his or her own teen's life. If they don't notice anything, how do they know to talk to their son or daughter?
Other times there is not a closeness at home with the parents or affection such as hugging, kissing or "I love you." The result of that is teens often seek closeness with one of the opposite sex.
The majority of these girls were never given the love and respect they deserved as children. As they mature they search for love somewhere else, resulting in promiscuity.
A huge number of these young girls want babies of their own because they have such a yearning for unconditional love. Their babies fill this void. These girls were not born immoral; they were made that way by years of neglect and starvation of love.
The theory that I have is that teens today do not get the help that they need from a family. Most of the teens having babies were born when their mom or dad was a teenager.
Jason L. Sims
My solution is to make condoms free. This can be made possible by selling advertisements on the condom packages. Newspapers are doing the same thing; that is why they only cost a quarter. So why can't they do it on condoms?
Today, teens are like sex-starved animals. If you are age 14 or above, it is almost freakish to be a virgin. All that most guys need to say is three words _ "I love you" _ and they've got themselves a new partner. Even though most girls know that's a line, they feel better when they're told they're wanted.
Right now I have five acquaintances between the ages of 15 and 18 who are pregnant. There is nothing except time and age that can prevent this. I really don't think we could be any more educated on the subject of "safe sex." Every time a teen turns around there is a commercial, pamphlet or billboard with that slogan. I think sex is just another teenage fad.
Tara L. Freitas
Palm Harbor Preparatory
My opinion about this issue is that we as teenage mothers and fathers wanted to be in the in-crowd or see what sex is about, and most of us have been through nine months of terror and 24 hours of labor and we are slowly changing our minds about having another one.
There are many possible reasons why teens are having so many babies. I feel that as a teen parent myself, I can shed a little light on the matter.
Many teens today are trying to grow up too fast and don't realize that they are going to have to face the responsibilities that come with being grown. They get involved in a sexual relationship, and becoming pregnant is the last thing on their mind.
Teens know about birth control and how to get it, but they think to themselves, "Oh, nothing is going to happen to me. So why bother?"
Some teens try to get pregnant on purpose with the misconceptions that babies are cute and cuddly and will always love you back. Or they want to keep their mate tied to them. They even do it out of rebellion against parents.
But in most cases it backfires and they look back and say, "I wish I hadn't done that."
I'd like to end by telling you what I once read off a poster: "Getting pregnant isn't a crime. But it does come with a life sentence."
The primary reason why teens are having so many babies isn't that they are ignorant about birth control, can't get birth control or want to have babies. It is that they don't stop long enough before sexual intercourse to consider the use of a contraceptive. Teens know where to find them, as well as how to use them; they just don't.
Another reason why teens aren't considering the use of birth control is that they don't plan on having sexual intercourse _ it just happens. Engaging in sexual intercourse spontaneously, like doing anything without thinking it over first, allows for the absence of precaution. No precaution, of course, means no protection. If teens aren't even thinking moments into the future, they obviously aren't thinking months or years into the future, when they could be tied down by parenthood.
The only solution anyone can logically propose, therefore, is that teens must stop and think before intercourse; they are indeed the only ones who can decide what the future will hold for them.
Increase the level of sex education in school by 100 percent. Right now, the sex education teachers are supposed to stress abstinence. When they talk about protected sex, they aren't allowed to go beyond telling students to use a condom. What they need to be telling students is how to properly put on a condom, what types to use and not to use, and even have condoms available to students who are too embarrassed to buy them at a store.
Many girls don't take birth control because their parents won't take them to get it. Some don't take it because they think it doesn't work. Some just don't care about anything they do in life. Another reason is because they don't think about safety. Some will let the boys sweet-talk them into not using protection.
I think that teenagers are having so many babies because they are on drugs and they don't give a damn. Too many of my friends have told me that they have gotten drunk or were on drugs at the time and they were just having fun and now they are having to drop out of school to take care of their babies. I think that schools should have a teenage mother come in and talk to the students about the consequences of having sex at a young age.
Palm Harbor Preparatory
Everyone knows by now that teens are having babies way too young. Most of these teens are struggling to get their diplomas so they can make a good life for them and their child. I am one of these pregnant teens, and I wish I wasn't, but I am, and it's my choice to go through with it. After my baby is born I will go back to school and get what I want _ an education.
We are teen parents. We had our children for the same reason any married person would want a child. What is the big issue about teens having babies?
Some teens are having babies because they are against abortions. Teens don't always use birth control because no birth control is 100 percent, and when you're taking other medications the birth control stops working. It is not because teens want to have babies; we're just taking on our responsibility for our actions.
Barbara White, Sophia Jackson and Jaime Carter
I don't think anything is going to stop teens from having children _ regardless. This is not something you can just tell them to stop. Maybe if some of the teens were talked to at home, or had better family lives and communicated with their families more often, this could lower the increase of teenage pregnancies. But besides this, teenagers are basically going to do what they want.
Palm Harbor Preparatory
I think that most teens' pregnancies are unplanned and they maybe just want to see what it feels like to have a child.
Another thing is that there is no birth control 100 percent effective. The only sure way is not to have sex at all but, everyone has to realize sex is a part of life and having babies is a part of some people's lives. Also everyone has to realize if it is meant for teens to have babies while they are young, then they will have them. Also we are ignorant about birth control. Some birth control has side effects and may mess them up and make it so that they can't have babies later in life.
To reverse the increase in teen parenthood, we must set up programs in the schools that show kids at a young age what can go wrong. One possible way to do this is to bring parents who had children in high school to talk to the students before they reach high school.
Palm Harbor Preparatory
It is a well-known fact that teenagers are not the most responsible people in the world. This is the main reason why so many teenagers are having children. Teenagers are not responsible enough to use birth control. And it is important to remember that no form of birth control is 100 percent effective. The only way to reverse the increase is to find a 100 percent fail-proof method of birth control, because right now the only method of birth control that is guaranteed to work is abstinence, and this is not a very realistic option in today's society.
The reason teens are having so many babies is peer pressure. I think it's sad that teens think they have to have sex to be cool. Some may not, but a lot of others do. Even if teens are not pressured by their friends, they can still be pressured by their boyfriend or girlfriend. Sometimes that pressure is the strongest.
Teens are having many babies now because it is becoming more acceptable. The more we accept it, the more it will happen. Teens know about birth control. It's not difficult to get, either. It only takes a hop in the car and a drive down to the nearest grocery store. But we don't want to use it! And most of us don't want babies yet. Parents and others need to start taking charge. They need to show their children that they care and teach them how to be responsible.
"I don't think that girls deliberately go out and get themselves pregnant, but have these sexual relationships with people to prove a point. They usually feel very low in their self-esteem and want to feel needed and special. They sometimes don't get the love and support at home and look for it somewhere else. That's why it is so important that parents maintain a good relationship with their teens."
Tania Ammannati, Countryside High
"I am no longer a high school student, but a dropout. I am also an expecting mother. If it weren't for this pregnancy, I would most likely be dead. This blessed gift from heaven gave me a second change at my life and gave me the opportunity to love again, and love to live. Teen pregnancy can sometimes be a blessing in disguise."
Janet E. Fraley, (Formerly of) Clearwater High