16 & Pregnant

¨It was Friday morning, first period, and I was in my science class, just like a typical kid in a typical high-school science room. I’m sure you can picture it — the little plants sprouting in Styrofoam cups, the usual charts and posters on the walls, the teacher asking us if we’d done our homework. Just a normal moment in the life of a teenager.

But then the loudspeaker on the wall squawked: Jamie Rush, report to the nursery!

It was another reminder that, no, I wasn’t a normal high-school kid. I was a teenage mom attending an alternative school with built-in day care.¨  

Pregnancy Risks

There are a lot of risks when it comes to getting pregnant at any age but teens and their babies are at a higher risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most complications for those pregnant under fifteen is low level of iron in the blood, high blood pressure, and premature labor and have a low birth weight. But in order to try and have a good pregnancy at a young age is to

  • Eat healthy,
  • Get tested for diseases,
  • Stay fit
  • Avoid risky substances
  • Learn everything you can about pregnancy
  • Always keep the future in mind like finishing highschool, going to college. Ultimately it’s the girls decision, if she thinks she can financially support her and her child that is great, but sometimes raising the baby yourself isn’t the right choice. And that is okay, everyone is different, but always talk to your parents before doing anything.

Why Teens Get Pregnant

Everyone has a different reason on why they want to get pregnant, typically if you’re older you will get pregnant to start your family, while younger girls do it to fit in, or just get caught up in the moment. Often times if your mom had you young, it’s more likely that you will also have a child young. Often times teen girls have a misconception on pregnancy, thinking that they can’t get pregnant the first time they have sex. From the website Teen Help, states that some reason why girls get pregnant is due to rape, that can come from a boyfriend, strangers, and sadly even family members. Other reasons why is not using protection such as not using a condom or birth control. And sometimes girls don’t use birth control because they aren’t educated enough of how to use it, or uncomfortable and scared to use it. Most times girls will get pregnant because they feel like they need to fit in, or they give into their boyfriends asking. They feel like they need to please or give him what he wants. Even if that means doing something they don’t wanna do, they feel obligated. And sometimes it’s because they don’t know the effects of sex, yes we have sex-ed classes required in school but those classes do not really go in depth enough of talking about it. From the website TeenVougeWe were teenagers and we didn’t know any better. We lived in the Bible Belt, so sexual education was completely optional in high school, and almost nobody took it. They just thought we should know better. We didn’t. And they usually leave out birth control entirely.  Schools don’t do enough to explain everything, a lot is left out then things are made up to fill the blanks we don’t know about sex. So there are a lot of misconceptions to it. Pregnancy is not an easy task, you may think you are ready for it. But no one is actually 100% ready. For pregnancy you have to give up a lot, your time with friends get cut short, your sleeping schedule gets messed up, and now your baby is your number one priority.

Prevention

We can try and help young girls steer away from getting sexually active so young. Schools should also do a better job on clearing up theories that have been made up, because people typically believe what they hear if they don’t know any different so they don’t actually know the truths. Taken from Teen Help, talk to your daughter about sex often let them know the meaning of sex, but don’t make it a lecture and don’t bring it up once and never again.

  • Develop a close relationship with your daughter. If you as a parent are close with your child the more they will talk to you about things.
  • Always trust her, if you are a very super uptight parent the more she will want to rebel and act out. A little trust goes a long way, and her knowing you believe her is important.
  • Know your daughter’s friends. You’re Not with her 24/7 so you don’t know how she acts without you, if you have a good understanding of who her friends are you can understand her a lot better.
  • Be alert of her social media. You don’t need to monitor her every minute, but always be aware of the apps she has, and remind her of the consequences once in awhile.

While we will never be able to end teen pregnancy as a whole, we can try and educate more teens on the risks and how their life will never be the same again. I believe with more education and being open to freely talk with your kids about sex the numbers will drop.

Featured Image found on Pexels.

 

37 thoughts on “16 & Pregnant

  1. Tess says:
    “In reply to Sam,
    NEWS FLASH, statistics are based off of actual people. How can you care so much about the numbers when they are destroying women’s lives?”

    (I am again unable to reply directly.)

    Excuse me? Is this relevant at all? Of course statistics are based off of actual people. So what?
    And statistics cannot be destroying women’s lives. That doesn’t make any sense. Rape statistics (or numbers) don’t destroy women’s lives, rape does. I really don’t see your point.

  2. I think the way sexual education is done in our nation needs to undergo a radical change. Currently there is no federal postition on sed education that I can find. Sex education is decided upon by the states or in many cases, the district. This can lead to a wide discrepancy in sex ed from one district to another. Teen pregnancy blame is placed on either party but more on the lack of comprehensive sex education they receive. States such as Texas (which has a teen pregnancy rate of 73/1000, 3rd in the nation) have no state wide sex education and accordingly have high teen pregnancy rates. States with comprehensive sex education such as Vermont(which has a teen pregnancy rate of 32/1000, 49th in the nation) have a much lower rate. The lack of information presented rears its head with male contraceptives. Only 35% of high schools teach how to properly use a condom. This lowers condom effectiveness from 98% to 82% in practice because nobody know’s how to use them. Blaming Teen Pregnancy on guys or girls is not the way to solve the problem. Instead the only way to lower teen pregnancy rates is to use a comprehensive sex education program that is a mandatory class that is not able to be opted out of. This would make it so both girls and guys know how to use contraceptives, which ones are out there, and where you can get them. This is a lot more effective than just expecting teens to figure out as much of America expects us to do. The blame does not fall on one of the parties, it falls on the lack of education by the schools.
    http://fusion.net/story/188424/sex-ed-and-condom-instruction-in-america/
    https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-health-topics/reproductive-health/states/ms.html
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_education_in_the_United_States#cite_note-:11-13
    http://www.livescience.com/45355-teen-pregnancy-rates-by-state.html
    https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/facts-american-teens-sources-information-about-sex#2
    https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/shpps/pdf/shpps-508-final_101315.pdf

  3. This comment is just going to be my opinion, I’m not going to bring in too many outside sources because I do not have the time rn but if you need someone to back me up ask my mom or something but you probably don’t have to because I think I’m pretty credible just think of this as a legit comment section on social media and not an outlet for me to write an entire essay

    I found this blog post very interesting, and I think you made some good points. HOWEVER, I do not like how you made it seem like teenage girls are helpless. Starting with the “younger girls do it to fit in” I do not know any girl who would be like “hey you know how I am gonna fit in??? IM GONNNAAAA GET PREGGGNAAAANNNT!!!!!!”. Teenage girls are not that naive. Another part that kinda made me a lil mad was the “they give into their boyfriends asking. They feel like they need to please or give him what he wants” part. I’m not gonna act like there isn’t pressure but you made it sound like girls don’t like sex. Teenage girls are hor-… uh hormonal too, pal. That statement also makes it seem like all teenage guys are just tryna get into girls pants. Lots of high school guys feel pretty weird about sex, too. There’s a lot of pressure on both sides.

    Onto contraceptives, yipee!
    The whole “sometimes girls don’t use birth control because they aren’t educated enough of how to use it” is something I agree with. Another issue is that a lot adults shame young people for using birth control and lots of parents get mad about it, so I agree with you.

    the prevention part alright herewego
    I really do not like how all of this advice is for a parent trying to prevent their daughter from getting pregnant
    Getting pregnant is a two person job. Yes, girls are the ones who have to carry the baby, but I feel like this post really shifted all the blame to girls.

    Here’s where I’m gonna lay my opinion down heavy

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the average age Americans lose their virginities (defined here as vaginal sexual intercourse) is 17.1 for both men and women”. This shows us
    that teenagers are gonna do the diddly do. To really prevent pregnancies, we need to accept that fact. Sure, we have sex ed programs and we teach about condoms and all of those goodies but most of the unit consists of teaching abstinence. We need to teach more about birth control, and lessen the stigma. People get so weirded out about sex but it’s literally how most people come into existence yafeel. I know you added the part about talking openly about sex, and that’s true. But monitoring your daughter is not going to stop her from getting pregnant. We need to trust teenagers more, and give them some credit considering that a whole lot of teens are having sex and only a few are getting pregnant. We just need to actually have contraceptives more available, and be more open about them. We need to give out condoms at school, we need to make birth control pills readily available, we need to teach the youth that pulling out is not a valid form of birth control. Most of all, we have to trust teens to make decisions. Considering the age of consent in MN is 16, I think teenagers are fully capable of consenting to safe, protected, healthy, CONSENSUAL sex. We can not keep treating teenagers like they are helpless. Sure, adults are more wise and can definitely help by spreading the wisdom of safe sex. We need to stop just ” educat[ing] more teens on the risks and how their life will never be the same again” and we need to start telling teens that sex is a normal part of life and it should just be done safely.

  4. Donna says:
    “I think most people’s problem is that the article only focuses on what the girl can do to prevent pregnancy, without acknowledging that the man/boyfriend is equally responsible.

    Like you quoted, the article says girls often get pregnant because they “give into their boyfriends asking.” Of course they shouldn’t give in, but the boyfriends shouldn’t be asking in the first place.

    We need to put equal emphasis on teaching girls to say “no,” and teaching boys not to ask in the first place.”

    I couldn’t reply to this directly for some reason, so I’ll do it here.

    “I think most people’s problem is that the article only focuses on what the girl can do to prevent pregnancy, without acknowledging that the man/boyfriend is equally responsible.”

    But this article doesn’t focus on what girls can do to prevent pregnancy. The article focuses on what the PARENTS should do to avoid teen pregnancy.

    Ok, sure the article doesn’t directly say that it’s partly the man’s responsibility to prevent pregnancy, but it also doesn’t say it’s all the woman’s responsibility either.

  5. In your section “Why Teens Get Pregnant” girls do not want to have a baby to fit in. No girl wants to be a teen mom. Teens get pregnant because they have sex not because they want to fit in by having a baby. If anything having a baby as a teenager will make you not fit in and I think most girls would agree. People have sex to fit in and yes babies are a side affect of that but most teens dont want to have kids. Most teens have sex because they want to fit in and be a cool kid, or want their boyfriend/girlfriend like them more, or they think theyŕe in love. But I don’t think that girls have babies to fit in and that is where I have to strongly disagree with this post because teenage women don’t want babies, and this post makes it seem like they do. The quote “Most times girls will get pregnant because they feel like they need to fit in, or they give into their boyfriends asking”. This quote makes it seem like a teenage boy is pressuring their girlfriends into having kids, which most guys want nothing to do with at this age. Yes boys may or may NOT pressure their girlfriends to have sex but I don’t think they want sex for the kid.

  6. I think a more accurate subheading would be “Why teens have sex”; sex does not always equal pregnancy and girls aren’t purposefully trying to get pregnant nor do those situations that you provided result in pregnancy. They can. But I think that comes more from the ignorance on birth control and provision of it, which you address, but you talk about it as a separate cause rather than being an aspect of rape or pressured sex. I think you kind of lost the point and should have focused more on the education and responsibility aspect. You make sex sound like it’s pregnancy, in a way that kind of promotes abstinence more than the education that I think you were trying to get at. Also I think that’s why everyone’s so focused on the rape part, because you made it sound like men hold a huge responsibility but refused to later address that and I think if you are going to do that you should commit to it, even though I’m sure that’s not what you intended the post to be about.

  7. Sex education and pregnancy prevention isn’t only important for girls. Both people in a relationship are equally responsible for preventing pregnancy, the “blame” shouldn’t only be placed on the woman.

  8. Maybe instead of tightening up on the female we should teach our male children that no means no and to pressure a girl into sex is not ok at all…??

    1. I’m not sure that you realize that most males are taught not to perform an act like this, and that it takes someone with serious issues or a higher influence to follow through with the act. If an individual chooses to go so far as to rape another individual, that doesn’t mean they simply were not taught that it’s wrong. In fact, ERHS does a very good job of teaching and talking about this stuff in Health class. That’s extremely unrealistic to assume something so unfair, as it makes all males seem guilty. And can we address the fact that women can rape men too? If a man says no, why is it okay for a woman to ignore it and have nobody be concerned. Nearly all men are seen as sex-craving pigs when it comes to a topic like this, but that is far from the case. Serious mental issues aren’t acknowledged when these situations arise. And that doesn’t make it right, but it should at least be addressed in order to remove the blame on the whole male population…

      1. If “most males” are taught not to perform an act like this then why are 1 in 5 women sexually assaulted in their lifetime? And yes, men do get raped by women, but this article was about placing all blame on women not men, so that point was irrelevant.

        1. The one in five rape statistic cannot represent the national rape rate, according to two of the researchers who performed the study. Here’s why.

          The first is that it literally is not a study of the whole nation. It’s a study of two college campuses:
          “First and foremost, the 1-in-5 statistic is not a nationally representative estimate of the prevalence of sexual assault, and we have never presented it as being representative of anything other than the population of senior undergraduate women at the two universities where data were collected—two large public universities, one in the South and one in the Midwest.”

          The one in five statistic also is not really a one in five rape statistic. It also includes things such as groping or unwanted kissing: “Second, the 1-in-5 statistic includes victims of both rape and other forms of sexual assault, such as forced kissing or unwanted groping of sexual body parts—acts that can legally constitute sexual battery and are crimes. To limit the statistic to include rape only, meaning unwanted sexual penetration, the prevalence for senior undergraduate women drops to 14.3%, or 1 in 7 (again, limited to the two universities we studied).”

          And even in their context, on the two campuses studied, the study cannot be a reliable rate of rape on campus, because less than half of the campus participated: “Fourth, another limitation of our study—inherent to web-based surveys—is that the response rate was relatively low (42%).”

          http://time.com/3633903/campus-rape-1-in-5-sexual-assault-setting-record-straight/

          Also, I strongly disagree with the notion that this article was about “placing all blame on women not men” as you claim. Just because this article focuses more on the woman’s perspective in teenage pregnancy doesn’t mean the author believes that teenage girl bare the responsibility for pregnancy. In fact, the end of the article emphasizes on the PARENTS responsibility to prevent teen pregnancy. And in the “why teens get pregnant” section, the author talks about how some teen girls feel pressured by their boyfriends to have sex. That’s not putting all the blame on women.

          Basically, just because the article talks about the female perspective on teenage pregnancy does not mean that the article/the author blames women for teenage pregnancy.

          1. No big deal on misreading the statistic, it happens. However, I still strongly believe that the article is about blaming women for pregnancies. The article was about why teens get pregnant. The gender neutral title implies that it is about the role all genders play in pregnancy. Since only the roles females play in teen pregnancy are discussed, it is implied that the author is placing blame only on the woman, which isn’t fair because we all know that it takes two cause a pregnancy. When the ideas of teens talking to their parents about sex and pregnancy, and sex education are discussed, the author only mentions these as being important for women, even though it is equally important for both men and women to have access to reliable information about sex and protection. The fact that the article only talks about women isn’t because it’s the “female perspective” but rather because society still views pregnancy as only the woman’s fault.

          2. WRONG. The 1 in 5 statistic describes “campus definitions of sexual assault,” however the number for LEGAL definitions of sexual assault is 27%, slightly more than 1 in 4.

            You are correct, the study was conducted in only 2 campuses, however 1 in 5 is still an alarming statistic. The 1 in 5 study’s data was also not inconsistent with other similar studies done at other universities all over America.

            If you don’t believe me, HOW ABOUT YOU ACTUALLY READ THE STUDY:
            https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/221153.pdf

        2. I really wish there was an edit button. If there was, I would fix my use of the word “rape” because you said it was a sexual assault statistic, and also remove the 2nd point where I mentioned that it technically wasn’t actually a rape statistic. I must have read the “1 in 5” and thought you were claiming it was a rape statistic, since pretty much every other time it’s been mentioned to me/I’ve read it, its been called a rape statistic. I apologize. Otherwise, my statement about it not actually being an accurate rate of rape for the nation still stands.

          (pls add an edit function kantor this is so embarrassing)

        3. That was my point exactly. Why are everyone’s comments trying to point blame at men? But like I had said, some people are influenced by other things, such as drugs, alcohol or even just mental issues… It’s not fair to point blame at the whole gender if not everyone has those issues. And what about women that lie about it? There are plenty of cases exposing women for lying about being assaulted, and it’s extremely ignorant to think that those inaccuracies should count as well. The statistic would be more accurately labeled that women “claim” that they were sexually assaulted. And yes, I’m aware that most are confirmed and proven, but that doesn’t mean that all of them are.

        4. Sydney, you did not misread the statistic. That study, in tandem with other similar studies, implies that 1 in 5 women on college campuses are victims of sexual assault.

          Again, (*cough cough* SAM *cough*) you can READ the actual study: It wholly debunks much of what Sam said.

          That is all.

          1. But she did misread the statistic. She claimed 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Here, have her exact words: “why are 1 in 5 women sexually assaulted in their lifetime?” The study is a study on the rate of sexual assault on campus, not lifetime.

            But like, I didn’t personally say anything. Two of the people working on the study did.

            See?: http://time.com/3633903/campus-rape-1-in-5-sexual-assault-setting-record-straight/

            “Again, (*cough cough* SAM *cough*) you can READ the actual study: It wholly debunks much of what Sam said.”
            “much”
            “MUCH” >:( >:( >:(

            I already addressed that I misread her statistic the first time. I am humbled by my horrible mistake.

            But the study actually validates my other two claims lol

            What I said: “And even in their context, on the two campuses studied, the study cannot be a reliable rate of rape on campus, because less than half of the campus participated: “Fourth, another limitation of our study—inherent to web-based surveys—is that the response rate was relatively low (42%).””

            What the study says: “The overall response rates for survey completion for
            the undergraduate women sampled at the two universities were 42.2% and 42.8%,
            respectively. ”

            Heh.

            What I said: ““First and foremost, the 1-in-5 statistic is not a nationally representative estimate of the prevalence of sexual assault, and we have never presented it as being representative of anything other than the population of senior undergraduate women at the two universities where data were collected—two large public universities, one in the South and one in the Midwest.””

            What the study said: “The CSA Study involved conducting a Web-based survey of random samples of undergraduate students at two large public universities, one located in the South (University 1) and one located in the Midwest (University 2).”

            Heh heh.

            Sorry Sydney, I should let this rest, but I am pledged to fight Joe wherever he may appear.

          2. In reply to Sam,
            NEWS FLASH, statistics are based off of actual people. How can you care so much about the numbers when they are destroying women’s lives?

      2. I’m not sure if you realize that Cassidy was not blaming all man for rape, but was commenting that while it’s a good idea to teach teenage girls about prevention, you also have to educate the boys. She was not at all saying that women can rape men or anything about mental health issues. When she said “no means no” it isn’t strictly about rape, no means no is a statement that regards refusal of sex, but it also observes when a girl(or boy) says that she doesn’t want to have sex without a condom and their partner ignores that. Teaching both sexes about prevention would make a huge difference in teen pregnancy rather than just girls or just boys, which was what Cassidy was talking about. From the tone of your comment it seems like you read the article, saw the word rape mentioned, read a comment, and connected it to rape even though it had noting to do with that and was simply saying we should educate everyone equally

        1. this is an analogy: Say a car dealership is is trying to sell you a car, and that car is a cool red car, that would make you the “coolioest kid on the playground” . Just because they pressured you to buy a car, does not mean you have to, you can say no and walk away. You don’t need to “buy” the “car” to fit in.

      3. I agree with you Brandon 🙂 Although men/teen guys tend to have a higher libido (which shouldn’t be something necessarily frowned upon) it doesn’t mean that that’s all they think about every second. People automatically assume it’s the guy’s fault when it takes two to make a baby. To simply state things, women are slut-shamed and men are seen as pigs due to pregnancy. Personally, I’d blame both genders but my judgement depends on the circumstances. For example, I have two cousins who have children out of wedlock and another one with a child due this month. I see each of those situations differently because of their circumstances (in a sense of who’s “fault” it was). Another worthy mention is the gender of my cousins: two girls and a boy. If anything I think parents can be blamed because they are responsible for teaching their children right from wrong especially when it comes to the opposite sex. We need to determine and reference the morals we choose to live by. But one thing parents can’t control is the internet/media. For example, porn and pornagraphic images. These are extremely accessible nowadays, affect us WAY more than we think and unrealistic. They demean bodies (both men and women) and make us forget their purpose(s). Our bodies are AMAZING. They can do amazing things, but the way they are portrayed today turns them into sexual OBJECTS. Yes, objects. When you take a “sexy” photo, you are objectifying your body and selling yourself short. Don’t let this confuse you though, of course you should feel good about your body, but keep it to yourself or at least keep it personal for crying out loud.

    2. Blame is on both parties equally. Unless it is a situation of rape, then the dominant party is at fault. Although the teen pregnancy rate is lower than it was 20 years ago, sexual education still hasn’t fully fixed the problem.
      (https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2014/09/what-behind-declines-teen-pregnancy-rates).

      But we cannot put all blame on a woman for saying yes, or all the blame on a man for pressuring. Its both parties fault, and both parties should be responsible in the prevention of the pregnancy, not just the man.

  9. You seem to put a lot of the blame of girls for getting pregnant. Sometimes things just happen and it’s really not their fault. Sometimes they are pressured into having sex and then get pregnant or they are raped. It is not always their fault. Guys should be just as informed as girls. Parents should monitor their sons just as well. It took two people to get pregnant both should be educated.

    1. The author clearly acknowledges the situations of rape and social pressures.

      Rape: “From the website Teen Help, states that some reason why girls get pregnant is due to rape, that can come from a boyfriend, strangers, and sadly even family members. ”

      Social/Boyfriend pressures: “Most times girls will get pregnant because they feel like they need to fit in, or they give into their boyfriends asking. They feel like they need to please or give him what he wants. Even if that means doing something they don’t wanna do, they feel obligated.”

      These are found under the heading: “Why teens get pregnant”

      1. Yes, but even if the woman is raped or pressured by her boyfriend into having sex, the guy in the relationship is still equally responsible for making sure pregnancy is prevented.

          1. I think most people’s problem is that the article only focuses on what the girl can do to prevent pregnancy, without acknowledging that the man/boyfriend is equally responsible.

            Like you quoted, the article says girls often get pregnant because they “give into their boyfriends asking.” Of course they shouldn’t give in, but the boyfriends shouldn’t be asking in the first place.

            We need to put equal emphasis on teaching girls to say “no,” and teaching boys not to ask in the first place.

      2. -giving into their boyfriends askings- “hey babe will you get pregnant for me because I know you really wanna fit in. Also if you get pregnant I’m probably just gonna leave you because I won’t be able to be seen with you. But you’ll be cool because you had sex”

        1. I think when they are saying giving into their boyfriend asking they are meaning they are just asking for sex, not specifically asking them to get pregnant. Teenage boys are more likely to just pressure for sex. There isn’t many who would be wanting to get the girl pregnant.

        2. Please tell when anyone has ever had this conversation with anyone they truly loved. This comment is for Alexis…

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