By Randee Schmitt
Despite the recent drop in teen pregnancy, three out of ten American teenage girls will become pregnant at least once before the age of 20.
That’s almost 750,000 teen pregnancies every year.
With shows such as “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom”, teenage pregnancy is becoming more and more acceptable in society, especially in the halls of high schools.
Relationships shouldn’t be a strictly physical affair, but casual sex has become increasingly acceptable. Society creates shows and movies that essentially glamorize the situation. Though some of the productions are highly unrealistic, including so-called “reality shows”, there are still some cases that prove to be a learning lesson. The movie “Juno” tells the story of a teenage mother who chooses adoption as a route after becoming pregnant in high school, while show’s such as “Teen Mom” portray some of the struggles women go through as single mothers or as mothers dealing with the demands of a growing child while still trying to grow up themselves. In these instances, people are exposed to the side of teenage pregnancy that is often overlooked in other Hollywood movies.
More than half of teen mothers never graduate from high school, and less than two percent of teen moms earn a college degree by the age of 30. Additionally, eight out of ten teen dads do not marry the mother of their child. With statistics like these, it’s hard to believe that teenage pregnancy is still prominent throughout American high schools.
A sexually active teen that doesn’t use contraceptives has a 90 percent chance of becoming pregnant within a year. Abstinence is the number one way to keep from becoming pregnant. However, there are various types of contraceptives including birth control and morning after pills to help lower the risk of becoming pregnant. Condoms are another form of protection to help prevent pregnancy and the sharing of STDs.
Choosing to become sexually active raises many risks besides becoming pregnant, including the risk of transmitting a disease or infection. It isn’t always possible to tell if your partner is infected simply by looking at them, and many people are unaware they have a disease. Getting tested, using protection, and being careful are many things to keep in mind if you decide to become sexually active. The one hundred percent effective way to remain free of any diseases or infections is abstinence.
If you’re curious about sex or if you are currently a sexually active teenager, visit stayteen.org for more information on how you can stay safe and avoid any mishaps. Statistics show that teenage pregnancies are more common than most people realize, despite how easy it is to avoid becoming pregnant. Don’t be a statistic.