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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Teen Pregnancy

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Author Topic: Teen Pregnancy
mysibear
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I go onto many teen message boards and I hear so much about this topic. I was wondering what you all think about teen pregnancy.

It seems that today there are many young teens out there becoming parents at such young ages and it has really become a problem. I know that teen pregnancy rates are going down slowly but its still a cause for concern. I am 16 years old and I am sexually active, I will admit to that but before I had sex I made sure I had protected myself as best as possible, Im on the Depo Provera injection and me and my boyfriend use condoms. I think that if you think you are mature enough for sex then you should be responsible about it and protect yourself.

I know that accidents happen and that nothing is 100% effective and I dont wish to offend any teen mothers out there, but I see alot of my peers making big mistakes when it comes to sex and I know a few teen mothers already, Im just curious as to what everyone else thinks on the subject. Thanks!

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-Missy --edited--

**For your safety, please do not post your email address or any other personal information. Thank you.**

[This message has been edited by SlowCookie (edited 06-08-2001).]


Posts: 8 | From: Tucson,Arizona, USA | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aria51
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Personally, I think teenaged women can make excellent mothers -- take a peek in our Pregnancy and Parenting forum and you'll see what I mean.

Why is teenage pregnancy a problem? Just because a woman is, say, 15, does not mean she's less qualified than a woman ten years older to be a capable parent. Throughout history, acutally, women started having their babies in their late teens and early twenties, and the human race has managed just fine.

I don't think teenage pregnancy should be considered a mistake either. While the initial conception may be an unforseen occurance, many of us are raising our babies and leading full and rewarding lives. What's the mistake in that?


By the by, take another look at the user agreement you just Ok'd when you signed up, and then, for your safety, take your email address out of your posts.

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"I stayed up all night playing poker with tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died."

Out of my Head.

[This message has been edited by Aria51 (edited 06-08-2001).]


Posts: 1287 | From: Missouri | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mysibear
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"Why is teenage pregnancy a problem? Just because a woman is, say, 15, does not mean she's less qualified than a woman ten years older to be a capable parent. Throughout history, acutally, women started having their babies in their late teens and early twenties, and the human race has managed just fine."

Why is teenage pregnancy a problem? There are alot of teens out there having children that the government is having to support. And you say that a 15 year old girl is just as qualified to be a parent as a women 10 years older? I dont understand what you are talking about. For one, a women of 25 is more qualified to be a parent because she will have a better education than the 15 year old and she is fully capible of having a steady job. At 15 the only job your really gonna get is flipping burgers at McDonalds, How can you support a child on that? What about Diapers? and a babysitter while you are working? I dont think its fair when I teen has a child and then expect either their parents or the government to support that child.

A baby should come about after you are finacially and emotionally stable for it.

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-Missy


Posts: 8 | From: Tucson,Arizona, USA | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aria51
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Since when does a job with higher than minimum wages affect ones mothering skills? Besides, a steady job won't be a 'steady' job anymore right after the baby is born -- whether you're 15 or 25, there is such a thing as maternity leave.

I had my baby when I was 19. I was unemployed and living with my mother. We made the decision that I would remain at home and she would help me financially if I needed her to. I did not expect this from her, and I am not currently getting any financial support from the government.

Yes, there may be some teens who are getting support from the government, but they are getting that support in order to help their children, and in order to help themselves gain a little financial stability.

If a girl does not have the money for disposable diapers, she uses cloth ones. If she does not have the money for a babysitter, she gets help from friends and family. She can manage.

And what if the teenager doesn't have any support at all? Well, then she either has an abortion, or gives the child up for adoption -- both of which are very respectable and responsible choices in my eyes.

And by the way, if you want to talk about teenage pregnancy, talk about teenage pregnancy. But if you want to sit here and tell us the problem with teenage motherhoood, perhaps you should consider the feelings and backgrounds of everyone here.

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"I stayed up all night playing poker with tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died."

Out of my Head.

[This message has been edited by Aria51 (edited 06-08-2001).]


Posts: 1287 | From: Missouri | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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As a noite, MIssy, you may want to do some research on how little support the government does provide.

Wel;fare isn't enough for nearly any woman and child to live off of, and bear in mind as well that the *majority* of people in the world will never be qualified for white-collar jobs above minimum wage.

The great majority of adults in the US alone are below poverty level, and it is often harder to find a job when you are older than it is when you are younger.

However, if people and the government provided teenage mothers actual moral support and programs elder parents can take part in, I think you'd find it's less of a problem than it appears to be.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


Posts: 68215 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
alaska
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Just to add my 2 Pfennigs here.

A few years ago, mysi, I might have made a similar statement to yours. The longer I thought about teen pregnancy though, the more I read, the more I saw that teen moms can be and very often are very nurturing, loving parents, who think a great deal about the decisions they make for themselves and their kids, and the better I got to know all the lovely young moms around here, the more I had to revise my view.

Age alone is by no means a guarantee that someone is automatically a good parent. Someone at 25 can be much less "ready" for a child then someone at 17. I really depends how well someone has a grip on his/her own life. And age is no guarantee for that.
People can be bad parents at all ages, at 15, 25 and 35. I know people who had children late in life and failed to raise them well, and I know young parents who are doing a great job at raising their kids.
A pal of mine from Uni became a father when he was in his last year of high school over here, and 19. His girlfriend was 17. He started law school, and she started to get back to school in another town, so that they took (and still take) turns looking after their daughter for large parts of the week each, and spend the weekend together as a family. It sure was very different to meet a freshman who had to worry about diapers, and getting enough sleep at night not because of late night drinking, but because of a screaming baby, and (more importantly) taking care of another person's life and looking after her health and well-being. And he and his girlfriend are excellent parents, that sure changed everyone's view on teen pregnancies. They both never planned for this, but it sure turned out for everyone's best, even though life is challenging, at the least. They are not living the way it's perceived as "normal", but it works well for them, and that's really the only thing that counts.
I feel very small when I see how responsible and fabulous most of the young parents I know are and how great they are at facing the challenges that being young and a parent brings. I am so impressed by all that love, and determination and all that caring for those little humans that are their children.

Saying that teen pregnancies are always "mistakes" is rude and simply untrue. Sure these are very often unplanned pregnancies, but they also happen to very normal, responsible people, whose birth control methods simply fail and who then decide that the best thing for *them* is to become parents. And they can be good parents. Out of the initial shock, and the difficulty that carrying a pregnant belly when you look your age brings with it (all teen moms can tell you that it's really hard to handle the stares) can come something really good. Other people chose abortion or adoption, and that is just as well, but let's just not forget that becoming pregnant as a teen is not that hard, really. And let's not judge those who then accept the responsibility and decide that they want to become parents.
Of course, I am not saying all teens should go out and become parents, and that it's all sugar coated and lovely, but it happens, people handle it well, and they make good things happen for themselves and their children. For all those apparently non-caring teen parents out there in the talk shows, who claim to get kids just to get child support and welfare, there are lots more who are living normal lives, working hard to fulfil their dreams and be good parents to their children and way too busy and clever to go on TV to be crucified in public for making a choice that they felt was best for them.

I strongly recommend that you have a look at our Pregnancy & Parenting Forum, and also at http://www.girl-mom.com which is a great resource for young moms, just to see that not all is bad there, really.

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Caro
~spanking new Scarleteen Sexpert~

"We must become the change we want to see."
Mahatma Gandhi


Posts: 4526 | From: germany | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mysibear
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I know that I came off as sounding angry towards teen mothers but Im not, I know some teen parents that are very nuturing but then others that dont take care of their children.

I just dont find it right that 15 year old girls and younger are out there having children, I think as a child you deserve a teen life and once you have a child thats done with, I personally wouldnt want a child at this age becuase I have goals to set, I want to actually finish my education and make something of myself.

I did not mean to disrespect any teen mothers out there Im just saying I think that before you have a child you should think about how you are gonna take care of it and if you know you can then fine but if you cant dont have one, Teenagers shouldnt be having children they should be out enjoying their younger years.

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-Missy


Posts: 8 | From: Tucson,Arizona, USA | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lostcat
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i'm with everything that aria and alaska just said.

i'm currently pregnant. i'm 19. i was taking the pill, and occasionally using condoms, to prevent pregnancy. however, as everyone needs to know, even the best forms of birth control can sometimes fail, as they did for me.

i'm not at all your stereotypical teen soon-to-be mom. i'm a responsible person, i'm attending a good college, my partner and i have been together for a long time. when i first discovered that i was pregnant, i struggled. that might be an understatement. i was preparing to have an abortion, but after talking to quite a few mothers whom are around my age, i realized that i can do this. i can do this, and i'm going to be a good mom, even though i have yet to blow out 20 candles on a cake.

i wouldn't consider my pregnancy to be a "mistake". i knew that any birth control could fail, and i didn't have sex until i was able to deal with the possible repercussions of it. i've always wanted to have a child, but it's simply happening earlier than i planned for it.

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"i need to wash myself again to hide all the dirt and pain, 'cos i'd be scared that there's nothing underneath"- radiohead


Posts: 73 | From: chicago, il, usa | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
emsily0
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mysibear, I think you should keep in mind that one of the things scarleteeners value about these bulletin boards is the open, welcoming, non-judgemental attitude we try to encourage as much as possible.

It's one thing to say "I personally think I deserve to live my teenage years without having children" and quite another to say "No teenagers should have kids, it is a problem." You say both in the same breath. Do you understand the difference?

What I'm trying to say is that here at Scarleteen we try to avoid generalizations like "no teenager should be a mother," even though it's fine to say that you personally would not like to have a child at this point in your life.

em

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But I want to turn you on, turn you up, figure you out, I want to take you on. -REM


Posts: 786 | From: Washington, DC | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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The astounding thing you discover with many teen mothers is that, in fact, they generally feel their children become their goals and their life. I know while my mother wasn't planning on having me, it certainly becaame that way, and while other goals of hers took longer toachieve, she doesn't feel she was cheated. She feels she was blessed.

And incredibly, that feeling is a feeling most mothers have, whether they are 16 or 40. And mothers, be they 16 or 40, *are* something of themselves. What they have chosen to make of themselves is to be, in part, mothers. Without them...well, none of us'd be here to make anything of *ourselves* anyway.

It's also important to bear in mind that a "teen life" is something unique not only to this century, but to this part of the world. North American students graduate from high school later than most students globally. They also remain dependent on their partents on average FAR longer than most young adults do or ever have.

Really, none of us can say that is better or worse than anything else, because it is a personal issue. While I didn't choose to have children at 16, I lived a very different like than many American teens at that age, and I don't feel cheated either. In fact, I feel grateful, because an "average teen life" wouldn't have suited my own goals.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 06-09-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 06-09-2001).]


Posts: 68215 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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