The rates of teenage pregnancy experienced their lowest numbers between 1991 and 2005, with the annual statistics declining annually through this period. The last 5 years have seen a reversal of this trend however, with an increase of nearly 5 percent in total between 2006 and 2009. This number is set rise still further through 2011, leaving more and more teenagers aged between 15 and 19 facing the realities of parenting.
This statistic is reflective of a decline in general behavioural trends amongst teenagers, both in the US and globally. Whether it is youngsters indulging in unprotected sex or experimenting with alcohol and drugs, there is a common theme of unruly and disruptive conduct creating an entire generation of vulnerable young adults. Though there are many reasons advanced for this decline in social standards, a significant proportion of the responsibility must sit with the parents.
Awareness and Parental Responsibility
Throughout the 14 years of declining teenage pregnancy rates, there were nationwide campaigns conducted to increase awareness for parents and teenagers alike. These campaigns have become less well directed and intense in the last 5 years, and it would be all too easy to presume that this alone is the single most significant factor in climbing teen pregnancy rates. However, there is a worrying lack of parental responsibility displayed across the US, with more emphasis placed instead on governments and teaching establishments to modify teenager’s attitudes and behaviour.