Unplanned and teenage pregnancy is a rising problem in the contemporary world, and is one of the core issues that lends its burden to the social fabric of the US. The challenge facing the government and educational bodies is how to reverse this trend, and which methodology is the most suitable to encourage a more responsible and considered attitude amongst teenagers towards sexual activity. Not only this, but a healthy balance must also be created to protect the current generation of young mothers within society, and ensure that their own education and future is secured.

However, the question is just how far the US government and teaching facilities should go towards assisting teenage mothers, as offering widespread support could serve to vindicate the decision to indulge in unprotected sex in the first instance. An example can be witnessed with Westport TAPP (Teenage Parent Program) School, which is a Georgia based facility that offers special education to teenage mothers, and ensures that their circumstances to not drive them out of education altogether and also helps them to reclaim a sense of normality and everyday function in their lives.

Diminishing the Consequences of Unprotected Sex

The school itself offers 4 individual components, which serve to create a practical environment for young mothers while also educating them in social theory and conduct. By combining standard curriculum material with a social services component and Co-op child development center, it can diminish the impact that child raising can have on an adolescents burgeoning life, and allow them to continue to strive towards their own ideals of individual attainment. This type of function is considered both necessary and beneficial in contemporary society, and is a specific response to the many issues created by teenage pregnancy.

Given the continued explosion in population figures, there is much discussion concerning birth rates and fertility in the US. With so much conjecture and so many conflicting statistics, it is difficult to separate the facts from pure speculation and create a clear comprehension of the exact situation. The general public perception is that birth rates are rising steadily both in the US and worldwide, and also that teenage pregnancy is an increasing problem and affecting girls of a younger and more vulnerable age group.

While so of this is true, these theories do not portray the wider picture. The birth rate in the US rose from 4.3 million to just under 4.5 million between 2007 and 2008, which reflected the trend of an increasing population that has been prevalent since the early 1990’s. When investigated further and divided into specific demographic groups, it is certainly true that the rate of teenage pregnancies (among young girls aged between 15 and 19) has risen over the last 5 years. However, this is only a small faction of the overall narrative.

Understanding the Statistics

Though the rise has been small and yet significant since 2005, the number has not risen continuously since the late 1980’s. In fact, the rate of teenage pregnancies had been subject to a steady and consistent decline between 1990 and 2005, following a huge increase that had begun since the legalization of abortion in 1973. The statistics already betray many of the common worldwide perceptions concerning teenage pregnancy, and the presumed epidemic of promiscuity that had engulfed western culture.

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.

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