economy. finance increasing population increasing teenage pregnancy rates people rise in population sex education programs sexual education teenage pregnancy the influence of teenage pregancy US citizens US demographics US population world population

Teenage Pregnancy and the Rise in Population

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 levels peaked throughout the 1980’s, suggesting that the legalization of abortion had encouraged a more care free and ill considered attitude towards sexual activity. By the 1990 the percentage of US births that were to teen mothers stood at 12.8, which marked the beginning of an almost perpetual decline throughout the following decade. The percentage was recorded at just 10.2 in 2005, which was the lowest statistic for over 30 years, and was expected to continue to fall amongst increased sexual awareness and improved education. However, since then this rate has been subject to a particularly gradual increase, leaping from 10.2 percent to just over 11 percent in 2008, which is a considerable shift over a 3 year period. Though this is a short term trend currently, it has persisted and it is unclear whether it will continue over an extended period of time or prove to be a minor influence on the increasing rise in local and global population. What these statistics actually suggest is that there is a potential problem that needs addressing quickly to prevent continual instances of teenage pregnancy. Proactive Resolution and Forward Thinking While statistics can be misleading when assessed over a short term period, they can also be indicative of the beginnings of a trend or particular pattern. It is the responsibility of individual guardians and government bodies to monitor this situation over the coming years, to ensure that they are doing all that they can to regulate laws and morality and educate the youngsters of the US adequately. The situation as it stands does not require panic, but more a considered assessment of all teaching programs and the conduct of influential figures and responsible adults. In terms of the steep decline in the teenage pregnancy rate between 1995 and 2005, almost 90 percent of it was attributed to the increased use of contraception. This was as a direct result of improved sex education in schools and an increase sexual awareness. The more advanced and detailed nature of sex education tackled the consequences of sexual activity rather than the mechanics, including sexually transmitted infections as well as pregnancy, to give the teenagers of the US the chance to make informed and well judged decisions. The sudden increase in teenage pregnancy may be as a result of a general apathy to sexual education, particularly given the levels of sexual exposure prevalent on TV and other media outlets. The access that young teenagers have to sexually explicit material and literature through the internet is vast, and without the requisite supervision they may be educating themselves and not respecting or heeding the messages from designated sex education programs. Learned Behaviour Another significant factor is the conduct and behaviour of parents and responsible adults. In terms of the increasing birth rates in the US, the number of births amongst unmarried or single women also rose significantly between 2005 and 2008, although the relevance of this statistic is questionable. It may be that these pregnancies are simply as a result of a declining interest in marriage; however it may also be a portent of increasing sexual activity that is unprotected and reckless between older and supposedly responsible adults. This behaviour is suspect, as children and young teenagers are especially sensitive to the conduct that they witness and how it influences their own morality. If a young teenager is exposed to a parent who is sexually liberal and also reckless in their hedonistic pursuits, then they are likely to adopt a similar behaviour pattern over time. It is key therefore that parents and guardians set a good and considered example to their children, not only by teaching their child sexual awareness through words and consequence, but also by offering a corporeal example of good conduct and safe sexual practise.

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Navaid I. Syed is the owner and CEO of / ExcitingAds! Inc. He is a medical doctor and was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan, on July 31, 1964. He graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan, in 1990. He is Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA, USA, certified.

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