Teenage pregnancy

Teenage pregnancy, the phenomena of teenage girls getting pregnant, is a contemporary social issue in some nations, especially in the United States [1]. The perceived problem with teenage pregnancies is that teenagers are not ready, emotionally and financially, to raise children, even if they are physiologically able to. Teenage girls are generally enrolled in high school or middle school and usually still depend on their parents. In many cases, the father of the baby is of similar age and equally unprepared to raise a child. In such instances, abortion is often considered, or the child is raised by a single mother.

Scientists have long argued that sex education (about contraception and safe sexual behavior) would effectively reduce the number of teenage pregnancies, and countries that do use progressive sex education at a young age, such as the Netherlands, have a much lower rate of teenage pregnancy than the United States (see sex education for a detailed discussion). Conservatives in the US, on the other hand, believe that sexual abstinence is the only safe way to reduce teenage pregnancies, even as studies that have examined such programs have shown no effectiveness at preventing pregnancies or even revealed a statistical increase in some programs. The religious right in particular feels that giving teenagers sexual information would lead to an increase in sexual behavior and that this is undesirable, and that juveniles have therefore to be shielded from such information and instead be informed strictly about the possible negative effects of sexual behavior, such as sexual diseases. The George W. Bush administration has extensively funded abstinence programs in deference to this point of view.

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