Teenage Pregnancy Effects On Society: Have We Improved?

Teenage pregnancy effects on society: Have we improved? We take a look at the latest stats and some of the struggles teen moms have within society.

By now many of us know in the 1990’s  teenage pregnancy rates were running very high. If you were a 90’s teen, the chances are pretty high that you knew someone personally who became pregnant in high school. At that time according to the US Department of Health & Human Services, the birth rate rose to 61 births for every 1000 teens between the ages of 15-19. This high number had a huge effect on society and we were forced to look at teenage pregnancy head on.

Teenage Pregnancy Effects On Society: Have We Improved?

Twenty-five years later we have seen that statistic decrease to 25 births for every 1000 teens between the ages of 15-19. While that number is still higher than other countries such as Canada and the UK, some of the efforts that have been made to decrease teenage pregnancy have been effective. The stark reality is these high teenage pregnancy numbers have multiple effects on society that impact all of us.

Related: 16 and Pregnant: The Basic Facts of Teenage Pregnancy

Societal Stigmas

Society does not tend to welcome a pregnant teenager with open arms. A pregnant teenager is generally viewed with a critical eye as someone who is making bad choices. By shaming pregnant teenagers, we as a society exclude them at a time when a young mother most needs support. This can lead to teens feeling isolated at a time when they are already dealing with possible postpartum depression, financial troubles, and their own emotions.

Increased Cost To Taxpayers

Let’s be real, most teens do not have a large income stream of their own. As they try to raise this tiny baby that has now come into their world, they do not have the skills for higher paying jobs without high school or college educations. At best this leaves many teens in low paying jobs scraping by, but many teens find themselves turning with no choice to society when they fall short. The Alliance for Excellent Education estimates that each high school dropout costs the nation approximately $260,000 in lost wages and tax dollars. Welfare programs, healthcare programs, and other public programs bear the weight financially which costs all of us as taxpayers billions of dollars.

Lost Income Caused By Teenage Pregnancy

It is no surprise that getting pregnant when you are a teenager can deter you from completing college or even high school. The trouble is that graduates with degrees and diplomas not only earn higher wages overall, they also earn higher wages over the course of their entire lifetime. If we could help even some of these teens delay parenthood until later in life, as a society we better prepare them financially for adulthood.

Children Of Teen Parents Often Repeat The Cycle

Another downfall that often happens is that often the cycle repeats itself. Children who have teen parents are more likely to become teen parents themselves. This stems back to the financial side of things, as most teen parents struggle to provide for their children. This means the children have fewer opportunities and less chance at having a full education.

Related: The Effects of Teenage Pregnancy: Examining the Results of 12 Studies

Is Abstinence The Solution?

While abstinence is defiantly a way to ensure you will not become pregnant, several studies have proven that an abstinence-only education increases teenage pregnancy. The statistics show higher rates of teenage pregnancy in states with an abstinence-only education programs in schools. Rather than deterring teens from having sex in the first place, these programs deter teens from using contraceptives.

Readers, what other effects do you think teenage pregnancy has on society?

Image Credit: Sean McGrath

29 thoughts on “Teenage Pregnancy Effects On Society: Have We Improved?”

  1. I gave birth to my first son when I was 15 years old, yes I know what was I thinking? Well after the fact I took on my responsibilities and got a job to help support myself. I would say though my family was very ashamed, but in the end supported me financially and most of all emotionally. If ever I give any advice to teenagers or young adults it is don’t rush and enjoy your youth. I missed out on so much and have because a lot of hardships in my family with my choices.

  2. My best friend got pregnant when she was 15. It was not easy for her but with the help of her family she graduated high school with the rest of her class. She went on to complete a two year collage course and has a great job now. Without the support of her family i do not think she would have been able to achieve these things.

  3. I had my daughter at age 19 too. I married her dad and ended up divorced at 24. It was hard but I managed to get two degrees while being a single mom thanks to online college. I busted my butt trying to better myself. Of course now, I’m stuck at home with a bad back and fibromyalgia. I do blog though to try and help ends meet.

  4. I’ve heard a lot about teens who got pregnant, but it still shocks me to hear stories. I will certainly teach my son how to be responsible and I really hope he’ll take my advice.

  5. I do think it’s very important to give kids options. I was a teen once and yes I had sex but I always used protection. Had my school district taught abstinence, my boyfriend or I may not have had protection.

  6. I got pregnant at 26 years old. I am a happy mother of 2 but often feel like I could do more things to improve my skills, try opportunities so i can provide the best love and supports to my kids. I enjoy motherhood and my kids are everything to me. My only suggestion is to wait until you are ready with your life and career before having kids

  7. My best friend got pregnant at 16. She ended up having 4 kids, each 2 years apart, finishing a degree in pure mathematics and writing a book all before the age of 25. It’s not a bad thing, they just need to have support from their families and friends, just like any other parent. Community. I definitely think abstinence is not a solution. Education is.
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  8. I honestly feel so bad for those girls who get pregnant super young. Most of them don’t finish high school, or if they do they don’t go on to college and I feel like they are losing out on so many opportunities.

  9. I don’t feel like it’s looked down on as much as it used to be years ago. I think everyone is kinda numb to the fact, unless it’s your own daughter. My niece got pregnant before she was out of high school and now she has 3 kiddos. She’s such a good little mommy, but she sure has had it rough the last 6 years.

  10. I certainly know several teen parents, fortunately for them things worked out. I became a Mom at 25 and I couldn’t imagine being a young Mom and dealing with motherhood. I don’t know that there is a “fix” to it but constant education is a big part.

  11. Making the decision to have sex at such a young age is definitely a precursor to so many problems. I don’t agree that teaching abstinence is a solution at all. Why would we withhold information in the hopes of our chiildren making better choices? It just doesn’t make sense.

  12. I knew a girl in high school who had a baby at 14 and kept her. I felt bad for her because I think of all the things she missed being a kid yet. With hight school proms all the way up to college fun times. I will teach my kids responsibility and hope that it sticks!

  13. I would much rather talk to my kids about contraceptives than have them come home pregnant. I would prefer them not to have sex in the first place, but if they do, I want them to be protected and smart about it.

  14. Having a baby is always a blessing, however, it will always be for the best interest of the baby if the parents were mature and ready to handle parenthood. I think children should be taught to be responsible for their actions. On the other hand, there are teenagers who are ready to be parents and rise up to the task while there are others who are late 20’s to mid-30’s who are still not ready for parenthood. I guess it is all relative.

  15. Honestly I feel so sorry for such young girls who get pregnant in their very young age. I just wonder how far their mindset will be to face this new phase in their life. May be family support can help them with some better guidance.

  16. It is not easy to have a baby when you are a teenager. In High School my friend got pregnant at 15. With the help of her family she was able to finish school and go to college. It was not easy but she has a great life.

  17. I got pregnant at 17 and although I think it was way too young, nothing would have convinced me otherwise back then. I made my own money, did it all on my own and luckily turned out amazingly, but that isn’t the case for everyone.

  18. I feel sorry for the girls get pregnant at so young age they would have be a better life or the other things that they wouldn’t achieve. I advice to my niece don’t have a boyfriend when she was not yer graduating for college.

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