The fact of the matter is that 80% 0f teen pregnancies are unintentional. Additionally, most of them occur to unwed teen mothers. Why? Is it because of little or no sex education or is it that parents are not educating their teens about sex or is society to blame?
There are many different reasons why teenagers get pregnant common; the main reasons include:
- Peer pressure: Many young people feel that they are under pressure to have sexual relationships, even if they are not mentally and physically ready. Teenagers are starting to enter relationships and are having sexual intercourse much earlier than in previous generations and teenagers who do not have sexual relationships may be bullied or teased by their friends.
- Societal and cultural changes: Everyone is familiar with the old adage ‘romance is dead’ and this is what older people frequently say about young people these days. In previous generations, couples spent a long time going out on dates or ‘courting’ in order to know each other before the relationship became physical; nowadays, couples tend to get together and move onto a physical relationship much quicker and sex is usually part and parcel of the relationship fairly early on.
- Poor education: Many teenagers admit that they believe common myths such as ‘you can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex’ or ‘you can’t get pregnant in certain sexual positions and you can’t get pregnant if you have sex during your period’ for example, so when they get pregnant it comes as a big shock. Many may be scared to go to their doctor or talk to their parents about contraception.
- ‘It won’t happen to me’: It is important that sexual education classes and conversations with parents or relatives teach teenagers that it is possible for them to get pregnant if they choose to have unprotected sex.
- Underage drinking: A large proportion of girls who fall pregnant blame alcohol; many girls say they would normally have protected sex but failed to do so on an occasion because they were drunk at the time and got carried away in the moment.
- Attitudes to contraception: It is important for teenagers to realize the importance of using contraception. Contraception is now widely available and in many cases, condoms are available free of charge; yet a large proportion of people are still failing to use contraceptives. Some girls also view the morning after pill as a means of contraception; this is an irresponsible attitude, which should not be encouraged. It should not be relied on as a regular contraceptive; there are plenty of other types of contraception which can be used instead.