Reasons for Increased Teenage Pregnancy
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Teenage pregnancy has been one of the emerging problems in London. Many teenagers have dropped out of school just because they are pregnant. This has had serious implications on the well being of the affected girl. Many girls have become psychologically depressed as they feel they are the outcasts of the society. Such girls feel inferior before their friends. Friends perceive them as being loose and immoral. The affected people’s dreams to some extend suffer a set back as many of them drop out of school. As a result, such young ladies get depressed as they feel their ambitions have shattered all over a sudden and they might never get a chance to achieve them. They also lose touch with their childhood friends. This psychological torture to such innocent girls is not good for their health. According to……., more than a half the number of women suffering from psychological complication at some point had early unwanted pregnancy during their child hood. To eliminate such stresses, there is a need to identify the reasons behind the increased cases of pregnancies among the youths. Then we will start fighting from that point of prevention since it is said prevention is better than cure. The paper seeks to evaluate the causes of early teenage pregnancies and the problems associated with it through qualitative analysis. In addition, the paper will also address the recommendations that can be helpful in reducing the cases of teenage pregnancies.
As stated earlier, the number of teenage pregnancies has been on the rise in London. The exact etiology of the menace remains a mystery to many. Many teenage girls spend better part of their day indoors just because they are pregnant and they feel ashamed walking around. They exhibit withdrawal symptoms. This leaves parents and friends with many questions on what the affected is thinking of. Therefore this calls for an immediate intervention measures to be put in place to help solve the problem. Also, the existing literature evaluating the causes of increased teenage pregnancies is so limited. This means people actually do not understand why young girls are getting so much involved in sexual matters. This acted as a stimulus for me to do a qualitative research to find out what could be the most likely causes of increased cases of pregnancies among the teenagers. In addition to lack of relevant information concerning the causes of increased teenage pregnancies, some of the residents within London actually do not know if there is such kind of a problem. People lack information on what is happening and as a result, more and more teenage girls keep on getting pregnant. There is also lack of attention from the government on the existing problem. Whether the government is not aware of the problem still leaves many guessing. One wonders why the government should be so silent on such an issue. The risks the pregnancy has on the health of the teenager are so high. This therefore necessitates for an immediate and long lasting action to be identified to help curb the problem before it gets out of hand. Basing on the discussed factors, I thought it wise to do a qualitative research on causes of increased teenage pregnancy in London, UK.
Though the increased levels of pregnancy among the teenagers are so high, the numbers of studies done on the same topic are so few. Some researchers have done studies on the topic and presented their findings. According to a study done by Baker Philip on “teenage pregnancy”, he reports that increased levels of teenage pregnancy are as a result of the introduction of the use of birth control methods (2007). He reports that there has been a considerable increase in the use of contraceptive pills and use of condoms among the youths. He partly blames the local health authorities for allowing teenagers to access such materials. The availability of the contraceptives and the condoms tempt many youths to indulge in sexual activities (Baker, 2007). The presence of contraceptives has significantly lowered the fear of having prematue sex among the teenagers. Unfortunately, some of the youths do not know how to use them. As a result, in most cases, they fail to protect the youths and they end up becoming pregnant. Another study done by Sutton reports that increased levels of teenage pregnancies is as a result of poor parental upbringing of their kids (2001). He reports that most parents neglect the responsibility of advising their children. Some parents fear discussing matters that concerns with sex with their children. They fail to tell the teenagers the dangers associated with premature sexual intercourse. As a result, the children go ahead and start indulging themselves into sexual activities. This leads to early teenage pregnancies. In Johnson’s study, he identified poverty as a key component in the increased levels of pregnancy among teenagers (2002). This leads to many poor teenage girls to indulge in sexual activities in exchange for money. Most of the girls from poor family background have a tendency of admiring the lifestyle that their counterparts from rich backgrounds live. In an attempt to lead such kind of life, they indulge in sexual activities and they end up becoming pregnant (Johnson, 2002). In another study done by Wellings (2001), he cited increased cases of rape as one of the major contributing factor to pregnancies among the teenagers. In his report, he attributes the increased levels of rape cases to government failure to deal with the rapists accordingly. This has encouraged those involved to continue with the heinous activity hence increased cases of pregnancies. A study done by Allen et al (2001) cited lack of sex education among the teenagers to be the key contributing factor to the increased cases of pregnancies reported. According to them, there has been no education counseling on the dangers of having premature sexual intercourse. Most societies assume that talking of matters pertaining sex is a taboo. This has left many youths without any information on the dangers associated with having premature sexual intercourse. Lack of sex counselors to counsel teenagers have been a contributing factor to increased cases of pregnancy reported among the teenagers. For school going teenagers, there have been no books to guide them on how they should handle matters to do with sex at their age. A study done by Chambers and Wakley (2001) associated television programs with increased levels of pregnancy among the youths. In their study, they found out that children who watch love programs had higher number of pregnancies compared to those who do not watch. Teenagers are tempted to imitate what they watch on television and they end up getting pregnant. Arai (2009), in his study on causes of pregnancy among teenagers identified improved technology as a key factor in increased levels of pregnancy among the teenagers. With improved technology, many teenagers can access the internet and watch pornographic stuff. As a result, they end up indulging into sexual activities that more than often leads to pregnancies (Arai, 2009).
In the study, different qualitative methods were employed in investigating of the information. Among them included participant observation. In this method, the pregnant teenagers were visually observed and relevant information collected. This method helped in acquiring a devoted and close familiarity of individuals. They were then observed via intensive participation with individuals within their environment within a given period of time. The resident of London was then questioned on what they thought were the reasons behind the increased cases of teenage pregnancies. Non-participant/ direct or observation method was also employed while collecting the information. In this method, living styles of teenagers as observed without intermingling with them. Field notes were also used in investigating the information. Field notes were those notes taken by the researcher after field work. The existing materials on the research topic were also analyzed and they shed more light on the information collected in real fieldwork. Investigating such materials also allowed me to compare what is currently happening and what was there before.. It provided a clue on whether the situation is getting any better. Direct interviewing method was also used when investigating the data. Structured, semi-structured and unstructured interview methods were used while investigating the data.
Data collection: methods used to collect data were direct narratology from the affected individuals. Stories were also told directly by the pregnant teenagers and their close allies. Grounded theory practice method was also used to collect the required information. Other methods used in collecting the information include; shadowing, actor-network theory and action research method.
The collected data was analyzed using the coding method. This is where each finding was given a specific code that was later evaluated and analyzed. The impression created in the mind of the observer helped the observer to analyze the information. Other methods used in analyzing the collected information included recursive impression, trustworthiness, paradigmatic difference and academic research methods.
Lack of public awareness
Poor government policies on dealing with rape cases.
Lack of parental guidance
From the collected information, there are no doubts that the problem of increased pregnancy among the teenagers has been on the rise within London. There is need for immediate actions to be taken to curb the problem before it goes out of hand. There is need to identify the causes and a long lasting solution provided for the cause. Lack of adequate knowledge and awareness on matters to do with sex was identified as one of the major contributing factor in the number of increased pregnancies among the teenagers. There was also little participation by the government to help in controlling the levels of teenage pregnancy. Government is expected to set given set of rules to regulate the increased levels of pregnancy. Unfortunately, the government has not indulged itself in any way that portrays to the public that it is concerned. There is also limited research that has been done on the topic. This makes the residents to lack information that might help them evaluate the causes and avoid them. It is also expected that in case there are researches on the same topic, it could have given some recommendations which would have helped in reducing the menace.
The government should accept that teenage pregnancy is a problem. Thereafter, it should engage into massive public awareness. In addition, the government needs to come up with strict measures to deal with rapists. Concerning the issue of lack of information concerning the topic, the government should finance those interested in doing research related to the topic. The increased levels of internet use among youths should be regulated. Sites containing pornographic materials should have restricted access. This will limit the number of teenagers watching pornographic materials hence reducing the levels of pregnancy. Parents are also expected to play an active role in compacting pre-marital pregnancies. Parents have to teach their children on matters to do with sex without any fears. They should also advise their children on what kind of programs that is suitable for them to view.
Teenage pregnancy still remains an issue that needs collective efforts to eradicate it. Individuals from different sectors are expected to join hands if told the vice has to be eradicated completely. Some of the recommendation given above can be very instrumental in helping in the fight of teenage pregnancies. There is also need for a more detailed and longitudinal study to be done on teenage and pregnancy. This might help in identifying factors that were not covered in the cross-sectional study done.