Teenage pregnancy in modern societies is being viewed as a dysfunctional. Historically, across cultures it was discovered to be functional since teenage couples were encouraged to begin raising a family very early. With contemporary educational trends this value of childbirth at a very early age has been replaced by getting into college, having a degree and then thinking about childbirth in one’s late twenties; thirties or even forties. This research project hopes to explore how appropriate this perception of when pregnancy should occur and the damnation cast on teenage pregnancy in our modern world. It is also the author’s intention to probe the acceptance of some alternative concepts regarding the benefits of teenage pregnancy.
The sociological definition of teenage pregnancy is pregnancy occurring and ending before twenty years of age. In the media around developed societies this is considered a social problem since these cultures are not designed to accommodate this type of interaction among young girls. Interestingly, boys are not stigmatized as girls who many times are thrown out of the home and ostracized by parents who see them as being a disgrace.
Importantly, what can society say is wrong about girls becoming pregnant as teenagers? Precisely, they are at school either in the 10th or 12th grades. On most occasions they do not work. As such, parents feel pressured to maintain these girls and the infant they bring into the world until they are capable of working. The other issue at hand it may interrupt their education based how supportive family members are towards the teenager and accompanying pregnancy.
Alternative views regarding teenage pregnancy points towards social structures which support mothers who are still at school with day care services as well as shelter in case they are thrown out of parental dwellings to fiend for themselves. In the Obama administration special grants are offered to young mothers encouraging them to return to school; finish their education and build a career path.
The pertinent question, then, for modern society analysts is why make teenage pregnancy a dysfunction and design prevention programs when there are structures within the society supportive of this phenomenon. Definitely, parents do not want their teenagers to engage in unprotected sex due to the AIDS epidemic and many other incurable sexually transmitted diseases. Are we saying that teenagers are not capable of making wise decisions? They are not the only age group contracting AIDS, herpes, Syphilis, Chlamydia, gonorrhea and the host of other sexually transmitted diseases. Remember, teenagers learn what they live in; the examples they have been shown by society’s adults. If teenage pregnancy is a sign of delinquency; really, who is delinquent?
Review of Literature
Kost, Henshaw & Carlin (2010) research studies concerning US teenage pregnancies, births and abortions outlining National State Trends and trends by race and ethnicity declared that in 2006, 750,000 women below the age of 20 became pregnant. Actually, this was 71.5% of pregnancies per 1,000 women between ages 15-19 age group. In 2005 it reached the lowest in 30 years, but increase by 3 % in 2006 (Kost, Henshaw & Carlin, 2010).
Dryburgh‘s (2005) analysis of teenage pregnancy rates in Canada arrived at the assumption that it was indicative sexual health of teenagers in the country. Further, it was reiterated that sociologists and social workers need not generalize about the ‘potential negative outcomes of teenage pregnancy’ (Dryburgh, 2005) because teenage pregnancy ha snot altogether proved detrimental, but in many respects positive outcomes were derived from the experience. Finally, conclusions from a Canadian perspective are that teenage pregnancy trend is ‘uniformly positive’ (Dryburgh, 2005).
Locoh Therese (2005) reporting about studies conducted in Sub Sahara Africa regarding early marriage and motherhood showed where Western culture has been trying to infiltrate this practice, but the ideas could not penetrate the masses of African women who were comfortable with their orientation of early marriage and motherhood. As such, pregnancies occurring early within marriage were not considered a social problem. However, in making a case for unifying primitive culture with modern civilization WHO has declared that the risk of death following pregnancy for women between 15-19 is greater. Arguments counteracting this assumption relates to early prenatal intervention and not the age factor (Locoh, 2005).
Susan Mayor (2004) further advanced studies supportive of WHO and the speculation of this researcher to reiterate that complications from child birth is one of the leading causes of maternal death in developing countries. Precisely, this was blamed on the age factor 15-19 years in providing data to prove the international bias developing against teenage pregnancy. The study provided data from thirteen million births, (1/10 of all births internationally) to reveal that they were produced from women under 20 years old and accounted for 90% of birth in developing countries (Mayor, 2004)
Comparatively, studies showed that birth rates of adolescent girls are much higher in the US than any other industrialized society and the incidence of maternal deaths was lower than developing countries (Mayor, 2004). From this analysis can everyone gather the vision being fed to the public regarding teenage pregnancy? Can it be concluded to the whole truth? Are maternal deaths in developing countries such as African with poor health care due to teenage pregnancy or the quality of maternal and child health facilities available?
Formulating the hypothesis
The hypothesis is a subtle explanation of a phenomenon based on the researcher’s preconceptions or observations of the issue. There are scientific hypotheses as well as working hypotheses. At first the term hypothesis was used to summarize plots of ancient plays. Modern science has embraced the term to explain a provisional resolution to a research problem or means of testing and evaluating research findings by applying statistical interpretation of data (Mellenbergh, 2008).
Hence, this statement formulated for teenage pregnancy investigation could be considered a working hypothesis since it indicates that further explorations of the concept teenage pregnancy; developing nations; developed nations as well as modernization and social change could be undertaken. Precisely, it is a statement of expectation related to advancing empirical investigation into this phenomenon.
Consequently, in defining the problem, it was clear that the view of teenage pregnancy in develop societies is tied to the paradigm of hiderance to social progress of teenage girls and more important speculations to society’s advancement toward globalization and social change. An alternative view points to unifying cultural norms into Western civilization typologies of older women becoming professionals and then getting pregnant at an older age. How functional this is for the world is the great question?
Reasons for selecting the sample
This sample was randomly selected with the aim of gathering data which would be representative of a wide cross section of opinions from a limited sample size. For example, the older adults would give responses based on concepts from their generation; boys should offer opinions that would indicate how they feel about girls they impregnate as well as their responsibility towards the offspring.
Subsequently, girls who were teenage mothers would have a different response indicating how pleased they are with the outcome and the younger adults definitely are expected to bridge the gap regarding how society feels based on a now generation perspective. Consequently, this sample composition should eliminate all biases and offer a more valid outcome of research findings
Collecting and analysis data
The foregoing data indicates that 90% of the respondents acknowledge that teenage pregnancy is prevalent in society. Subsequently, the same percentage believe that developed countries try to impose their culture on developing nations in a quest to unify world beliefs. Importantly, 80% of respondents indicate that the issue of teenage pregnancy is a age related stigma and that modernization and social change does influence the society’s perception of teenage pregnancy.
Hence, teenage pregnancy seems more acceptable in developing countries than developed for 70% response in favor of this question since 60% realized that the overall consequences were not detrimental to the individual. Interestingly the sample was balanced between people living in developed countries with those residing in developing nations 50% rate response and they conclude that values pertaining to teenage pregnancy differ between developed an developing countries.
Developing the Conclusion
Based on the foregoing responses it can be concluded that teenage pregnancy is functional in developing societies but unacceptable for some developed nations due to modernization and social change implications. As such, while this is a consistent outcome related to the literature review as well as it does not exclude the indication for further research on the issue for future expansion of knowledge
Dryburgh, H. (2005). Teenage pregnancy. Health Reports. Statistics Canada Locoh, Therese. (2005).Early Marriage and Motherhood in the Sub Sahara Africa.WIN News
Mayor Susan (2004). “Pregnancy and childbirth are leading causes of death in teenage girls in developing countries” BMJ: 328(7449): 1152.
Mellenbergh, G.J. (2008). Research designs: Testing of research hypotheses. Huizen, The Netherlands: Johannes van Kessel Publishing.
Kost K, Henshaw S and Carlin L, (2010). US Teenage Pregnancies, Births and Abortions.
National State Trends and trends by race and ethnicity. USA.Gutmatcher Institute