As countries continue to advance through the demographic transition model pregnancy rates drop due to technological and healthcare advances. The more developed countries have low overall birth rates, but among the birth rate statistics is an interesting group to study: adolescent pregnancies. In the 1980’s teen pregnancies were much more common in the United States than they are currently; this drop in teen pregnancies did not correlate with the development of the country technologically. So what might have caused this drop? Evidently adolescents between the ages of fifteen to nineteen realized that getting pregnant at a young age could change the course of their lives completely. Teenage pregnancy is a concern not only for the teen parents, but also for the baby and the family members of the parents.
Most teens in developed countries will agree that it is not ideal to become pregnant at a young age because children come with responsibilities and sacrifices. However, teens do not want to give sexual pleasure altogether to avoid pregnancy. In order to prevent pregnancies teens may use many different types of birth control. Birth control includes contraceptives, condoms, and the Plan B Pill, among other methods. It is most commonly agreed that contraceptive use has the strongest influence on teen pregnancy rates; however, the U.S. still has a higher teen pregnancy rate than any other developed nation despite the widespread use of contraceptives and other birth control methods.
First and foremost, it is important to understand the difference between pregnancy in Europe and the United States. In Even At Lowest, U.S. Teen Birth Rate Far Higher Than W. Europe, Mike Stobbee states that the U.S. pregnancy rate is 39 per 1,000, in the United Kingdom it's 24 per 1,000 girls, in Ireland it is sixteen and in Italy it is five; France's rate is seven per 1,000; Sweden's is under eight, and in the Netherlands it's close to four per 1,0000. The difference in teen pregnancy rates is not due to the amount of teens having sex, “As to the first, there is no evidence teens in Europe are having less sex than American teens,” (Huffington Post). A variety of factors may contribute to the international difference in teen pregnancy rates: culture, ethnicities, and contraceptive availability/ prices. Nonetheless, the highest consensus is that birth control has the most influence on teen pregnancy rates. In the United States contraceptives are common, but they are not nearly as widespread as Europe. For the U.S. teen pregnancy rates to drop contraceptives need to be more accessible to young teens.
Although contraceptives are available in almost all developed countries, the prices in the U.S. are much higher than those of European countries; this may account for part of the disparity between the teen pregnancy rates. Universal healthcare in European nations makes it free to buy birth control pills; in the U.S. it may cost up to 50 dollars per month. Mike Stobee’s article...