Teenage pregnancy in the Bahamas
Every society is affected by teenage pregnancy which is a multifaceted problem that can pose social, economic and health issues. Teenage pregnancy inadvertently contributes to the escalating volume of single parent families in the Bahamas. According to the Department of Statics a single parent home is considered to be a home in which the parents are not married. Although the birth rate fluctuates, births to single mothers have escalated over the past forty years in the Bahamas from 29% (1970) to 62% (2009). Births to single mothers however remain the largest natural increase annually to the Bahamian population. Teenage pregnancy has increased the number of single parent homes, which have had adverse effects on the family and society of the Bahamas.
Over the last 40 years 22,880 teens under the age of 20 had live births in the Bahamas; this number does not include teenage girls who have terminated their pregnancies or have had still births less than 1% of these teens are married, each of the 22,880 births contributes to the escalating amount of single parent homes in the Bahamas.
Year Total Births Total teen Births % of Teen Births Age Group of Mothers
10-14 15-19 Born in Wedlock Born out of wedlock
1975 3983 679 17% 11 668 164 515
1980 5099 1107 21.7 22 1085 100 1007
1990 6117 763 12.5 13 750 7 756
2000 5287 580 11.0 20 560 42 538
2005 5548 540 9.7 8 532 23 517
2006 5296 563 10.6 14 549 18 545
2007 5854 610 10.4 6 604 23 587
2008 5480 617 11.3 10 607 22 595
2009 5348 532 9.9 5 527 20 512
2010 5362 533 9.9 5 528 10 523
The above chart shows the total births for 1970-2010, the total births to teens the percentage of teens for the year the age group and the marital status. Over the last 40 years teenage pregnancy has slightly decline, however the percentage of teens that conceive in wedlock continues to increase thus adding to the increase in single parent homes.
Teenage pregnancy is found to be most strongly associated with teens engaged in frequent sexual activity. In today’s society sex and provocative behavior has infiltrative every aspect of society such as music, advertisements, news, and social medias which can encourage teens to part take in a provocative behavior. Teenage pregnancy can also be caused by improper use or no use of reliable contraceptives. The of use contraceptives amongst teens are less likely, making them much more susceptible to experience at least one unintended pregnancy. Teens under the age of 18 cannot obtain access to contraceptives such as birth control legally, because it is illegal to dispense contraceptives to minors without parental consent.
Poorly educated teens are another cause of teenage pregnancy. The lack of education of safe sex practices or methods of birth control amongst teens can also cause teenage pregnancy. Teens are also not taught how to deal with peer pressure. Therefore they learn myths about sex and have poor sex practices.
Lack of parental...