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Teenage Pregnancy: The Epidemic Essay

1616 words - 7 pages

Teenage pregnancy is an epidemic that has been highly debated and publicized during the past few decades. Although it has been statistically proven to be on the decline since the 1950s, it is still a major discussion and topic of concern especially for the health of the unborn child and the mother. The aspect of teenage pregnancy might have been approved and a regular occurrence in the 1950s, but now with the multitude of contraceptives and preventative methods it is heavily frowned upon.
Throughout the 1950s, the United States was exiting and recovering from World War II and this recovery moment gradually initiated a baby boom. During this time, the soldiers were ready to make up for lost times and women began to marry earlier and have children sooner. In those times, the earlier women began to have children, the more they usually had. Once girls reached their teenage years and were able to conceive children, they were married off and had to begin their womanly duties (Brown). The aspect of having multiple children was essential to the family unit in the 1950s and preventative methods were not up for discussion. This aspect was detrimental for the baby as well as the mother with the mother being uneducated and so young. School had to be put behind everything family related and sometimes so was health (Willis). The idea of possibly dying during birth was a matter that was stressed for the life expectancy of the mother and the child, but having a plethora of children was important for the welfare of the household at this time (World). Not only did the father have to provide and the mother had to withdraw from paid labor to take care of the household, but the children had their part. Most couples had more children in an effort to compensate and fill the void in their finances, for example; they expected their kids to be in high demand in the tight post-war labor market (Brown). Not only were children essential, but the family bond was also imperative. There were seldom single-parent homes and the family worked together as a well-oiled machine. Teenage pregnancy was expected and necessary in the 1950s, but in 2014 matters are drastically different.
Teenage pregnancy has become a regular and popular occurrence in 2014, but now it is not accepted but opposed. What has changed? Many children are being born to teenage mothers who end up having drop out of school and raise them single handedly. There are a vast amount of broken homes and children being raised without fathers. The aspect of single-parent uneducated teenagers stems from peer pressure and television (Friedman). In today’s times, there are television shows such as 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom that attempt to discourage teenage pregnancy, but in return has encouraged some teenagers. Both television programs showcase the everyday lives of teenage mothers and the trials that they endure (Friedman). Some of these trials include; attempting to complete high school, raise their children, and...

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