Although the rate of teenage pregnancy in the United States has declined greatly .
within the past few years, it is still an enormous problem that needs to be addressed. .
These rates are still higher in the 1990's than they were only a decade ago. The United .
State's teenage birthrate exceeds that of most other industrialized nations, even though .
American teenagers are no more sexually active than teenagers are in Canada or Europe. .
Recent statistics concerning the teen birthrates are alarming. About 560,000 .
teenage girls give birth each year. Almost one-sixth of all births in the United States are to .
teenage women are to teenage women. Eight in ten of these births resulted from .
unintended pregnancies. (Gormly 347) By the age of eighteen, one out of four teenage .
girls will have become pregnant. (Newman 679).
Although the onset of pregnancy may occur in any teenager, some teens are at .
higher risk for unplanned pregnancy than others. Teenagers who become sexually active .
at an earlier age are at a greater risk primarily because young teenagers are less likely to .
use birthcontrol. African-American and Hispanic teenagers are twice as likely to give birth .
as are white teenagers. Whites are more likely to have abortions. Teenagers who come .
from poor neighborhoods and attend segregated schools are at a high risk for pregnancy. .
Also, teenagers who are doing poorly in school and have few plans for the future are more .
likely to become parents than those who are doing well and have high educationsl and .
occupational expectations. Although the rate of teenage pregnancy is higher among low-.
income African-Americans and Hispanics, especially those in inner city ghettoes, the .
number of births to teenagers is highest among white, nonpoor young women who live in .
small cities and towns. (Calhoun 309).
In addition to the question of which teenagers become pregnant, interest is shown .