The Truth About Teen Pregnancy

             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. .

             (Gormly 348).

             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 .

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