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TEEN PREGNANCY


I NTRODUCTION Cristal has been in the delivery room for 12 hours now. The contractions are coming faster, wracking her five foot frame. The doctor says it will be soon. She rolls her head to the side and the attending nurse wipes her brow. She thinks to herself, "Just make it stop, I can't take this anymore." "Push!� says the doctor. She bears down again gritting her teeth, screaming at the pain. "Keep going, I can see the head!" the doctor exclaims. She gives one final push and lays back exhausted. She can't remember when she has felt this tired and worn out. Her mother is holding her right hand. She keeps repeating, "You are doing great. Remember to breathe. It won't be long now." The doctor pipes up "Where is the father? He is going to miss it." Cristal closes her eyes, and a tear rolls down her cheek. Her mom looks away unable to make eye contact with the doctor. You see, Cristal is going to miss her seventh period algebra midterm test tomorrow. In fact, she won't be advancing to the 10th grade due to the time she will miss as a result of her teenage pregnancy.

Facts about teen pregnancy -

Teen birth rates in the US are unacceptably high. About 4% of all teenage girls give birth each year. Teen births represent 10% of the 4 million births each year.

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Teen birth rates in the US are up to 9 times higher than in most other developed countries.

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Hispanic and black teen girls are about 2-3 times more likely to give birth than white teen girls. Use of birth control is lower among sexually active black and Hispanic high school students than white students.

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Girls born to teen parents are almost 33% more likely to become teen parents themselves, continuing the cycle of teen pregnancy.

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About 50% of teen mothers get a high school diploma by age 22, compared with 90% of teen girls who do not give birth. Teen childbearing costs US taxpayers about $9 billion each year.

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About 65% of girls and 53% of boys received formal sex education about both abstinence and birth control.

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About 44% of girls and 27% of boys had spoken with their parents about both abstinence and birth control.

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Facts about teen pregnancy on male side —

In 1995, more than one-half of males 15 to 19 years old have had sexual intercourse.

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Fewer than 30% of 15year-olds have had sexual intercourse, compared to more than 80% of 19-year olds.

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— Half of teenage males have had sexual intercourse by the time they reach their 17th birthday. —

Not all young men are sexually experienced by the end of their teen years. At age 19, 15% of male are still virgins.

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Eighty seven percent of teenage males who are two or more years behind in school for their age are sexually experienced.

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Less than half of teenage males ever receive information about contraception from their parents or the people who raised them.

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The majority of teenagers receive formal sex education before they were 18 years old (96% female and 97% of Males)

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Male Teenagers were less likely than female teenagers to have received instruction on methods of birth control (62% male 70% Female)

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SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System.

Ramifications of the problem -Many problems will be created because of teen pregnancy -There is no change in the proportion of teens who have had sex, and condom use among sexually active -People have to live with the pain and guilt all of their lives with eh choice of abortion -The prospective teens have on being a parent

A interview with Regina Miller a junior high counselor who services the lower teenage years (11-14) I found that teen pregnancy education is non-existent. Her experience with teen pregnancy has been very few in her twenty plus years of working with this age group. Her experience with teen pregnancy has always been focused on the girl involved in the issue that the boy was left out of the picture. Sometimes even the parents wanted little to no involvement in the pregnancy. Typically the policy is to deal with it after it has happened. No emphasis is placed on education or prevention. Those teen pregnancy issues that she had dealt with one or both of the couple was already involved with the judicial system at some level.


SOLUTION

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American Indian or Alaska Native. Asian or Pacific Islander. NOTES: Data for 2009 are preliminary. SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System. 2

As demonstrated in the graph above teen pregnancy impacts all races. While we have a long way to go in our efforts to educate we must remember that any progress is success in the lives of the babies that result from teen pregnancy. When choosing how to educate teens we must first come to realize what appear to be the key factors that are leading to teen pregnancy. The experiences from David Pitcher and Julie Johnson both indicated that girls see being a teen mom as some type of trend. The media is responsible for much of this hype. With movies and television shows showing the teens having sexual relationships and rarely do they portray the real risks associated with such behavior. With girls thinking it is cool to be a mom at such a young age, they lack the maturity to make important decisions about their baby’s health and overall well being. It is important that programs of education include helping youth see a broader picture of the ramifications of their decisions. “Smart girls” is a program designed for middle school girls. It is an 8 week curriculum at promoting healthy decisions to reduce teen pregnancy and build self esteem. The following table lays out the foundation for this program (Mackey, 2010). Smart Girls Life Skills Training Curriculum Outline

Session Brief Description of Content 1. Introduction This session includes an overview of the program, purpose of the program, ground rules, and getting to know one another. Also part of the introduction is the first of three evaluations. 2. Self-esteem Part of the reason for early involvement in drugs, alcohol, or sex is a lack of self-esteem. This session is intended to explain self-esteem and its importance to well-being. 3. Values clarification/decision making This session examines the role values play in making healthy decisions. Participants identify their own values system and are provided with skills for gathering information and making informed choices about life, in general, and about sexuality, in particular.

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4. Assertiveness Participants learn how to say no to negative peer pressure while maintaining friendships. After brainstorming various pressure situations common with teens today, the group uses role-play to learn how to properly respond. 5. Pregnancy The extent of teen pregnancy and its consequences are discussed along with the importance of abstinence as the best way to prevent pregnancy. The “Rockabye” video is used to illustrate the consequences of early sexual activity and parenting. 6. STIs/HIV Participants discuss causes, signs and symptoms, and prevention of STIs/HIV, with emphasis on abstinence from sex and drug use as the best ways to protect oneself. 7. Healthy dating Participants discuss the importance of healthy dating relationships including the following issues: qualities of a healthy relationship; dealing with sexual pressures and intimacy; and avoiding or getting out of an abusive relationship. The video “Heart on a Chain” is shown followed by a discussion on dating violence and sexual harassment. 8. Closure This last session consists of final questions and answers, closure, and a postsurvey. (Mackey, 2010)

Mother’s Refuge was started in 1984 in Independence Missouri to provide shelter and care to expectant homeless teen mothers. This program is made possible through the tremendous support of the community. This refuge is a long term program unlike many programs that exist. The girls are required to attend school; high school, college or GED. Education is important and demonstrated by this program in its requirement. Julie’s job is just about every job that a mother would do and more. She enrolls the girls in school. Makes appointments for health, dental and vision and sees that the girls get on Medicaid which

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is very important to prenatal care. Mother’s refuge is a home to the girls for up to a year. They live in a family environment and have house parents who help care for them. The girls who come to Mother’s Refuge are homeless. They can come through referrals from Child Protective Services, but Julie says that most girls seek them out themselves. Julie reports that 98% of teen moms in their program keep their babies. In three years she has only had 2 girls place babies for adoption. The girls are required to attend church while living at the Refuge. By doing so they hope this will instill in them a moral aspect to build on. Abstinence is taught in this program. When that isn’t a possibility then the girls are taught to use birth control. Julie and the Refuge feel that abstinence is essential in the prevention of teen pregnancy. While at Mother’s Refuge the girls go through a very extensive education program designed for teens. It teaches them everything from what to expect with pregnancy to caring for a baby and becoming independent. When girls leaves Julie reports that many live with the father of their babies or a family member of the father. Some girls go to a transition program called “Stepping Stone”. This program allows for more freedoms and helps the girls move forward in their lives. Most girls don’t return to the homes they lived in before as they came to Mother’s Refuge. Some girls go on to live on their own in government funded housing. (Julie Johnson 2012) You might even put the website here.

Conclusion Education is the key. There is a need for education. Research shows that the occurrence of teen pregnancy is slowly trending to a younger age. Our current methods are behind this curve. Parents need to be educated on how to talk to their teenage children about pregnancy and the ramifications of being part of a teen pregnancy. Programs are available to help parents and teens understand how to talk about and educate themselves to the issue at hand.

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APPENDIX Huang Sian Lin

My name is Huang Sian Lin. I am from Taiwan. I have an older brother, and a younger sister. I am the only one who is in America in my family. There are four people in my group include me. MaryAnn Vandenbark is a Mother. She has six children. She always finishes the assignments earlier before the due time. Steve Stoddard is cool and busy. Also he is a nice guy and willing to help. Paul Moulton is a busy guy too, but he is a good guy and likes to help. Before we decided our issue we had two options, one was death penalty and another one is teen pregnancy. We had done some research about death penalty and teen pregnancy was a new thing that we didn’t know much about. There were three people in my team wanted to do teen pregnancy and only one wanted to work on death penalty, so we decided to choose teen pregnancy to be our issue. We selected this issue also because we want to learn more about this issue, and especially MaryAnn has six daughters, and it is a good opportunities to learn together. I am the editor in this project. To be an editor is a challenge for me because English is not my native language and I am still learning it. But my teammates are all nice and willing to help. This is my first time to be an editor. I don’t have any experience before and it is a challenge for me to edit something in English. I need to read through the source that my teammates offer and think about how I can use these sources in the issue book. And I need to design and layout of the issue book. These things are new in my life, but it is a cool experience for me to learn some new things, and to learn how to work with people as a team. This project helps me to go on I-Learn every day, and that helps me know the dead line of each assignment. This project also helps me to learn a little bit about to work a thing with other


Stephen Stoddard

My name is Stephen Stoddard. I am in sales. I live in Parker Idaho. I have 3 children 1 girl and 2 boys. I enjoy being outdoors and working in my garden, orchard and pasture. Spending time with my family is also a favorite thing to do. The issue we chose is Teen pregnancy - I was out voted. This topic was not what I wanted to work on. Though I have learned that it is very controversial. I chose to be a writer and focus on the male side of the issue. Gathering facts and information about males and their involvement in the issue. My task is to Identify issues, find information on potential solutions, and ramifications of issue. Through the research and preparation for this project I learned that teen pregnancy is an issue that is on societies radar. The fact that the males involved are not held to a higher level of responsibility. The younger the male the lower the expectation is. I was surprised at the level of programs and help there is available for those males. Understanding teen pregnancy touches on many other societal issues. Such as drug use, truancy, education, religion, constitutional rights, and law enforcement in general. Education is the key and intervention at the right level continues to get younger and younger. It is up to us and society to rein in this runaway train.


P AUL M OULTON

My name is Paul Moulton I am from Stockton CA and I am a student at BYU-Idaho. My emphasis is in photography which I use as a way of communicating my thoughts and feelings to people. My wife is from Spokane WA and we look forward to moving to Washington after I graduate. I was interested in this topic because there is so much peer pressure to have sex before marriage, and I felt that we need to share why it is bad to have premarital sex and how much teen pregnancy effects youth. I was responsible for the scope of the project and I have provided sources and key points and an interview with Lee and Karen Adams; both retired from the medical field and currently volunteering as service missionaries at the LDS church’s medical clinic. As I have been working on this assignment, it startled me to find out how many sexually active teens there are, and it saddens me that this is such a big problem throughout the world. We need to try our hardest to give information to the youth that we come in contact with and help them to be free from peer pressure. I understand that at this time in the lives of teenagers it is hard to control one’s desires, especially with new hormones developing into the body. I also found it startling to hear the reasons why someone would keep or abort their child, ranging from trying to force someone to love you, to just not caring about the life growing inside them. The interview that I had with the Adams was very insightful; I learned new facts, some of which were surprising. I was also grateful for their help and desire to spread a positive message. I found it uplifting to see a myriad of sites that promoted keeping the baby, so at least the life of the child would be spared, regardless of the parent’s motive. If the booklet we make does nothing but encourage kids to make a better choice, I will feel like this project made a real difference in the life of some youth.


MaryAnn Vandenbark

My Name is MaryAnn Vandenbark. I am the mother of six daughters, and my husband and I live in Olathe Kansas. I teach Spanish in my elementary school to kindergarten through fifth graders. I enjoy spending time with my family when I have extra time. I volunteer at my church and my school. I was interested in this topic because it is a serious problem with our youth today. I have a daughter who became pregnant at the age of 19 and was not married. It is a subject that is full of controversy and varying opinions. I felt this would be a subject that would provide for interesting perspectives from my group member. I chose to be a writer. I gathered facts and data covered in my strategic research paper and my interviews and writings are at the end. Aside from alarming facts and data that represent the need for education and prevention in teen pregnancy, I came away with a desire to do more in my life in educating my children and those I have the opportunity to know. I was extremely impressed with Mother’s Refuge not far from where I live. This is a valuable asset to the community and we need more programs doing similar things. Community involvement appears to be what keeps these programs running. I would like to see my church, school and community put efforts toward programs like these. Our future generations depend on how much commitment we have to this issue. Our future leaders need a strong foundation. Provided their parents are educated and prepared for their role as parents. It should be a priority for everyone to support in some way education and prevention of teen pregnancy. Personally speaking I am adopted, and grateful that my birth mother chose to place me up for adoption than to live my life with her. She was young, uneducated and living in poverty conditions parenting 4 other small children. It is my hope that by educating our young pregnant teens we can help them see the benefits of adoption for them and their unborn child.


REFERENCE 1. Lorrie Gavin, Ph.D., health scientist, Division of Reproductive Health, and Ayanna T. Harrison, Division of Reproductive Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Lawrence Finer, Ph.D., director, domestic research, Guttmacher Institute, New York City; Jan. 20, 2012, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. http://

www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_120985.html 2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. http://www.cdc.gov/VitalSigns/ TeenPregnancy/ 3. Mackey, Kelly N. "Building Positive Life Skills the Smart Girls Way: Evaluation of a School-Based Sexual Responsibility Program for Adolescent Girls." Health promotion practice 12.3 (2010): 463471.http://hpp.sagepub.com.adam2.byui.edu/ content/12/3/463.full.pdf+html 4. The National Campaign to prevent Teen Pregnancy. 2012. http:// www.thenationalcampaign.org/costs/default.aspx 5. Flanigan, Christine. "The Sexual Attitudes and Behavior of Male Teens". October 2003. March 18, 2012. http:// www.thenationalcampaign.org/resources/pdf/SS/ SS6_MaleTeens.pdf 6. "Involving Teen Boys and Young Men in Teen Pregnancy Prevention". March 18, 2012. http:// www.thenationalcampaign.org/why-it-matters/pdf/fatherhood.pdf 7. Miller. Regina. Personal interview. March 18, 2012. 8. Sonenestein, Freya L., Kellie Stewart, Laura Duberstein Lindberg, Marta Pernas, and Sean Williams. "Involving Males in Preventing Teen Pregnancy; a Guide for Program Planners". Online Posting. December 07, 1997. March 18, 2012. <http://www.urban.org/ UploadedPDF/TEENPREG.PDF>.


Teen pregnancy