Sarah Pflugradt is a registered dietitian nutritionist, writer, blogger, recipe developer, and college instructor. Sarah has experience in clinical nutrition, outpatient nutrition counseling, and WIC Overseas. Sarah has authored many nutrition and wellness articles online and in-print, and has been quoted in digital publications and websites as a nutrition expert. Sarah is the creator and author of Salubrious RD, a food blog dedicated to healthy recipes for individuals and families.
PIP: Although there are fewer teenage pregnancies in the US today than was the case prior to , this fact should not be used to claim that the problem of adolescent pregnancy has been exaggerated. In the earlier period, the majority of adolescent pregnancies were to married couples; moreover, early childbearing was a social norm. In the present period, the availability of effective contraception and legal abortion has enabled women to postpone marriage and childbearing into their late twenties or early thirties and to focus instead on education that enhances their marketability and wages. Under prevailing social norms, teen pregnancy represents a clear deviation. Under current socioeconomic conditions, unmarried adolescent mothers are likely to live in poverty and their offspring are at high risk of learning disabilities, child abuse, and foster care placements. Although young people are bombarded with images of sexuality in the mass media, school-based sex education programs tend to promote abstinence and withhold information on or access to contraception. It is essential that material on human sexuality is integrated into the curriculum as early as kindergarten if the teen pregnancy rate and the intergenerational transmission of early childbearing under conditions of poverty are to be reduced.
The report is based on interviews with 30 girls and women who became pregnant before turning 18, and dozens of other people including students, LGBT youth, healthcare and social service providers, and experts in the field. Public health data shows Most of these pregnancies are unplanned or unwanted.
Teenage pregnancies and teenage motherhood are a cause for concern worldwide. From a historical point of view, teenage pregnancies are nothing new. For much of human history, it was absolutely common that girls married during their late adolescence and experienced first birth during their second decade of life. This kind of reproductive behavior was socially desired and considered as normal. Nowadays, however, the prevention of teenage pregnancies and teenage motherhood is a priority for public health in nearly all developed and increasingly in developing countries.