Thesis: Teen Sex and Pregnancy

Pages: 4 (1458 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … teen sex and pregnancy, including how many lives it affects, how each year it becomes more of a concern especially with the debate on abortion/birth control, and how it affects society. Teen sex is an ever present problem in America, which is one reason why it receives so much attention from the media, from religious groups, and from educators. It leads to a variety of social problems, from unwanted pregnancy, to poverty, increased disease and infection like HIV / AIDS and STDs, and to higher healthcare costs and social services in most communities around the nation. Teen sex and pregnancy is a major social problem, and abstinence plans do not work, so other measures need to be developed to help control teen sex and pregnancy.

Teens are growing up at a time when their bodies are changing, their minds are growing, and their hormones are raging, and that means, teens are going to explore sex whether the rest of society likes it or not. The good news is that pregnancy rates have dropped and more teens are using some kind of birth control if they do engage in sex. A statistical report notes, "The U.S. teen pregnancy rate (the number of pregnancies per 1,000 females aged 15-19) decreased 28% between 1990 and 2000, dropping from 117 pregnancies per 1,000 females aged 15-19 in 1990, to 84 per 1,000 in 2000" (Editors). The same editors report that about 98% of teens engaging in sex use some kind of birth control, and that most of those teens use birth control that will also guard against diseases like HIV / AIDS (Editors). That means more teens are aware of the risks associated with teen sex, and not just teen pregnancy. They understand that teen sex can infect them with HIV / AIDS or a sexually-transmitted disease, as well as lead to unwanted pregnancy and many other complications. However, the numbers of teens infected with these diseases is still quite dramatic. The editors continue, "Approximately one in four sexually active teens contracts an STD every year. An estimated half of all new HIV infections occur in people under age 25. Most young people are infected through sex" (Editors). This leads to increased healthcare costs for infected teens, and can lead to death, too.

It is not surprising that sexual activity is still so prevalent among teens, and it is not just because of their hormones. American society puts a premium on youth, beauty, and sex, and youngsters learn this at a very young age. Two researchers note, "Entertainment and advertising saturate the market with sexual content and images of youthful physical beauty. According to these messages, sex is exciting, healthy, and a powerful determiner of individual worth" (Nichols, and Good 92). Children see these images from a very young age, are introduced to sex on the playground at a much earlier age, and see the selling of sex in everything from McDonald's commercials to Miley Cyrus on her music tours and in magazine photo shoots. This society lifts sex to new heights and then wonders why teens are having sex at younger and younger ages. Obviously, part of the problem lies with society that overlooks sexual situations in so much of today's media, but it lies in other areas, too.

Teen sex comes up in the media all the time, and more schools are education teens about sex and pregnancy, but teen sex is still a major problem with some minorities, who have much higher rates of teen pregnancy. Latinas and black teens have much higher rates of pregnancy (Editors), and this leads to many social problems, as well. For example, young teen mothers, no matter what their race, find it more difficult to attend school after they have a baby. They may drop out of school and never return. Since the earning power of high school dropouts is much lower than those who graduate from high school and/or college, and that means many young teen mothers are going to continue a cycle of poverty and despair that they can never escape. They do not have the skills to make enough money to move up from poverty, and if they grew up in poverty themselves, they are just continuing the cycle. In addition, many of these families will have to turn to social programs like welfare, food stamps, and women and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Teen Sex and Pregnancy.  (2008, November 18).  Retrieved October 16, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/teen-sex-pregnancy/61055

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"Teen Sex and Pregnancy."  Essaytown.com.  November 18, 2008.  Accessed October 16, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/teen-sex-pregnancy/61055.