In a recent Tellwut online survey, results showed that 65% of over 500 surveyed knew a teen who had a child and 69% believed those teens regretted having a child so young. Why is it so common for teens to have kids these days when they have access to birth control methods and why are people acting like it isn’t a big deal? Now I’m from Renfrew County in Ontario which has the one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Canada so I’m pretty lucky to make it out alive without a child in tow or without a drug addiction (it’s a small town, there wasn’t much to do…). I can remember specifically at least 7 people who were pregnant in high school. While I’m sure they love their children dearly, I’m certain many of them regret having a child so young and wish they could have waited until they were psychologically and financially secure.
But who’s to blame for this rising problem? Let’s start with the schools. With so many children watching television and movies and using the internet, they learn about sex at a much earlier age these days. If they have questions, who do they turn to? Parents don’t always have the talk with their kids, in fact I don’t remember my mother talking to me about it at all. Schools would be the logical answer but more and more schools these days are teaching only abstinence, especially in the United States. While I understand that the schools don’t want to encourage sexual activity at a young age, many teenagers need a full sexual education on different types of birth control so they understand what is best for them to use and how it is used. I also think society is to blame as shows like 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom become more and more popular. They glamorize teen pregnancy and while it does look hard on the show, these people are being paid and can go on to make money through appearances and talks to schools. Every time I watch that show they talk about how they DIDN’T use a condom (“It’s too awkward to stop and ask for one,” says one girl. REALLY?! How much more awkward is it pushing a baby out of you?)and they DIDN’T use birth control. Some girls even get pregnant on purpose just to get on the show.
This Tellwut online poll demonstrates how common teen pregnancy is these days and while I think there are a few factors to take into consideration, I believe it’s the parents responsibility to educate their children and they need to have the talk at an earlier age as kids are exposed to sexual content at such an early age.