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The Reasons of Teenage Pregnancy, Other than ‘lack of Contraceptive Use’

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Adolescent pregnancy has been an ‘epidemic’ to different societies. As proven by scientists, contraceptive use would have led to erasure of this life-threatening experience, but it seems like the invention was partly of no use. At first, failures would be attributed to lack of knowledge and easy accessibility to abortion, contraceptive pills, condoms and other contraceptive methods. These would have limited the use of contraceptives, thus reducing the number of teenage pregnancies. But after, the above was not the case, as it has been proven that there was a willingness in not using contraceptives, which led to the conclusion that pregnancies in the majority of teens were planned. Other factors accounted for, and still account for why young women become pregnant. In this essay, I am going to talk about four other reasons, other than lack of contraceptive use, for early pregnancies. Those are: poverty, influence of politics, peer coercion and family and societal influence on individuals. Teenage pregnancies have been of a social concern and it is very surprising the way with cultural evolution, the number of teenage pregnancies rose beyond expectations. As to Martha C. Ward, with the evolution of societal culture, younger teens have failed to develop individual character and practical knowledge, which would be their guides to decision making when it came to sexual behaviours. Who should have helped them acquire those characters? In their societies, no one, other than parents, was responsible for their sex education.

I concur with Martha’s analysis about family role in instilling values, knowledge and attitudes concerning adolescents. Parents are the primary educators, they are the ones responsible for knowing their children’s sexual lives, but they seem to either communicate not deeply or start too late and fear complicity in teenager’s sexual activity. This discomfort shown by parents in provision of sex education to their children is what results into lack of decision making and lack of control on sexual desires.

On the other hand, Pregnancy seems to be results to problems faced by youth who are disadvantaged. As of Marta C. Ward, researchers believe that sexual decision-making depends on individual aspirations. Most teenagers who become pregnant are of low socio-economic status. With this status of being disadvantaged, many young women have proven to want to carry babies so that they would get support either from kins or even families of the genitors. For example with Rethabile’s story, she wanted to carry the baby because the father’s family had happily accepted to support the child to be born. The support wouldn’t bring riches to their families, but they would benefit in either ways. Teenagers who plan and decide on becoming pregnant are most of the times unhappy with their early lives thus want to prepare better futures. Early motherhood appears to offer an escape from an existence of that little or no satisfaction. Another factor that may be the leading cause to early pregnancies is the way the politics of reproduction is perceived in different societies. In some societies, it seems like women are not responsible for their own reproductive health. The control of women’s fertility belong does not belong to her, but rather to her elders and her genitals belong to her father. This doesn’t provide freedom to choice for a young woman to decide when and with whom she is going to have sex with. Some families, for example, in South Africa, parents would oblige a girl to marry as long as they received ‘lobola’ (dowry) form a rich man. This is also another reason to early pregnancy.

In her article, Martha C. Ward again demonstrates how peer coercion influences teenage pregnancies. She suggests, from the results of different studies especially the one carried out in a high school from Louisiana, that it is not because they are not aware of the availability or the appropriate use of contraceptives, but because they want to become pregnant. Some teens envy the support and care given to pregnant teens, others feel like it is a pride to bear a kid, and others feel like it is a better way of maintaining their relationship with their partners. In addition, most of the times, reasons for teenage pregnancies were attributed to cultural practices which guided a particular society. I couldn’t be lying if I said that culture is still worth of the blame. In some societies, mothers are respected because they are assumed to be responsible, resilient and experienced. It is thus no doubt that some teens plan on becoming pregnant, either out or in of wed-lock, to gain respect from other society members mainly from kinships, who would sometimes regard her as a child and practice economic violence. Briefly, it is not a matter of lack of contraceptive use. Most pregnancies are not accidental, but they occur while they are planned. The issue to tackle is no longer the knowledge about contraceptive use, but instead the things which make teens make decision on getting pregnant. If we want to solve the problem, we should first deal with what makes young women decide on getting pregnant. First address the problem family role to enhance sex education to their children. This is what will instill in them values and practices that not only help them decide on appropriate age of bearing a child, but also erase the culture of doing things because their peers did the same.

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The Reasons of Teenage Pregnancy, Other Than ‘Lack of Contraceptive Use’. (2020, December 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from
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