The Damaging Psycho-social Effects of Teenage Pregnancies
A matter of concern for most parents nowadays is the early age at which female children get pregnant. Such a phenomenon is due largely to the early sexual awakening of teenagers. This awakening is the result of many factors, one of which is the media. However, it is not so much of the sexual awakening that becomes an issue with most teenagers but the actual pregnancy itself. Teenage pregnancies can be very detrimental because it has devastating psycho-social effects, despite claims that it can encourage early maturity, the disadvantages still far outweigh the advantages.
Teenage pregnancies should be prevented at all costs because of its damaging psychological effects. “The incident of teenage pregnancy like any other phenomenon or problem has sociological and psychological consequences on individuals and as well as the society.” (Onike) The inability of the young mind to conceive something as complex as being a parent results to teenagers experiencing anxiety and depression and eventually considering abortion and even suicide to some extent.
“A young girl who…end[s] up with pregnancy [can suffer] psychological trauma because this has a long-term impact.” (Mangiaterra) These psychological effects are mostly due to the reality that teenagers are still unprepared to face the demands of parenthood or have issues with their families that put them in a situation that they are not able to deal with effectively. Teenagers who get pregnant at a very early age also do not have the biological ‘equipment’ to deal with such a pregnancy. “Besides the psychological damage that it causes, it even causes much physical damage because the tender body of a teenager is not yet mature enough to handle changes of this stature.” (Ladyzona) Hence, the overflow of hormones causing various psychological and attitudinal changes makes coping very difficult for most teenagers. The psychological problems experienced by teenage mothers are also not just a phase. Most of the time, these psychological effects have deeper and significant consequences in the long run.
Teenagers who have to deal with the psychological issues accompanying teenage pregnancies eventually fail to lead productive lives and become more and more introvert. “Two out of three pregnant teens drop out of high school and 80% of them rely on welfare as consequences of teenage pregnancy.” (TennagePregnancy) This is due partly to the fact that when the children of teenage mothers are born, these children are reared by their grandparents because of the economic and physical incapacity of teenage mothers to do so. This can result to self-esteem and self-confidence problems, as well as a diminished bond between the teenage mother and her child; which could in turn result to more problems for the growing child. The psychological problems are not just limited to the teenager mother. Many studies have shown that the psychological effects go all the way to the unborn child. Most teenage pregnancies are unwanted and unplanned and the depression of the teenage parent affects the child in the womb by causing very real, physiological problems. “The baby may have psychological damages also. Retarded metal growth, autism, and stunted brain development are some of the damages the baby can suffer. “(Ladyzona)
Another matter of consideration for teenage pregnancies is the fact that such pregnancies can have critical social effects. “A lot of pregnant teens don’t know where to turn when they find out they are pregnant. They don’t want to tell their parents and end up trying to hide the pregnancy as long as they can.” (TeenpregnancyHelp) Teenage mothers are often ostracized and discriminated by society and viewed as irresponsible or promiscuous. Teenage mothers have trouble being accepted by their friends, family, and fitting into society. Teenage pregnancies are still considered taboos in modern society despite advocacies explaining that teenage parents need more support than regular parents do. Society does not seem to accept this as easily because of the possibility that at any point in time, that teenage parent could be anybody in particular, even one’s own child. Teenage pregnancies are also viewed as acts of rebellion on the part of the teenager and are hence reflections of the domestic situation of these teenagers. This compounds the problem by making society more critical not only of the pregnant teenager but also of the parents and family of the pregnant teenager. The social effects of such a situation expands exponentially and soon enough, the pregnant teenager is isolated from the rest of society like she was suffering a contagious disease.
Some advocates supporting teenage pregnancy argue that such a pregnancy allows teenagers to mature more effectively because they are given a taste of responsibility early on. However, this is a faulty supposition because no matter how anyone puts it, “teenagers are not yet mentally and physically capable of handling a pregnancy. “ (Onike) Therefore, teenage pregnancies are not really what they seem to be as instruments of maturity. The most significant rebuttal to this argument is “that teenagers who get pregnant at a very early age are most likely to lose an important phase in their development and that is their childhood.” (Onike) As is generally accepted, the loss of childhood can eventually lead to many other psychological problems, and so, contrary to what others advocate, that teenage pregnancy is an effective means of allowing adolescents to understand the concept of maturity, teenage pregnancies actually cause more harm than good.
Evidence clearly shows that teenage pregnancies can be very detrimental for the youth because of problems that may arise from the situation. Teenage pregnancies should be prevented at all cost because this damages the youth heavily because of its psychological and social consequences and implications.
Ladyzona, . “Risks of Teenage Pregnancies.” Ladyzona.com. N.p., 6 Jan. 2009. Web. 3 Aug. 2010. <http://www.ladyzona.com/risks-of-teenage-pregnancies/>.
Mangiaterra, Elizabeth. “Teenage pregnancies cause many health, social problems.” World Health Organization. N.p., 13 Feb. 2009. Web. 3 Aug. 2010. <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/multimedia/podcasts/2009/teenage-pregnancy-20090213/en/index.html>.
Onike, Rahaman. “Social and Health Implications of Teenage Pregnancies.” Searchwarp.com. N.p., 5 Feb. 2007. Web. 3 Aug. 2010. <http://searchwarp.com/swa129883.htm>.
TeenagePregnancy, . “A Closer Look at the Overall Consequences of Teenage Pregnancy.” Teenagepregnancy.com. N.p., 3 Aug. 2010. Web. 3 Aug. 2010. <http://pregnancyconcerns.info/teenage-pregnancy/a-closer-look-at-the-overall-consequences-of-teenage-pregnancy/>.
Teenagepregnancyhelp, . “Effects of Teen Pregnancy.” Teenagepregnancyhelp.com. N.p., 2009. Web. 3 Aug. 2010. <http://www.teenpregnancyhelp.net/effects-of-teen-pregnancy.html>.
FOR ADDITIONAL CREDIT:
This image expresses my argument quite accurately because I argued earlier that teenage pregnancies can have social and psychological consequences. The mere depiction of pregnancy here by a male teenager is disturbing in itself and it highlights how disturbing and how damaging this can be if it happens to a girl, hence, the tagline, “It shouldn’t be any less disturbing when it’s a girl.” This image basically expresses the urgency that should go into trying to prevent and control teenage pregnancies because of the consequences that could come with it. The implied social delinquency of the male model, as he is portrayed in front of graffiti also validates the social implications of teenage pregnancy. In addition, the drab and faint colors in the image and the expression the model’s face seem to point to underlying psychological concerns.
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The Damaging Psycho-social Effects of Teenage Pregnancies. (2017, Jan 31). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-damaging-psycho-social-effects-of-teenage-pregnancies/