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Causes of Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancy is a result of sexually active teenagers who have not been equipped with the knowledge of contraceptive use. The causes of teen pregnancy root from the decision to be sexually active and that decision is linked to family values, peers, and other influences such as media. However, once that decision has been made, the leading causes of teen pregnancy are lack of knowledge and lack of availability of contraceptives.

Statistics tell us that the United States has double the rate of teen pregnancies than any other industrial nation. Experts suggest that the causes of teen pregnancy rates here, versus other countries, are not because of more teens having sex, but because fewer teens are sexually educated.

This is in part because the programs being taught in schools do not properly combine abstinence education with contraceptive education. Equally important are family discussions with teens’ parents or guardians. Even if abstinence is a value that is taught, the decision to become sexually active ultimately remains with the teens themselves. If no education is provided regarding birth control, the obvious risk of pregnancy is too easily realized if they make the wrong decision.

Statistics are also linked to the availability of birth control. Teens may be semi-educated on the use of contraceptives, but when it is not readily available, they tend to take unnecessary risks that could be avoided if it were readily available. This is not to suggest that you provide birth control as a free pass to engage in sex, but rather to discuss with them at length their options, how the decisions they make will impact their lives, and finally, how to protect themselves from pregnancy and also sexually transmitted diseases.

There are many informational websites that provide advice to parents of teenagers and even websites that provide information to teens who are considering becoming sexually active. Since the leading causes of teen pregnancy are lack of information and lack of availability of birth control, it stands to reason that these are also the number one cause of sexually transmitted diseases. Communication and education are the only ways to reduce a sexually active teenager’s risk of pregnancy and disease. Discussing teen pregnancy is an important part of parenting teens.

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