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View Full Version : Why does teenage pregnancy often correlate with wealth?



android415
07-28-2010, 12:38 AM
[I am new to the forums, so if this is not a topic that is appropriate for all eyes, please instruct me on how to delete/move/etc.]


I am thinking of toying with a pregnant teenager for one of my future novels, but to write it, I need to understand why it happens.

And today, (I work with youth sometimes), I was informed that a girl I know, aged 15, is pregnant. That did not come as a surprise to me, as her mother had her at 15, and the two are living on welfare as we speak.

But what I want to know is why. The youth centers in the area are very active (especially the one said girl goes to, in particular), and don't preach abstinence, but how to "protect" yourself. But every year, like clockwork, in happens anyways, namely in the poorer areas of town.

Why?

Wayne K
07-28-2010, 12:44 AM
Boredom. Plus rich people can afford 'discreet' abortions and birth control

My father's friend used to say "The rich get richer and the poor have babies"

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 12:46 AM
In this country at least you get paid to have babies. Shoot me down if you want, and yes I know you don't get much, but it's more to spend on fags and booze at least.

Judgemental? Maybe.

The truth? Well put it this way - all the pramfaces I see walking the streets in their Primark jeans and three-sizes-too-small vest tops sure as hell don't come from anything above the (non) working class.

Don Allen
07-28-2010, 12:50 AM
Well, the easy answer is that wealth and education sort of go hand in hand. The better off a family the better the education of a child and even sexually active teens know to use contraception during sex. However, they're have been plenty of well off kids from morally well adjusted or even over the top Christian family's that have gotten preggo. (See Sarah Palin)

The real answer and one that lies at the heart of most if not all teen pregnancies is the simple fact that many adolescents are looking for love that they aren't getting at home. And they equate sex with love, or desire with love, or raging hormones with love, (take your pick) and submit to unprotected sex with the "if its meant to be attitude" that also gets them plenty of attention, both from their lover's and eventually from their friends, family and school when they find out about the pregnancy.

The sad truth, is that teen pregnancy in a majority of cases can be attributed young people searching for something missing in their lives, parental love. But as they say it's only my HUMBLE OPINION..... By the way I'm fifty, see picture, I knocked up my first wife at age 17 and can tell you from a guys experience, that A. I was stupid.... B. I was desperately searching for love.... and C. I wish to this day someone would have drilled into my head what I wrote above...... Hope it helps.....

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 12:52 AM
For what it's worth, I'm 34, female, live in a different country to you, Don...but I agree with everything you've said. I've seen it happen too often to believe otherwise.

Christine N.
07-28-2010, 12:55 AM
Exactly what someone said above. Poorer people a) are usually less well informed, b) less educated, or less-well educated, c)have much less access to healthcare.

Even local clinics are usually ill staffed and crammed with people. There is very little time for proper teaching of how to use birth control. I'd even venture that some of the poor don't even KNOW about free clinics or Planned Parenthood, where you can get OB appointments and BC pills on a sliding scale based on your income.

And everything Don said applies too, especially when these teenagers are in broken homes where the parent is drug addicted OR (more likely) just even absent because they have to work three jobs to keep food on the table. No one's home to talk to, so they go looking for something else to fill the voic.

Celia Cyanide
07-28-2010, 12:58 AM
Another reason that people don't always think of is that motherhood is glorified in our culture. If a young girl doesn't have much going on in her life or hope for the future, one way she can find a purpose is to become a mother.

I would recommend you contact:

http://www.prochoiceresources.org and ask them about the causes of teen pregnancy, and how it relates to poverty.

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 12:58 AM
And my mother had me at 18. She was as poor as a church mouse, as thick as pigshit, and had more pricks than a second hand dartboard.

The prosecution rests. :D

Parametric
07-28-2010, 01:00 AM
My mother spent time training as a social worker, and one of her clients (not sure of the right term) was a teenage girl - school dropout, no qualifications, poor literacy. The girl couldn't stand her parents and desperately wanted to move out of the family home. She couldn't get her own place unless she got:

(1) a job, which she couldn't get and didn't want; or
(2) pregnant.

So that's exactly what she did. Had a baby, got her own flat.

KTC
07-28-2010, 01:02 AM
how offensive is this thread?! Wow.


for the record...i was a teen parent...because we wanted to start our family early. it was a choice. we are not without money...nor were we without money at the time.

all people are created differently.

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 01:03 AM
Yes, KTC, I knew someone would come along to defend teen parenting.

The majority, however, are not like you. I invite you to come to this town and see of what I speak.

Actually don't. Terrible place.

Anyway, my point being, the majority of young, unmarried mothers are from the working class. Not all. The MAJORITY.

android415
07-28-2010, 01:04 AM
I think I understand now. Just seems so unfair, though.

Susan Littlefield
07-28-2010, 01:05 AM
[I am new to the forums, so if this is not a topic that is appropriate for all eyes, please instruct me on how to delete/move/etc.]


I am thinking of toying with a pregnant teenager for one of my future novels, but to write it, I need to understand why it happens.

And today, (I work with youth sometimes), I was informed that a girl I know, aged 15, is pregnant. That did not come as a surprise to me, as her mother had her at 15, and the two are living on welfare as we speak.

But what I want to know is why. The youth centers in the area are very active (especially the one said girl goes to, in particular), and don't preach abstinence, but how to "protect" yourself. But every year, like clockwork, in happens anyways, namely in the poorer areas of town.

Why?

Teenage pregnancy has nothing to do with wealth. There is only one way to get pregnant (I don't have to elaborate here)- teenage hormones and lack of birth control are the reasons for pregnancy. However, if a teenager comes from money, it is easier to abort. Someone poor probably does not have the resources to abort.

However, there are always circumstances around teenage pregnancy--maybe not enough education, lack of self care and esteem, or any number of reason. Rich or poor, perhaps a teenager gets pregnant to fulfill a need to be loved. As you mentioned about your friend, getting pregnant young could be a family pattern.

Since you want to write about a teen who gets pregnant, I would go and talk to these girls. Find out their experiences and try to understand their perspective. Without judgment, see where they are coming from. Do your research and see where it takes you.

android415
07-28-2010, 01:06 AM
how offensive is this thread?! Wow.


for the record...i was a teen parent...because we wanted to start our family early. it was a choice. we are not without money...nor were we without money at the time.

all people are created differently.

I don't know if this is too personal KTC, but can I ask why?

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 01:07 AM
Unfair how?

Bottom line is, contraception is available. So is the word 'no'.

And further to my previous post, the city in which I live has the highest rate of mothers under the age of I think 19, although it could be 18, in the country.

And when I was 19, I was asked by an almost complete stranger, "How many kids have you got?"

Not "Do you have any...?" but how many and he was amazed when I said, "None."

In fact he asked why, and I said, "Uh...'cause I don't want any, that's why." It never occurred to this guy that someone of 19 would have no children.

That's the culture I live in. Children having children "just because." It's what people do, right?

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 01:08 AM
Teenage pregnancy has nothing to do with wealth.Yes it does.

KTC
07-28-2010, 01:09 AM
I don't know if this is too personal KTC, but can I ask why?

it's not too personal. we wanted to grow up with our kids...and we wanted an empty nest early. we wanted to have adult children when we were still young enough to appreciate them...do things with them that didn't involve wheelchairs and colostomy bags. We wanted to have the whole children experience and have time left over before death to have the whole US experience. It's working out nicely. In fact, we just started traveling this past year...and we are only in our early/mid 40s.

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 01:11 AM
Your children were clearly planned, KTC. I know I seem :rant: about this, and yes, I am. There's no way my mother was equipped at 18 to be a mother, and the majority of teen mothers I see don't have the financial or emotional tools to be a good parent. The overwhelming majority of them are single. They're one person, not even developed themselves, trying to do the job of two adults.

android415
07-28-2010, 01:12 AM
Teenage pregnancy has nothing to do with wealth. There is only one way to get pregnant (I don't have to elaborate here)- teenage hormones and lack of birth control are the reasons for pregnancy. However, if a teenager comes from money, it is easier to abort. Someone poor probably does not have the resources to abort.

However, there are always circumstances around teenage pregnancy--maybe not enough education, lack of self care and esteem, or any number of reason. Rich or poor, perhaps a teenager gets pregnant to fulfill a need to be loved. As you mentioned about your friend, getting pregnant young could be a family pattern.

Since you want to write about a teen who gets pregnant, I would go and talk to these girls. Find out their experiences and try to understand their perspective. Without judgment, see where they are coming from. Do your research and see where it takes you.

I basically grew up in a teen center (in the sense that I was always around it), and with a grandmother whose felt it was her personal duty to make these kids feel welcome, so much so that they were invited into our home on a regular basis, and referred to her as "Grandma".

I guess I understand, and I don't. This girl in particular, the one I mentioned. Her mother kept having children by different fathers, and often times, the children would end up on my Grandmother's doorstep, hungry. There are now 4 children in the equation, one is a baby. The oldest child (well, I guess an adult now) fathered a child. Now, as I said, she is pregnant too.

:Shrug:

I am interested in this from the standpoint of my future novel, but I also have a vested interest in this. I am wondering how to break the cycle.

Don Allen
07-28-2010, 01:13 AM
For what it's worth, I'm 34, female, live in a different country to you, Don...but I agree with everything you've said. I've seen it happen too often to believe otherwise.


Amen sweetie, one day we will meet and drink, and share many of stories...

Medievalist
07-28-2010, 01:13 AM
Unfair how?

Bottom line is, contraception is available.

How available is it in the UK? (I really don't know).

Are their age checks for condoms ?

Are they behind counters?

What about IUDs, the patch, and pills--do you need parental consent?

We've got pharmacies that refuse to carry condoms, birth control of any sort, as well as the so-called morning after pill.

Putting condom machines in the women's bathrooms at UCLA became an enormously controversial issue for alums, and some faculty.

gothicangel
07-28-2010, 01:13 AM
I actually want to defend the 'poorer' people. My Dad flitted between benefits and poorly paid jobs [one such paid 2 an hour] for my whole childhood. Despite the stereotype it ingrained in me an attitude that was not how I wanted to live my life.

I have an university education [applying for a postgrad] and have a managerial level career. I'm 28 and I am unmarried and still no children. It is my firm belief that it was the ethics ingrained into me growing up on a council estate to why I have grown so successful.

Now my niece fell pregnant aged 13 with her eldest son. Now she came from a home that wanted for nothing. So I argue that your initial premise is false.

Nivarion
07-28-2010, 01:14 AM
Here's my take on it.

Its the parents. Wealthy people set expectations and take at least a small role in their kids lives. They have the energy and time to do so.

Poor parents work two full time jobs, and are perpetually exhausted. The kids get no guidance and just do whatever strikes them at the moment.

Telling your kids what you want for them and why you want it goes a very very long way. I never met a teenage girl who was pregnant with an actively involved mother and father.

Medievalist
07-28-2010, 01:15 AM
Your children were clearly planned, KTC. I know I seem :rant: about this, and yes, I am. There's no way my mother was equipped at 18 to be a mother, and the majority of teen mothers I see don't have the financial or emotional tools to be a good parent. The overwhelming majority of them are single. They're one person, not even developed themselves, trying to do the job of two adults.

There are an awful of lot fifteen year old mothers in urban areas, raising kids on their own.

kuwisdelu
07-28-2010, 01:16 AM
Teenage pregnancy has nothing to do with wealth.


Yes it does.

Pregnancy doesn't. Birth does.

android415
07-28-2010, 01:17 AM
I actually want to defend the 'poorer' people. My Dad flitted between benefits and poorly paid jobs [one such paid 2 an hour] for my whole childhood. Despite the stereotype it ingrained in me an attitude that was not how I wanted to live my life.

I have an university education [applying for a postgrad] and have a managerial level career. I'm 28 and I am unmarried and still no children. It is my firm belief that it was the ethics ingrained into me growing up on a council estate to why I have grown so successful.

Now my niece fell pregnant aged 13 with her eldest son. Now she came from a home that wanted for nothing. So I argue that your initial premise is false.

"Wanted for nothing"? I don't understand. Language barrier, perhaps? :)

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 01:18 AM
How available is it in the UK? (I really don't know).

Are their age checks for condoms ?None. The patient/doctor (or nurse) confidentiality is such that you can walk into a medical centre and ask for them, and they're free.
Are they behind counters?Nope. They're even on supermarket shelves.
What about IUDs, the patch, and pills--do you need parental consent?Nope. If you're under 16, the doctor encourages you to tell your parents but s/he cannot do that for you.
We've got pharmacies that refuse to carry condoms, birth control of any sort, as well as the so-called morning after pill.I don't know about the morning after pill as I've never used it (nor would I; reasons irrelevant to this thread) but pharmacies here all sell condoms at the very least.
Putting condom machines in the women's bathrooms at UCLA became an enormously controversial issue for alums, and some faculty.There are condom machines in all public lavatories I've seen.

And whoa. That makes it look as if I tour public bathrooms.

I don't. ;)

kuwisdelu
07-28-2010, 01:18 AM
"Wanted for nothing"? I don't understand. Language barrier, perhaps? :)

They had everything they could have wanted / lacked nothing.

gothicangel
07-28-2010, 01:19 AM
How available is it in the UK? (I really don't know).

Are their age checks for condoms ?

Are they behind counters?

What about IUDs, the patch, and pills--do you need parental consent?

We've got pharmacies that refuse to carry condoms, birth control of any sort, as well as the so-called morning after pill.

Putting condom machines in the women's bathrooms at UCLA became an enormously controversial issue for alums, and some faculty.

Contraception is freely available through sexual health clinics and a doctor has to protect the privacy of the patient even if they are under 16.

As for age checks I've never heard of that before, and condoms are usually stocked on shelves near the tills.

android415
07-28-2010, 01:19 AM
How available is it in the UK? (I really don't know).

Are their age checks for condoms ?

Are they behind counters?

What about IUDs, the patch, and pills--do you need parental consent?

We've got pharmacies that refuse to carry condoms, birth control of any sort, as well as the so-called morning after pill.

Putting condom machines in the women's bathrooms at UCLA became an enormously controversial issue for alums, and some faculty.


Jeez. Nobody wants women to protect themselves?

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 01:20 AM
Condoms go on the MALE bits. I'd say it's more about male responsibility than women's self-protection.

Or, in an ideal world...

android415
07-28-2010, 01:21 AM
Ha, I see a whole new argument coming on Scarletpeaches.

You are right. For some reason, it seems to always fall on the women to be sure the man is properly protected.

veinglory
07-28-2010, 01:23 AM
Number of children and age at first pregnancy does, statistically speaking, correlate with both income and education level. But the reverse question (why do wealthier/more educated people choose not to have children) is equally valid. And their are prositive and negative reasons to offer for both outcomes--all of which apply at a demographic level not to specific individuals (except as stereotypes).

Mr Flibble
07-28-2010, 01:31 AM
Yes it does.

I see plenty of middle-class kids (or upper working class, you know, own their homes etc) getting pregnant too. Okay, their parents can afford the abortions etc (or the poor want that council flat so they keep it...) but poor kids don't have the monoploy on having parents who don't /can't love them/make time for them, or on parents who drink too much etc.

Now yeah, maybe the majority of kids getting preggars are poorer working class/social security class. They are certainly the bigger majority having those kids. Because a middle class/ upper working class parent is way more likely to say 'OMG what will the neighbours think!' or 'But how will you go to uni now?' and pack them off to a clinic, whether the girl wants the baby or not. A social security class parent might be more likely to see it as 'inevitable' or more socially acceptable, or even that aspiring to anything else is 'middle class' in a weird reverse snobbery.

Fuck knows why, (for either class) but there you are.



There are condom machines in all public lavatories I've seen. Irrelevant fact - one of the best pieces of graffiti I've ever seen, on a condom machine with the coin drop pulled out. 'Insert baby here for full refund'. Yes, I use the men's if the ladies is busy in the pub. Men squeal like girls, which makes it all worth it.

ETA: It's a weird thing. Our kids have the same exposure to sex in teh media, on the internet etc and sex education. Yet, IIRC teh UK has the highest rate of underage pregnancies in Europe. Got to be some weird thing in our culture....but what, exactly it is, I couldn't say. Giving flats/extra benefits to single mums so they aspire to that? Maybe. Because we still titter at sex like school kids? Maybe that too.

Celia Cyanide
07-28-2010, 01:56 AM
Pregnancy doesn't. Birth does.

No, pregnancy does, too. Access to birth control has a lot to do with it.

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 02:00 AM
Irrelevant fact - one of the best pieces of graffiti I've ever seen, on a condom machine with the coin drop pulled out. 'Insert baby here for full refund'. Yes, I use the men's if the ladies is busy in the pub. Men squeal like girls, which makes it all worth it.Completely off topic but well worth a laugh - When I was in Edinburgh with Perks & Co, one of the children came back from the pub toilet with the question, "Dad, why is there a machine selling inflatable sheep in the rest room?" :D

Och aye. God bless Scotland.

Jamesaritchie
07-28-2010, 02:05 AM
[I am new to the forums, so if this is not a topic that is appropriate for all eyes, please instruct me on how to delete/move/etc.]


I am thinking of toying with a pregnant teenager for one of my future novels, but to write it, I need to understand why it happens.

And today, (I work with youth sometimes), I was informed that a girl I know, aged 15, is pregnant. That did not come as a surprise to me, as her mother had her at 15, and the two are living on welfare as we speak.

But what I want to know is why. The youth centers in the area are very active (especially the one said girl goes to, in particular), and don't preach abstinence, but how to "protect" yourself. But every year, like clockwork, in happens anyways, namely in the poorer areas of town.

Why?

Children often repeat the mistakes their parents made. It's all too often the way they're raised, and many poor kids simply do not see a bright future ahead. When you know you can afford to go to a good college, will have money for a great spring break, and have a cushy life after college, you're much less likely to take a chance on getting pregnant.

If you've spent much time around crisis pregancy shelters, teen crisis shelters, and juvenile detention centers, you also knwo an awful lot of teh same girls who get pregnant come from seriously dysfuntional familes, often use alcohol and otehr drugs, and, in general, have no clue about what's right and wrong, smart and dumb. Bad parents usually produce bad teens.

Perks
07-28-2010, 02:08 AM
Completely off topic but well worth a laugh - When I was in Edinburgh with Perks & Co, one of the children came back from the pub toilet with the question, "Dad, why is there a machine selling inflatable sheep in the rest room?" :D

Och aye. God bless Scotland.The woman lies, but not often, and not this time, except that it was inflatable pigs -

http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s40/Perks_album/Vacation09262-1.jpg

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 02:10 AM
Pigs, sheep, I knew I'd get them mixed up.

Sorry. Thought I was in Wales for a moment. ;)

Wiskel
07-28-2010, 02:12 AM
You might want to look up a paper called "Pathways from childhood into adult life" by Michael Rutter

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2647779 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2647779)

Sorry I couldn't find a link to the full article. Rutter is probably the most prolific author on child psychiatry and psychology in the last few decades.

The article isn't especially scientific, it's a study of probabilities. It starts off with the concept of a child failing at school, but you could equally apply it to families who don't get along.

To paraphrase:

If a child is failing, then they are a bit more likely to be friends with other children who are failing, as they have something in common.
If they are, then that group of kids is a bit more likely to have problems with authority and rebel against adults.
If they do, that group of kids is a bit more likely to stay out late, hang around places that their parents wouldn't want them, etc
If they do, that group of kids is a bit more likely to experiment with alcohol, drugs, sex and criminal behaviour.
If they do, there is an increased risk of the consequences of all of the above.

It's not a slur on anyone to study population trends. Anyone can do anything. Free will comes into play. A child from the worst background imaginable can do fantastically, a child from the best background imaginable can get into trouble of any kind you can name.

Looking at populations though, it's fair to wonder if you started with a group of kids who were failing, would the majority come from wealthy homes or from poorer ones?

Then you have to consider that there is a bias of what you see in neighbourhoods. A girl from a poorer background, or who picked an idiot as the father, or who doesn't get on with her family is more likely to have to live in an area where the housing is cheaper and more likely to have to take her child with her when she goes out to the shop.

A girl from a more privilaged background, or who picked a dependable partner, or who has good relationships with her family is a bit more likely to have a babysitter on hand, and so might be able to walk past you in the street without you knowing she has a child.

The numbers do point towards girls from underprivilaged backgrounds having a greater risk of all of the above, but that doesn't tell you anything about what a particular person will choose to do with their life.

Craig

RoseColoredSkies
07-28-2010, 02:12 AM
Just a personal experience. When I went to buy condoms for the first time, they were locked behind glass and you had to have a store associate open it for you. My mom and I left (I don't drive) and went elsewhere. I think perhaps thats part of the problem as well. contraception isn't readily available to people.

Re; the whole "why do women need to make sure the guy has protection" thing. I know for me personally I need to have the right stuff b/c of allergies. I mean if I didn't have allegeries, then damn straight my boyfriend would be the one responsible for that.

Also...there are female condoms...just not used as often (oh high school health class).

Wayne K
07-28-2010, 02:14 AM
There are also a lot more poor kids than rich, so the numbers are higher making it more visible. Rich kids are having sex too btw, the whole "Parents make them more mora through good parentingl" argument isn't entirely true

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 02:15 AM
There are also a lot more poor kids than richWell there are now. :ROFL:

backslashbaby
07-28-2010, 02:23 AM
If a mom was a teen-aged mom, she basically has to tell the kids that she's glad for how they came about, happy she has them, etc.

Meanwhile, my mom and dad said I'd be out on the street and disowned forever if I got pregnant.


My friends were discussing sex and the science of it very young; so-and-so's mom gave her a book with the real truth in it, etc.

A friend of mine with lots of teenaged cousins and friends who were moms still believed that her friend's twins were conceived months apart.


My friends would think I was an out-and-out idiot, frankly. Her other friends are astounded at her self-control -- and thought they'd be happier with their kids than they ended up being while so young.


I did have a wealthy, very educated friend who was determined to have a baby as young as she felt was the least bit socially acceptable. She wanted to be a mom more than anything, had permissive and sweet parents, and she thought she was mature as hell. Fortunately, she also wanted to be married, so it took a while.

Mr Flibble
07-28-2010, 02:26 AM
Just a personal experience. When I went to buy condoms for the first time, they were locked behind glass and you had to have a store associate open it for you.

Not a problem here. Spend a pound in the men's instead of a penny, get a french tickler...

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 02:27 AM
Not a problem here. Spend a pound in the men's instead of a penny, get a french tickler...Cheese and onion flavour?

Rep for the first person to get the reference.

Wayne K
07-28-2010, 02:35 AM
In this country at least you get paid to have babies. Shoot me down if you want, and yes I know you don't get much, but it's more to spend on fags and booze at least.

Judgemental? Maybe.

The truth? Well put it this way - all the pramfaces I see walking the streets in their Primark jeans and three-sizes-too-small vest tops sure as hell don't come from anything above the (non) working class.


Cheese and onion flavour?

Rep for the first person to get the reference.

I'm still waiting for a rep for my "Fags spend money on me" rep :D

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 02:46 AM
You shameless hussy. :D

Wayne K
07-28-2010, 02:51 AM
I gotta be me

ishtar'sgate
07-28-2010, 02:58 AM
There are an awful of lot fifteen year old mothers in urban areas, raising kids on their own.
There are some happy endings though. I have a relative who got pregnant at 15 and married the father. Everyone at the wedding, including me, thought 'poor kid, she's going to be left on her own before the year is out'. She wasn't. They stayed together until he died last year and had 4 more children and a great family life. Very much the exception but pretty nice all the same.

Maxinquaye
07-28-2010, 03:04 AM
I'm still waiting for a rep for my "Fags spend money on me" rep :D

Sex, like champagne, should be free. :D

Hallen
07-28-2010, 03:10 AM
Here's my take on it.

Its the parents. Wealthy people set expectations and take at least a small role in their kids lives. They have the energy and time to do so.

Poor parents work two full time jobs, and are perpetually exhausted. The kids get no guidance and just do whatever strikes them at the moment.

Telling your kids what you want for them and why you want it goes a very very long way. I never met a teenage girl who was pregnant with an actively involved mother and father.

The reasons are varied for why it happens. Sometimes, it is just a whoopsie even though you were taking precautions. That happened to me when I was 25. It is very easy to get protection around here, it seems strange to me that it is difficult in other places.

I think parents play a big role. I don't quite buy the "Poor parents work two full time jobs, and are perpetually exhausted." line. Poor parents who take on the responsibility of two jobs to care for their family are going to most likely instill good values in their children. However, if the parent resents the child and thinks the child stole their life from them, that child is going to want to get out as soon as possible and start doing things that they are not ready for.

In areas where a high rate of teen pregnancies exist, chance are you won't see any involvement of the father with the children. Two people can generally raise a child much better than one and provides the child a better home. That alone would lower the teen pregnancy rates in my opinion. It also places responsibility on the father. If they can just walk away with no consequences, then they are more likely to do it again.

I also agree with scarletpeaches. If you hate living with your parents because they are abusive, or you think they don't care, or whatever, getting pregnant is a good way to get money from the government. Pop out a new kid every few years, and you can stay on the dole for a long, long time. Its a sad thing and in certain sub-cultures (both inner city and rural, doesn't matter) its socially acceptable and even expected.

There are many, many causes and part of it is also our society's obsession with sex and being sexy. Kids think it is the end-all-be-all so they have to experience it. Well, yes, it is great, but it isn't the end-all-be-all. They don't know that yet though.

I didn't think I was ready for kids when I was left without a choice. I wouldn't give up my boys now for the world. I was ready and I'm very glad I stepped up and became a father to my boys. If more men would do that, then I think teen pregnancy would go down. My boys always knew that if they knocked a girl up, that they were going to have to take responsibility and deal with it, even if it screwed up all their plans. I wouldn't allow anything less. It's the sign of a real man.

Wayne K
07-28-2010, 03:10 AM
Sex, like champagne, should be free. :D

I aint cheap pal :D

Paul
07-28-2010, 03:19 AM
Well Don Allen pretty much hit the nail on the head IMO.
As for the financial reward, it's more likely subconscious and tied into the need love theory, as independent housing may be available (my own family syndrome). i dont believe it's a calculated decision to obtain state benefits - and such thinking I believe to be simplistic and out-of-touch.

ps the 'didn't want for anything' has been explored / explained by the Beatles. (she's leaving home' can't think of title.)

thothguard51
07-28-2010, 03:20 AM
Champagne is free????

No wonder the teen pregnancy rate is so high...

rhymegirl
07-28-2010, 03:21 AM
Recently my brother-in-law's stepdaughter, who is 18, had a baby. She is not married, but living with her mother and stepdad. We were all pretty amazed when we found out considering that my brother-in-law and his wife are not well off financially. Bringing a newborn into this situation seems rather foolish.

I don't know what happened to the father of this child.


I can't say for sure that it's all about someone's financial situation. To me, the biggest factor is how kids are raised. I have a 22-year-old daughter. From the beginning I tried to stress the importance of having goals/a career and the idea of women taking care of themselves. (and not having a baby until she's married/financially capable of taking care of one.)

virtue_summer
07-28-2010, 03:26 AM
I've seen two major reasons the people around me (who are all poor) have had children young:

1) Welfare. It's often a cycle. Parents are/were on welfare while the child was growing up so they figure this is how life goes. They get pregnant and get public assistance.

2) Self worth. When you're poor and it doesn't seem likely you're going to have a career or material things to give your life worth, it's easy to decide to have kids while you're still a kid. People might get mad at first but as soon as the kid is born it's "oh, they're so cute" and people get praised for their wonderful children. Seriously. All of my cousins who had babies in high school are considered to be living perfectly respectable lives as mothers, no matter what the conditions they or their children are in. The expectation was that they'd be mothers. People figure so what if it happened early.

Maxinquaye
07-28-2010, 03:32 AM
Champagne is free????

No wonder the teen pregnancy rate is so high...

In the immortal words of Sir Winston Churchill himself: Champagne should be cold, dry and free.

So, yes, it should be. :)

Mr Flibble
07-28-2010, 03:32 AM
I think parents play a big role. I don't quite buy the "Poor parents work two full time jobs, and are perpetually exhausted." line.Neither do I. better off parents can work just as long to give their kids material shit that they think the kids 'has to have' and neglect the kid too. I am exceptionally lucky. My Old Man works from home, so he works his work round my shifts. There's always one of us there. We have made sure that we don't farm our kids out.

The culture in the UK, at least, is in some areas (like mine) oh, well the Mum has to work to pay the bills and for the holiday and for the ballet lessons and for the...it's shit. Kids don't need that. It's just stuff. Stuff isn't important. Interaction is.

And how you feel about stuff is not always dictated by parents. My parents for example, or my Mum in particular, set great store in 'stuff you have/own'. I don't. They always ask me what I want for Christmas/birthdays etc. I say 'I dunnow. Books? And they say, 'what again?' *shrug*.

Parents aren't the be all and end all of your kid's life experience. I can say something to my son till I'm blue in the face, but someone else says it, it carries more weight, you know? Society is as much to blame. (this doesn't mean you shouldn't try, as a parent, just accept after a certain age, you won't be the main role model in certain areas, because the society a child finds themselves in will play a bigger part)

happywritermom
07-28-2010, 03:53 AM
My sister had her first at 19, my husband's niece had her first at 16, my neighbor's 17-year-old daughter just had a baby, three of my friends in our rather small high school were pregnant or were moms before graduations.

None of these women were poor.
All of them had at least one college-educated parent.
What they didn't have (or thought they didn't have) was unconditional love. What they thought they would get--whether consciously or (at the time) subconsciously --from their pregnancies was unconditional love from either the father or the baby or both.

On the other hand, I had many promiscious friends in high school who had sex just for fun. They either used birth control or got abortions when they got pregnant. Some were poor; some were not. The poorer teens weren't dumb or ignorant and they got birth control free from Planned Parenthood.

I'm sure there are several reasons why statistics show that more poor teenagers give birth than wealthier teens, but I really don't believe that ignorance or lack of access to brith control is a factor any more than it is for wealthier teens.

More likely, it's the lack of self-esteem that can come with being poor; the lack of overt love and attention that some kids get when mom and dad are each working a couple of jobs, arguing over money and life at home is stressful in general; and the desire to feel worth something, for once in their lives, to someone.

Add to that, the lack of supervision when each parent or a single parent is working all the time and can't afford day care. That can and does sometime lead to rape whether statutory or violent. Many kids from poorer families are home alone for hours at a time at 6 and 7 years old.

It's a very good question with a very complicated answer.

Neither sex education nor free condoms nor the preaching of abstinence will ever work if we don't address, as a society, the emotional health of our kids and teenagers.

By the way, my husband's neice married the father, had another child five years later and now owns two hair salons. Her husband is a foreman in a large factory. My sister has three awesome children with children of their own. She divorced her whacko husband, went back to college and became a teacher.
Our former neighor's daughter (We just moved) has done a complete turn-around since the baby's birth. The father of her baby joined the military to support them and she is finishing high school with the help of her parents.

The outcome isn't always terrible.

Alitriona
07-28-2010, 04:29 AM
I agree and disagree with a lot of the the points here.

I was a young single mum, not a teenager, I was pregnant at 20 so almost. I am from a middle class background, had a good education and was taught self respect. I wasn't lacking in love or affection. I used birth control. I was on the pill and took it correctly. It didn't work for me because I was one of a tiny precent. The reason I was single was because the guy was a douche but I found out too late. I've made the most of it because I had to, I'm Irish and we had no abortion at the time and limited now. My son is 15 now. He is autistic, so I am a carer as well as working to provide for him. My attitude is sometimes people get pregnant and it's a accident. Giving birth is a choice but you make the most of it. Not all young parents are bad parents or the kids of bad parents.

Now, on the other hand my brother was 17 at the same time when his daughter was born to a mum from a broken home who's only goal in life was to squeeze as many benefits as possible from the state. He was just plain stupid and believed her when she said she couldn't have kids. They broke up and he worked part time jobs to pay maintenance, when he left school he got an job and shared custody, paying for half of everything as well as all the luxuries while the mum continued to collect full benefits. He continued to improve himself and trained until he reached management level in a worldwide company. As for his daughter, benefits dried up and she was discarded. At 14 placed on a 2 hour bus ride just before christmas time. She now lives full time with my brother, which is what he wanted, and is a much happier child.

Are either of these situation ideal no, but they aren't the end of the world. Becoming a teenage parent doesn't commit a person to a life of low paid jobs or benefits, it the person who is unwilling to pull themsleves up. I think there is a lot of belief in society that if a teenager has a child they are a write off. That's not ture. Neither is it true that all teenage parents are bad parents.

I fully agree that abortion and birth control is easier to obtain if you are richer and I judge people who stay on benefits and go onto 3,4,5 babies harsher than the 15 year old who made a dumb mistake and is making the best of it, because I know it is possible to have a child young and not be a dredge of society regardless of your background.

Another thing to note with Irish figures is the lack of abortion available, the frowned upon view of birth control and the high quantity of underage drinking. A contributing factor and not in the slightest related to how rich or poor a kid is. Also the courts favor a mother regardless of status, there are no benefits paid to under 16's, but benefits paid to over 16's are massive including, 220 euro per week roughly, 140 per month child benefit, rent paid and a precentage toward bills. We have one of the, if not the lowest teenage birthrate in europe despite the economic turmoil and the entire country being in debt.

Susan Littlefield
07-28-2010, 04:35 AM
Yes it does.

How do you figure? Wealthy and middle class teens get pregnant as well. It's not like one is born into money, therefore immune to teen pregnancy. Yes, children are having children, but it happens in every class. I would say most teens know what makes a baby and how to get pregnant.

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 04:36 AM
How do you figure? Wealthy and middle class teens get pregnant as well. It's not like one is born into money, therefore immune to teen pregnancy. Yes, children are having children, but it happens in every class. I would say most teens know what makes a baby and how to get pregnant.Underage pregnancies definitely occur more in the underclass.

Exclusively so? No. But the majority? Oh hell yeah.

Susan Littlefield
07-28-2010, 04:38 AM
I basically grew up in a teen center (in the sense that I was always around it), and with a grandmother whose felt it was her personal duty to make these kids feel welcome, so much so that they were invited into our home on a regular basis, and referred to her as "Grandma".

I guess I understand, and I don't. This girl in particular, the one I mentioned. Her mother kept having children by different fathers, and often times, the children would end up on my Grandmother's doorstep, hungry. There are now 4 children in the equation, one is a baby. The oldest child (well, I guess an adult now) fathered a child. Now, as I said, she is pregnant too.

:Shrug:

I am interested in this from the standpoint of my future novel, but I also have a vested interest in this. I am wondering how to break the cycle.

I see where you are coming from. Patterns repeat themselves. I believe it's more about self worth and esteem and following a pattern than it is about wealth.

Susan Littlefield
07-28-2010, 04:41 AM
Underage pregnancies definitely occur more in the underclass.

Exclusively so? No. But the majority? Oh hell yeah.

We just see more poor kids having babies. The wealthy certainly have resources to abort.

Ellefire
07-28-2010, 04:41 AM
I had two children in my teens. For a multitude of reasons I still don't fully understand myself. There's been a lot of good points raised but I don't think there's any definitive answers.

I could cry for my teenage self, take her by the shoulders and shake her. I didn't come from a well-off background but I wasn't lacking in love. Sometimes I look back and think that I was emulating my parent's rock-solid relationship (they had me and my sister in their early twenties and are still together). I didn't have the best self-esteem but I don't remember consciously doing it for love. I didn't do it for housing and benefits, I wasn't single either time. (my daughter's dad fucked off quite swiftly and stayed fucked off until last year, my son's father I married, and that was an even bigger mistake than my son). I did end up getting a flat, but that was more part of the standing on my own two feet mentality. The 'I've made my bed, and now it's my problem to sort out' attitude.

I didn't see it as a ticket into a lifetime of welfare. I had plans for college and a career. I didn't see the crippling post-natal depression coming. Nor the rest of the mental health problems that I've had since.

But... the babies I had in my teens are now teens themselves. Whilst my daughter's peers are having babies on this sinkhole-shithole estate we landed up on, my daughter is at college learning a trade armed with more contraceptive knowledge than most people I know. My son is in his final year of school and has a career path planned out. Neither want kids in their teens. In fact, my son doesn't want kids at all.

I fucked up and failed. But my kids will not.

So that's at least one teen parent's view for you. Any questions, PM me.

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 04:43 AM
We just see more poor kids having babies. The wealthy certainly have resources to abort.Or maybe they've got the sense to buy - and use - condoms.

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 04:45 AM
I see where you are coming from. Patterns repeat themselves. I believe it's more about self worth and esteem and following a pattern than it is about wealth.That's the whole point. In the main, poor kids have less self-esteem.

And yes, I know, I know, there will be people to post and say "Hey, I was poor and had bucketloads of self-esteem!"

There are always exceptions to the rule. But the word in the thread title is 'often', not 'always'.

happywritermom
07-28-2010, 04:52 AM
Or maybe they've got the sense to buy - and use - condoms.

I really don't think you meant it this way, so I decided I should say something and encourage you to respond before someone rips this to shreds: you are not equating poverty with intelligence or common sense, are you?

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 04:57 AM
I really don't think you meant it this way, so I decided I should say something and encourage you to respond before someone rips this to shreds: you are not equating poverty with intelligence or common sense, are you?Explain to me why, in this country, condoms are availablle to everyone - for free - and yet it's the underclass who don't use them?

Yes, yes, I've heard the argument that rich people have abortions rather than use contraceptives in the first place, and I'd like to see some proof of that - statistics, surveys, anything.

But condom use in the underclass (as it is commonly called over here) just isn't seen as necessary, or cool. It frightens me how many people are willing to take that risk.

Rich or poor, anyone who has sex with a casual partner, without a condom, is stupid. If anyone wants to defend that, they're welcome to rip me apart.

How do I know these children-having-children are, for the most part, having sex with casual partners? Well, how many are in relationships which last?

Maybe they are all using condoms and they've been terribly unlucky and all had ones that burst. But if condoms failed that often, they'd be taken off the market.

Alitriona
07-28-2010, 04:59 AM
Or maybe they've got the sense to buy - and use - condoms.


Again with the births are being prevented in upper classes by prevention rather than solution. It's just not true. Abortion is rampant as a form of contraception for people with money. Why? because they can.

lack of money or youth does not equal stupid, just like rich parents doesn't not equal intelligence.

happywritermom
07-28-2010, 05:07 AM
I have to say, Scarletpeaches, that I'm sorry I asked.

Susan Littlefield
07-28-2010, 05:18 AM
Explain to me why, in this country, condoms are availablle to everyone - for free - and yet it's the underclass who don't use them?

I understand we are speaking from cultural differences. Where I live, there is no underclass--just poor, middle class and wealthy. Here, a lot of teens, whether they are rich, poor or middle class, don't want to use condoms or other birth control. You can go to places and get them for free, in fact.


Yes, yes, I've heard the argument that rich people have abortions rather than use contraceptives in the first place, and I'd like to see some proof of that - statistics, surveys, anything.

Well, when someone is rich, they have money to abort. When I was younger, I knew teen girls who got pregnant and aborted. I've had friends as adults who told me as teens and young college students that they aborted, and 90% of them came from money. I bet if you went into the upper class in your community and asked to do confidential interviews regarding teen pregnancy, you would find out some interesting information.


But condom use in the underclass (as it is commonly called over here) just isn't seen as necessary, or cool. It frightens me how many people are willing to take that risk.

It's not cool with many teens here either. It has nothing to do with class.


Rich or poor, anyone who has sex with a casual partner, without a condom, is stupid. If anyone wants to defend that, they're welcome to rip me apart.

I agree.


How do I know these children-having-children are, for the most part, having sex with casual partners? Well, how many are in relationships which last?

Well, this might be what you see in your community. I don't know.


Maybe they are all using condoms and they've been terribly unlucky and all had ones that burst. But if condoms failed that often, they'd be taken off the market.

Well said.

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 05:26 AM
Yeah. I know I'm all :rant: about this. I'm the child of a teen mother and I acknowledge her lack of fitness for motherhood exists regardless of her age at the time of having me. She even screamed at me once, "I was only eighteen when I had you!" and I shot back, "You haven't been eighteen for a very, very long time."

I see this every single day. Women my age with, by now, kids in their late teens, all to different fathers, dead behind the eyes, worn down by life.

I paint a bleak picture. Well, it's a true one. Come to my city and see it - the teen pregnancy, STIs and underage sex capital of the UK!

Maybe the rich have readier access to abortion clinics or what have you. Doesn't mean they make use of them though. Maybe they don't need to in the first place. Where I come from - the real world - wealthier parents are more likely to be wealthy because they have a work ethic which they instill in their children. A sense of responsibility. Consequences.

I wish I didn't live here, I wish this wasn't the case, but I do and it is.

Alitriona
07-28-2010, 05:26 AM
I'm not going to rip you apart Scarletpeaches because you are obiviously coming at it from a different pov than me.

1st because birth control isn't free here and condoms are astondingly expensive and taxed by the government to keep them that way.

Secondly as abortion is not available, there is a need to travel, thus only people with money can avail and they do. People leave Ireland in there droves to have abortions, a huge number of under 20's Under 17's, almost 200 gave Irish addresses last year. The norm is to double that because of false addresses given. At least 38 of those were under 16. Another roughly 1000 from 17 to 20. That's a big number for a little country like Ireland and abortions don't come cheap. These are not exact figures. but there was also roughly 2,200 teenage births in Ireland in 2009. It seems up to a third of teen pregnancies end in abortion but a lot, not all, of the teen mums are on the social welfare. To me that means it's the people with money getting the abortions.


The morning after pill is not available over the counter, a doctor has the option of prescribing or not, then the chemist has the option of selling or not. After all that it's three times more expensive than the uk.

Like I said, that's just this country, it doesn't mean its the same everywhere.

Alitriona
07-28-2010, 05:31 AM
Besides everything else, Isn't it scary that for kids of any class using condoms would be considered uncool?

backslashbaby
07-28-2010, 05:32 AM
I kind of agree with SP, though. Maybe it's the absolute fear that's driven in by education about sex, etc, but wealthier folks usually use more birth control or know more info about sex at those ages. I know a bunch of (awesome, friendly) poor folks who are just plain not nearly as educated about or scared of sex as we were!

We were terrified we'd be the 1% screwed by the pill. Other girls I knew thought sex while standing up worked for birth control. We read Cosmo, lol!

I don't mean any judgement by saying I think there's more ignorance about the subject in poorer circles. I just think it's still true, though, isn't it? Overall.

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 05:33 AM
Ah, of course. Ireland would have a far different take on this matter. Clearly, that's not the part of the UK I'm in.

2,200 teen births in all of Ireland though? Good god. There's probably that many in this city every year. Okay, I exaggerate. Say the region. Maybe I'm exaggerating again.

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 05:37 AM
Besides everything else, Isn't it scary that for kids of any class using condoms would be considered uncool?It is. It's absolutely terrifying. You ask these girls why they didn't insist on condom use and they say, "I didn't think I'd need one," or "I didn't like to bother him," or "We got carried away."

These types of responses scream ignorance, low self-esteem or impulse control.

It's all right for me to say, isn't it? I don't have any children at the grand old age of 34. Why? Because I've taken steps to ensure that's the case. (For the record I have never had an abortion, never used abortive contraception - nor would I, and have never been pregnant).

But really, it's absolutely terrifying how many people 'forget' to use condoms, get carried away, say, "Just this once."

Slightly O/T I know, but...I see nothing romantic or worth a tired sigh in all these cases of unwanted/teen/single pregnancies. I see stupid, stupid little girls with not enough self-esteem to want to protect themselves.

And I'd rather offend people than let the risk of STI's go by without saying something.

happywritermom
07-28-2010, 05:53 AM
I see this every single day. Women my age with, by now, kids in their late teens, all to different fathers, dead behind the eyes, worn down by life.

I paint a bleak picture. Well, it's a true one. Come to my city and see it - the teen pregnancy, STIs and underage sex capital of the UK!


I am very sorry to hear that. I have not been to the UK, but I do believe that we are writing across a vast cultural divide. I covered education during three of my years as a journalist and not once did I step into a school that gave away condoms. In some of the largest cities, a few schools give them out, but that's about it. The people I know who got pregnant and kept their babies were in long-term (for high-schoolers anyway) relationships and the father was their first or maybe second partner. They were not, as far as I know, trying to be cool. Please try not to judge all teen moms by your experience in one city.




Maybe the rich have readier access to abortion clinics or what have you. Doesn't mean they make use of them though. Maybe they don't need to in the first place. Where I come from - the real world - wealthier parents are more likely to be wealthy because they have a work ethic which they instill in their children. A sense of responsibility. Consequences.


I have had many, many friends who have had abortions. Most in high school or college, but some in their 20s and 30s. They most definitely used it as a form of birth control, but they had to pay for it in cash and get transportation back and forth. In fact, I know more women who have had abortions than those who were teen moms.

As for the work ethic, in my experience, the children of wealthy parents are somewhat less likely to have a good work ethic. Poorer folks might not have as lofty aspirations (generally the odds are against them), but most kids of poorer folks I know start working at a very young age. We were not well off when I was growing up and it was generally expected in my family that you started babysitting or doing odd jobs at about 11 years old and you got a real, taxable job by age 15.




I wish I didn't live here, I wish this wasn't the case, but I do and it is


If you really believe that we are all master's of our own destinity, as your posts imply, than why not get out? There is always a way.

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 05:55 AM
True.

(Your last line, I mean).

Alitriona
07-28-2010, 06:13 AM
Ah, of course. Ireland would have a far different take on this matter. Clearly, that's not the part of the UK I'm in.

2,200 teen births in all of Ireland though? Good god. There's probably that many in this city every year. Okay, I exaggerate. Say the region. Maybe I'm exaggerating again.

That's teen pregnancies. There are plenty of babies, we have a very high birth rate(one of the highest in europe) just not from teens. I'm not sure of the Northern Ireland figures.

android415
07-28-2010, 06:17 AM
I had two children in my teens. For a multitude of reasons I still don't fully understand myself. There's been a lot of good points raised but I don't think there's any definitive answers.

I could cry for my teenage self, take her by the shoulders and shake her. I didn't come from a well-off background but I wasn't lacking in love. Sometimes I look back and think that I was emulating my parent's rock-solid relationship (they had me and my sister in their early twenties and are still together). I didn't have the best self-esteem but I don't remember consciously doing it for love. I didn't do it for housing and benefits, I wasn't single either time. (my daughter's dad fucked off quite swiftly and stayed fucked off until last year, my son's father I married, and that was an even bigger mistake than my son). I did end up getting a flat, but that was more part of the standing on my own two feet mentality. The 'I've made my bed, and now it's my problem to sort out' attitude.

I didn't see it as a ticket into a lifetime of welfare. I had plans for college and a career. I didn't see the crippling post-natal depression coming. Nor the rest of the mental health problems that I've had since.

But... the babies I had in my teens are now teens themselves. Whilst my daughter's peers are having babies on this sinkhole-shithole estate we landed up on, my daughter is at college learning a trade armed with more contraceptive knowledge than most people I know. My son is in his final year of school and has a career path planned out. Neither want kids in their teens. In fact, my son doesn't want kids at all.

I fucked up and failed. But my kids will not.

So that's at least one teen parent's view for you. Any questions, PM me.

Ellefire, thanks for that. I really appreciate it.

dolores haze
07-28-2010, 06:17 AM
I grew up on a housing scheme on the outskirts of Glasgow - a similar place to where Scarlett is from. Teen pregnancy was quite common - my best friend, three of my sisters, several other friends, many acquaintances, and they all had something in common. Abortion was not an option. Not because it wasn't available, because it was. They all, once they got over the shock, wanted those babies. They accepted the consequences of their actions. Most gave up any career plans they had, though a couple have gone on to be quite successful.

I went to the States when I was twenty one and it was quite different there. My social circle was mostly young college students. Several of the woman had had abortions, based on they were too young to have a child, they needed to graduate college, had stuff they wanted to do in their life, etc.

I think, when you're poor and have grown up that way, you don't think you have that many options. Certainly, my sisters never thought they were giving up the hope of a university education in order to have their children. They never had that hope in the first place. My high school churned out more jailbirds than they did university prospects.

Eh, I don't have any answers really. Just some observations.

backslashbaby
07-28-2010, 07:53 AM
Dolores, do you mind if I ask how they felt about birth control? How much thought (or angst, lol ;)) was given to getting an STD or getting pregnant before the deed? Or even terror of their parents' and friends' reactions?

I know there are rich girls getting abortions. I heard about them in high school, definitely. But there was a larger group of girls of those I knew or knew about who were pretty fanatic about birth control + condoms. It was the 80's, though, with the whole AIDS terror so new and huge.

SouthernFriedJulie
07-28-2010, 08:47 AM
I think I would agree with Happywritermum concerning self esteem issues and the low income bracket. I come from a poor family and always wanted to be as popular as the 'rich' girls. Hard to be popular when you are constantly out of fashion. Once we're out of high school we learn fashion means dick, but while you're there? Just having one slip up on makeup, clothes, hair, or even what programs are cool can 'ruin' you.

So, some turn to sex. We know sex isn't the way to go, but when you are dying for any type of validation...any type of semblance of love...sex does that for you. Eventually you end up feeling worse for putting out, sick from an STD, or pregnant. There are those that get lucky, more that don't.

I was a lucky one. I left home at 15, signed myself out of school to enter the local community college program. At 16 I met a man 10 years older (hey, there's that validation thing) and at 18 I had my first child. We were okay financially, but since we were not married I qualified for free birth control. After my daughter was born, I went on Norplant, then he had a vasectomy when the birth control made me ill.

Oh, she wasn't planned--but very much wanted. At 18 I was an adult legally and living on my own for a few years had raised my level of responsibility far above that of a teen living at home with no way out. Not all teens are, of course. There are plenty of women that had this type of experience, though.

After leaving him, I met, then married my husband. Here in our area of New York there is a very strong Catholic influence. Birth control is not offered by the local doctors affiliated with the Catholic Health System. Many women in this area are low income and cannot afford to reach the doctors that do offer birth control. Planned Parenthood can be hard to get to for those without transportation, even in the city. (The closest one isn't on the bus route)

Also, even for those that CAN get a prescription a law was passed allowing pharmacists to REFUSE to dispense birth control if it conflicts with their religious belief. There's another strike for the low income women here. Add in that most of the local hospitals are in this System and you've got a brew for rampant pregnancies.

I'm NOT knocking religion here, just explaining why it can be very hard in some areas.

Susan Littlefield
07-28-2010, 10:11 AM
Android 415,

It seems to me you have a wealth of excellent research information in this thread alone. Ready to start writing that novel?

autumnleaf
07-28-2010, 12:59 PM
The question isn't "why do some teenagers (statistically, the poor) get pregnant?" There are few things more natural than a pregnant 16 year old. Teenagers are interested in sex, girls at that age are usually very fertile, and most people want children at some stage in their lives. In many periods of history, and certainly in our distant hunter-gatherer days, it was common for girls to start having babies shortly after puberty.

The question is, "why do other teenagers (statistically, the middle class) not get pregnant at the same rate?" What are the factors that inhibit them from doing what comes naturally?

I would suggest the factors are:
- Having other options in life. If you have good educational prospects, see yourself as having an interesting career, or want to travel the world, then a baby would get in the way of this.
- Need for financial security. Ironically, middle-class girls are more concerned about this than poor girls, since they see themselves as having a long way to fall.
- Belief in the importance of a father figure. If you think it's important that a child should have its father around, then you'll wait until you have found someone who will stick around.
- Social stigma. Middle-class girls fear the disapproval of parents and (perhaps more importantly) peers.

So, a girl is more likely to get pregnant as a teenager (and to keep the baby) if:
- She isn't doing well in school and sees her future in a dead-end poor-paying job.
- She doesn't have "far to fall" in terms of wealth.
- She sees men as untrustworthy and/or unnecessary in her child's life.
- Her parents and peers don't care whether she has a child, or positively encourage it.

Susan Littlefield
07-28-2010, 08:23 PM
I would suggest the factors are:
- Having other options in life. If you have good educational prospects, see yourself as having an interesting career, or want to travel the world, then a baby would get in the way of this.
- Need for financial security. Ironically, middle-class girls are more concerned about this than poor girls, since they see themselves as having a long way to fall.
- Belief in the importance of a father figure. If you think it's important that a child should have its father around, then you'll wait until you have found someone who will stick around.
- Social stigma. Middle-class girls fear the disapproval of parents and (perhaps more importantly) peers.

So, a girl is more likely to get pregnant as a teenager (and to keep the baby) if:
- She isn't doing well in school and sees her future in a dead-end poor-paying job.
- She doesn't have "far to fall" in terms of wealth.
- She sees men as untrustworthy and/or unnecessary in her child's life.
- Her parents and peers don't care whether she has a child, or positively encourage it.

But, I would say all of those factors can apply to lower, middle and wealthy. I've had rich female friends who have had the lowest self esteem I ever saw. One got pregnant in high school and college and had abortions (I believe she had four), married a guy in prison, and had no self worth. Believe me, she is not the minority.

Regarding parents not caring whether she has a child- I grew up in a poor household. Believe me, my parents would have cared had I had a baby as a teen.

So, we are talking about the teen girls who have kids. What about those teen boys who make them? They really do come from all classes.

SF4-EVER
07-28-2010, 08:53 PM
Cheese and onion flavour?

Rep for the first person to get the reference.

It feels a bit off topic to answer now, but isn't that a Rutles song?

scarletpeaches
07-28-2010, 08:53 PM
It feels a bit off topic to answer now, but isn't that a Rutles song?Nope.

Think television from the early 90s.

Celia Cyanide
07-28-2010, 09:06 PM
But, I would say all of those factors can apply to lower, middle and wealthy.

Yes, but for whatever reasons, statistically speaking, teen pregnancy is more common among the poor. From wikipedia:


Poverty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty) is associated with increased rates of teenage pregnancy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)[27] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teen_pregnancy#cite_note-Besharov-26) Economically poor countries such as (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)Niger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger) and (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)Bangladesh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh) have far more teenage mothers compared with economically rich countries such as (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)Switzerland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland) and (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)Japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)[12] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teen_pregnancy#cite_note-globalis-11)
of all pregnancies to under 18s are concentrated among the 30% most deprived population, with only 14% occurring among the 30% least deprived

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teen_pregnancy#Socioeconomic_factors

Susan Littlefield
07-28-2010, 09:53 PM
Yes, but for whatever reasons, statistically speaking, teen pregnancy is more common among the poor. From wikipedia:


Poverty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty) is associated with increased rates of teenage pregnancy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)[27] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teen_pregnancy#cite_note-Besharov-26) Economically poor countries such as (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)Niger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger) and (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)Bangladesh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh) have far more teenage mothers compared with economically rich countries such as (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)Switzerland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland) and (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)Japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)[12] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teen_pregnancy#cite_note-globalis-11)
of all pregnancies to under 18s are concentrated among the 30% most deprived population, with only 14% occurring among the 30% least deprived

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teen_pregnancy#Socioeconomic_factors

Thanks for the information, Celia. Of course, I'm just talking about here in America and my own cultural experience and surrounding.

Mr Flibble
07-28-2010, 09:58 PM
It feels a bit off topic to answer now, but isn't that a Rutles song?


OMG I never met anyone else who ever heard of the Rutles!
I have always thought in the back of my mind, "Cheese and Onions". I'm going to have that song in my head for the rest of the day now...

/end derail

backslashbaby
07-28-2010, 09:58 PM
Teen pregnancy might also cause a lack of wealth -- it's hard to have some careers with a child, harder to go to college, etc. Then the next generation (statistically more likely to be poor) often has kids young, too.

Nivarion
07-28-2010, 10:59 PM
I think parents play a big role. I don't quite buy the "Poor parents work two full time jobs, and are perpetually exhausted." line. Poor parents who take on the responsibility of two jobs to care for their family are going to most likely instill good values in their children. However, if the parent resents the child and thinks the child stole their life from them, that child is going to want to get out as soon as possible and start doing things that they are not ready for.

.


Neither do I. better off parents can work just as long to give their kids material shit that they think the kids 'has to have' and neglect the kid too. I am exceptionally lucky. My Old Man works from home, so he works his work round my shifts. There's always one of us there. We have made sure that we don't farm our kids out.



I guess I better talk a little about where I'm coming from here. I live in, and grew up in, the teen pregnancy capitol of the US. And there are several factors I believe lend to it.

First off, our economy here is crap. I've been looking for a new job for a year and a half. Spend hours every day personally talking to employers and and filling out applications. I've had a grand total of six interviews. Most jobs pay either at or just above minimum wage. Meanwhile the government taxes you out of house and home. (property taxes on my house have risen 130% since i moved in. And because of some special screwing of the people, neither me nor my neighbors see the benefits)

Second, There is nothing to do. At all. Ever. EVER. Sometimes there is a musical or concert in town. There are a few parks and some restaurants. But everything here is expensive. So if you don't have a lot of money you're options are video games, Shooting stuff (ammo has gotten expensive.) And well, sex. Guess what the poor end up doing for fun?

And culturally you don't work here to pay for what you need. While you have to work a lot to get what you need here, you also work yourself to death because you're expected to.

The two jobs and perpetual exhaustion line is very real here. Many of the teen age pregnant mothers I knew came from single parent families in which the mother was working all the time. They never had the time or patience to tell them exactly WHY they wanted something. Sometimes they'd lament about how much their mom hated their boyfriend's. (Generally the BF was an asshole who left them after he got what he wanted.) Anyways, all the girl was seeing was a mother who was never around, and told her what to do but not why.

amlptj
07-28-2010, 11:40 PM
I dont want to sound like i'm repeating everything everyone else already said but i agree that it has to do with wealth a good bit and also with teenage emotions. I'm dont come from a rich family, my mom and i still live with my grandmom for my mom had me very young, 23, not a teen i know but at the time she still acted like one.

The wealth excuse can only carry you so far. Condoms are sold everywhere now, even in wawa! If a guy or girl who is sexurally active cant go to a corner store to pick them up for a few bucks that's just plan lazy! Yes i know condoms arnt 100% effective which can cause pregnacy but at least there trying to prevent it them

Education-no i dont believe that's the problem... As a teen myself i can tell you i knew what caused a baby from a very young age, and we were taught how to prevent that from grade school, and i went to a cathloic grade school and high school, and even there they talked about contraception.

So its left to teenage emotions. Cant elaberate on that much considering I'm not having sex till i want a kid. I did however go to a all girls high school in which many girls did get pregnant. Most offtin i did notice they were from poorer homes, having a friend who got pregnant i developed my own conclusion on it all.

***** Just in my opinion****
Her mom never sat her down and talked to her about his stuff, her dad was out of the picture. The exact same thing could be said for me. Althought me and my mom talked about everything. She on the other hand hated her mom. Mom wasnt fond of her either. My friend started having sex, simply because she loved her boyfriend and vice versa. She never intended to get pregnant, infact she hated children and had big dreams of becoming a doctor. It just happened... Did they use protection? Yes, but it failed. Was it a cry for attention? No, her mom would have killed her if she knew she was having sex! Getting pregnant cased her mom to go even more nuts on her.

In my opinion its all deals with how you are raised and what kind of person you are. Take me, my mom and i were always very very close, i told her everything. She told me all about her life and past mistakes and taught me to always think before i act, ever since i was young. I was naturally a shy person and didnt get a boyfriend till i was 17, (by that time my friend already had a kid) Still to this day after 3 years we have not had sex because we would never want that responsibility of a child. My friend on the other hand had a horrible relationship with her mother, she worked 2 jobs and had 2 other children with two differnt men. The time she did spend with my friend as a child she was punishing her bad grades, or teaching her how to take care of her brothers. Not saying she wasnt a good mom i'm just saying they werent close. Point is my friend was never taught to think before she acted, never taught that her moms mistakes could happen to her if she wasnt smart, her mom didnt teach her many valuble life lessions. Plus my friend had a completely differnt personality. She was outgoing and went head over heals for guys.

So again i think it all deals with how your raised and what kind of person you are, natrually there are always exceptions to the rule.

auntybug
07-29-2010, 12:26 AM
So again i think it all deals with how your raised and what kind of person you are, natrually there are always exceptions to the rule.


Like rich, raised Catholic, had all the love in the word ... sometimes $hit happens. Guess what? I raised a wonderful kid & wouldn't have given having him up for anything in the world.

That's my condensed version of my post. I'm not here to argue but not every pregnant teen is poor & does it for attention or because she's not loved.

dolores haze
07-29-2010, 05:10 AM
Dolores, do you mind if I ask how they felt about birth control? How much thought (or angst, lol ;)) was given to getting an STD or getting pregnant before the deed? Or even terror of their parents' and friends' reactions?


Birth control was technically free and available. Except that the local doctor was infamous for reporting young girls seeking birth control to their parents. Prescriptions were filled at the local chemist, where it was likely that one of the ladies working there knew your mum. Condoms were sold at the same local chemists. Getting birth control was not impossible, but you had to be strong enough to threaten the doctor and face the ladies at the chemist.

I don't remember much angst about STDs. AIDS was unheard of. Getting pregnant was a fear but, in typical teenage fashion, they didn't really think it would happen to them and/or they got carried away in the moment. My best friend had sex three times within two weeks and fell pregnant. My sister had sex twice and got pregnant.

Fear of parents' reactions was a factor. A few didn't announce their pregnancy until it was impossible to ignore. Parents were very disappointed, but usually supportive.

Having babies didn't magically get them a flat, but they waited a few years less on the years-long housing list than a single person. My single brother was on the housing list for twelve years! My sister had two babies by the time she got to the top of the housing list.

Fooling around with boys,when I was a teenager, there were plenty who wanted to "get their hole" (in the charming vernacular), but I don't remember a single one toting a condom around in their back pocket should they get the opportunity.

Celia Cyanide
07-29-2010, 07:26 AM
Thanks for the information, Celia. Of course, I'm just talking about here in America and my own cultural experience and surrounding.

Yes, but the same is true in the US. It might not be for the reasons people might assume, but there is a correlation between teen pregnancy and poverty.

backslashbaby
07-29-2010, 07:29 AM
That's awful! Guys always had condoms here, lol. And we really did withold sex until they got one if they didn't have one :D I bought them, too. At a convenience store, where Mom and Dad weren't going to hear a thing about it, or at the local drugstore, where I told them I had a school project on them!!

I was on the pill for period issues anyway. Lots of girls I knew took them for that first (although I knew a few who had to wait a month to have sex because they started the pill for BC :D Drove the guys -- and them -- crazy!)

shaldna
07-29-2010, 11:52 AM
In

shaldna
07-29-2010, 12:02 PM
In Ireland it's often a social thing, especially in th poorer areas.

I know many girls who didn't get a good education, didn't come from a wealthy background and are facing a future of a crappy minimum wage job. Faced with that, many of them choose to have a baby instead, because of the benefits etc, and at the end of the day, who can blame them? Where I live, in my street of 12 houses, there are two teenage girls with children

I also think it's a family thing, statistics show that girls with no father figure are more likely to been teenage mothers.

DrZoidberg
07-29-2010, 01:07 PM
You can play around with gapminder to help you formulate your theory.

http://www.gapminder.org

shaldna
07-29-2010, 03:35 PM
At the end of the day, for many people they don't CHOOSE to get pregnant. I certainly didn't. I'm smart, educated, I come from a good home with good values and great role models. I was careful (god was I careful) and I got pregnant.

It happens.

backslashbaby
07-29-2010, 06:16 PM
It's really not always a bad thing, as much as I was terrified of it :) My mom's oldest sister did it to get married young and go see the world (military hubbie), and everybody turned out fine. She even had a truly awesome career later.

shaldna
07-29-2010, 07:20 PM
It's really not always a bad thing, as much as I was terrified of it :) My mom's oldest sister did it to get married young and go see the world (military hubbie), and everybody turned out fine. She even had a truly awesome career later.


This is true too,. Although I was in my very early twenties whenit happened to me, I was still at college, and I had only been seeing the guy for a month. That said, he's awesome and although we broke up last year, we're still great friends and he's a fabulous dad.

My cousin had her first baby at 17, and by the time she was 20 she was married with two more. And she has made such a sucess out of her life that she's a total inspiration, and she's living proof that becoming a teen mother isn't the end of your life.

Lyra Jean
07-29-2010, 08:12 PM
When I was in high school our homecoming queen was pregnant. She was a good friend of mine. She had a beautiful baby boy. Her family was supportive to a degree. She told me that her parents/grandparents would watch her baby while she was at school and while she was at work. If she wanted to go hang out with friends or something along those lines then she would have to find her own sitter and pay them.

She ended up going to college and getting married to the father. I think she has another kid too. I believe a lot of it has to do with your family then anything else.

shaldna
07-30-2010, 12:20 PM
She ended up going to college and getting married to the father. I think she has another kid too. I believe a lot of it has to do with your family then anything else.


Totally. That support network is essential.