Back in the early 1990’s there was a decline in teen pregnancy in the United States, but within the past decade, that has drastically changed: more teens than ever before are getting pregnant, dropping out of high school, and usually have either their parents take care of the baby since these young girls cannot care for a baby on their own. The father of the girl’s baby is usually nowhere to be found. And there are no racial nor class boundaries when it comes to unwed teen pregnancies.
Time magazine (June 21, 2005) profiles Angela Helton who had to transform her much-loved teen themed room into a nursery. Angela is not only too young to be sacrificing her life for her child, she should not even know the meaning of the word sacrifice. At the age of 15, Angela should be in school, hanging out at the mall with her friends, and playing volleyball. Instead, at some point, she was hanging out with boys. Angela is even quoted in the article as saying that babies are a huge milestone in one’s life, and that she should have put more thought into having sex. It is not so much as the big lie that sex is pleasurable and feels good (anyone who has heard those murderous noises coming from your upstairs neighbors knows good and well that it is extremely painful and displeasurable for women). Yet these girls are falling prey to things they really need to nothing about. Time magazine further reports that each year a million teens in America get pregnant, and four out of every five teen girls are unmarried. Those statistics are not only staggering, but frightening. Most of these teen girls cannot even afford to put food in their own mouths, much less the mouth of a starving child. Consequently many of these teens end up on welfare, and live off of the system without giving anything back to human society (in this case, making babies is not seen as contributing to human society: the child must be educated, fed, clothed, trained for a job of some kind even if it just flipping burgers. Yet the mothers of these kids do not have any sort of survival skills of their own. The pro-life sector is of no help to these kids, who encourage these young girls to “keep the baby, it is a blessing from Christ.” Of course, the reality is the baby is the result of a child having sexual intercourse, and nothing to do with a Creator if the girl believes in one. The problem obviously needs to be nipped in the bud, which brings up the question:
From where are these kids learning to make babies?
Since these young kids are obviously learning how to make babies from someone, somewhere, maybe it is time not to educate them on how babies are to be made, but rather to get their minds off of sex completely. Abstinence education does not work, but neither does a “How to have sex course” in school. Permissive parenting is of zero help here (my parents favorite word was “No” to a lot of things but when I was in school you were immediately labeled “gay” if you exhibited any interest in the opposite gender). For many teen girls today, they are simply following a vicious cycle; 82% of them have mothers who were pregnant as teens, too. Back in the 1950’s, teen girls married earlier since they did not have too many career options, but nowadays there is no excuse for ten marriage and even less excuse for teen girls getting pregnant. As Time magazine continues with the story, the very term “illegitimate” has fallen out of disuse due to the pervasive teen sexual behavior in our society. There is no stigma associated with unwed teen pregnancy, although there certainly should be, since having sex outside of marriage as a child should be discouraged in our society, not encouraged. Hollywood has been of no help here, glamorizing teen sex, teen pregnancy, out of wedlock illegitimate babies. So what can be done to prevent the next generation of teen girls from engaging in something that has long been forbidden in our past society?
Cancel that cable or Dish tv. Prohibit the bringing of teen magazines into the home. Throw out those awful Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears (along with the rap artists) compact discs into the garbage. Pop culture on the whole is not only mindless but regressive in human development. Instead of thinking that having sex is the coolest thing for a child to engage in (I hesitate to use the word rebellious, since that does not jive with the ultra-permissive parenting that is prevalent in our society), get your teen girls to develop some real interests. Encourage your teen daughter to excel academically, get interested in athletics, clubs, organizations, to get her mind of off boys.
Now, for the fun part: teaching your teen daughter to develop boundaries when her friends start to harass her about sex, virginity, and boyfriends: it is better for her to say “It’s none of your business” when she is prompted by her peers on such forbidden behaviors. The reality is it is none of their business, and if she has the same high standards that she actually practices (lip service to abstinence does not work here; it did not work for Bristol Palin) she won’t have any problem drawing the line with them. She is even smarter if she knows the difference between love and sex, two things which remain mutually exclusive in human society. Putting an end to the destruction of the social fabric caused by teen pregnancy is very important and is something that can be done now.