Posts Tagged ‘teenage pregnancy’

Children having children? Religion, psychology and the birth of the teenage pregnancy problem

April 5, 2012

From History of the Human Sciences

In recent years the phrase ‘children having children’ has been used by politicians, academics, policy focussed NGO’s and Children’s charities to describe the worrying trend in the UK of rising teenage parenthood. This expression is not exclusively British and has been a recurring theme in the public discussion of ‘teenage pregnancy’ in the USA. Five decades after London County Council officers began separating ‘pregnant children’ from older women who conceived out of wedlock, governmental concern with ‘children having children’ persists.  This article explores government work with ‘unwed mothers’ and identifies the shifts associated with the ascent of governmental concern with ‘teenage motherhood’. There is much debate regarding young people’s bodily and mental ‘maturity’ in relation to parenthood. Much consideration fails to acknowledge the historical and cultural contingency of contemporary western notions of ‘teenage’. This article suggests as long as contemporary scientific claims regarding young people’s maturity go unchallenged, the ‘problem’ of teenage parenthood will persist.

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Teenage pregnancy is not a racial issue

February 21, 2012

Black teenage pregnancy: A dynamic social problem

From SAGE Open

While researchers have long set to determine if there is a tie between race and teenage pregnancy, according to this study, equating black teenagers with the problem of teenage pregnancy is a misrepresentation of today’s real­ity. The authors studied data from 1,580 teenage girls and found that while black teens are about twice as likely as white teens to ever be pregnant, pregnancy rates for black minors are in reality declining while rates for minor whites, although sporadic, have increased and from 2005-2006 and even exceeded those of poor minor blacks. “Apparently, teen pregnancy is becoming more of a problem for affluent and poor white minors of late compared with their black counterparts as reflected in their recent rates”.

The paper reveals that poor economic conditions are a true marker of disparity between black and white pregnant teens. When unemploy­ment rates were high, black teenagers were seven times more likely to have ever been pregnant than white teenagers. Conversely, in better economies, when unemployment rates are low, there is almost no difference between reported teenage pregnancies for black and white teenagers. Black teenagers and teenagers from lower-income homes have a greater likelihood of reporting having ever been pregnant than white teenagers or teenagers who come from higher-income homes.

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