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Dissolving teen parent assumptions

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | | October 14th, 2008

Over and over again we as a society are seeing the same assumptions being projected in studies that focus on teen parents.

Most research will start off by stating that becoming a parent at such a young age will provide nothing but problems and sacrifices for the individual involved.

Without this information being properly backed up, how can this be true?

We have to remember that every situation is unique and different on all levels. Not everyone will handle news of a possible pregnancy in a negative way.

Unfortunately “teen pregnancy is viewed in a negative way by society,” said Manager of Counseling and Student Life Services at the Student Centre Lois Wey.

The emphasis should be on an individual's thoughts and behaviour patterns, rather than on a larger societal scale.

It is believed that a lack of educational knowledge is to blame when it comes to teens becoming pregnant. Being that in today's society teenagers, who vary in age, are provided basic information regarding safe sex practices. Many are aware of the risks involved when taking part in sexual acts, but choose to ignore or carry the stigma that ‘it will never happen to me.'

The truth is that it can happen, even if it is a girl's first time engaging in a behaviour that may lead to pregnancy.

It is a common assumption that a teen pregnancy will bring misfortune and a lack of support from family and friends.

Research indicates that pregnancies often arise out of poverty. The rates are usually consistent which show higher rates of teen pregnancies in poor communities, and among situations with low socio-economic status.

“There are limited financial resources available for those living in poverty making it less ideal to raise a child,” said Wey. “[It's] important for an individual to envision a different lifestyle.”

It is hard to predict the outcome of a teen's pregnancy only regarding her lifestyle.

Social and economic inequity are added barriers to future success for pregnant teens. If a woman has grown up in poverty, once pregnant she may find herself on a road to disadvantaged situations.

However, becoming pregnant for a woman may motivate her to find a strong sense of self and encourage her to provide a life for her unborn child unheard of in her adolescent life.

It is crucial for an expecting mother to have at this time a circle of friends and family who will empower and support her decision.

is important to have mentors or teachers who will display different opportunities,” said Wey.

According to research, it is not pregnancy at an early age that limits success for a young woman but rather conditions of poverty that is lived in. Prevention programs should address societal issues that limit educational and career success.

In order for research to be up-to-date and filled with correct information, the proper questions need to be addressed. No longer should there be assumptions about such a critical issue that concerns many women nationwide.

If proper information were asked when studies are conducted, perhaps assumptions would not exist with teen pregnancies.
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