Definition[ edit ] The age of the mother is determined by the easily verified date when the pregnancy ends, not by the estimated date of conception. It violates the rights of girls, with life-threatening consequences in terms of sexual and reproductive health, and poses high development costs for communities, particularly in perpetuating the cycle of poverty.
The risk of maternal death for girls under age 15 in low and middle income countries is higher than for women in their twenties. Life outcomes for teenage mothers and their children vary; other factors, such as poverty or social support , may be more important than the age of the mother at the birth. Many solutions to counteract the more negative findings have been proposed. Teenage parents who can rely on family and community support, social services and child-care support are more likely to continue their education and get higher paying jobs as they progress with their education.
This means not focusing on changing the behaviour of girls but addressing the underlying reasons of adolescent pregnancy such as poverty, gender inequality, social pressures and coercion. This approach should include "providing age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education for all young people, investing in girls' education, preventing child marriage, sexual violence and coercion, building gender-equitable societies by empowering girls and engaging men and boys and ensuring adolescents' access to sexual and reproductive health information as well as services that welcome them and facilitate their choices.
Teenage pregnancy puts young women at risk for health issues, economic, social and financial issues. United States and United Kingdom had some of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the developed world. Being a young mother in a first world country can affect one's education. Teen mothers are more likely to drop out of high school. Less than one third of teenage mothers receive any form of child support, vastly increasing the likelihood of turning to the government for assistance.
For instance, long-term studies by Duke University economist V. Joseph Hotz and colleagues, published in , found that by age 35, former teen mothers had earned more in income, paid more in taxes, were substantially less likely to live in poverty and collected less in public assistance than similarly poor women who waited until their 20s to have babies.
Women who became mothers in their teens—freed from child-raising duties by their late 20s and early 30s to pursue employment while poorer women who waited to become mothers were still stuck at home watching their young children—wound up paying more in taxes than they had collected in welfare. Many teen parents do not have the intellectual or emotional maturity that is needed to provide for another life. The children of teen mothers are more likely to be born prematurely with a low birth weight, predisposing them to many other lifelong conditions.
The worldwide incidence of premature birth and low birth weight is higher among adolescent mothers. That is because the Latino population is the least uninsured group in the Unites States  Young mothers who are given high-quality maternity care have significantly healthier babies than those who do not. Many of the health-issues associated with teenage mothers appear to result from lack of access to adequate medical care.
Young mothers and their babies are also at greater risk of contracting HIV. The maternal mortality rate can be up to five times higher for girls aged 10—14 than for women aged 20— Illegal abortion also holds many risks for teenage girls in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa. Obstructed labour is normally dealt with by Caesarean section in industrialized nations ; however, in developing regions where medical services might be unavailable, it can lead to eclampsia , obstetric fistula , infant mortality , or maternal death.
For example, in some sub-Saharan African countries, early pregnancy is often seen as a blessing because it is proof of the young woman's fertility. In the Indian subcontinent, early marriage and pregnancy is more common in traditional rural communities than in cities. Many teenagers are not taught about methods of birth control and how to deal with peers who pressure them into having sex before they are ready. Many pregnant teenagers do not have any cognition of the central facts of sexuality.
In societies where children are set to work at an early age it is economically attractive to have many children. Countries with low levels of teenagers giving birth accept sexual relationships among teenagers and provide comprehensive and balanced information about sexuality. One study found that the younger sisters of teen mothers were less likely to emphasize the importance of education and employment and more likely to accept human sexual behavior , parenting , and marriage at younger ages; younger brothers, too, were found to be more tolerant of non-marital and early births, in addition to being more susceptible to high-risk behaviors.
Adolescent sexuality In most countries, most males experience sexual intercourse for the first time before their 20th birthday. Role of drug and alcohol use[ edit ] Inhibition-reducing drugs and alcohol may possibly encourage unintended sexual activity. If so, it is unknown if the drugs themselves directly influence teenagers to engage in riskier behavior, or whether teenagers who engage in drug use are more likely to engage in sex. Correlation does not imply causation.
The drugs with the strongest evidence linking them to teenage pregnancy are alcohol , cannabis , "ecstasy" and other substituted amphetamines. The drugs with the least evidence to support a link to early pregnancy are opioids , such as heroin , morphine , and oxycodone , of which a well-known effect is the significant reduction of libido — it appears that teenage opioid users have significantly reduced rates of conception compared to their non-using, and alcohol , "ecstasy" , cannabis, and amphetamine using peers.
Precocious puberty Girls who mature early are more likely to engage in sexual intercourse at a younger age, which in turn puts them at greater risk of teenage pregnancy. Birth control Adolescents may lack knowledge of, or access to, conventional methods of preventing pregnancy, as they may be too embarrassed or frightened to seek such information. In , the government of the United Kingdom set a target to halve the under pregnancy rate by The pregnancy rate in this group, although falling, rose slightly in , to Young women often think of contraception either as 'the pill' or condoms and have little knowledge about other methods.
They are heavily influenced by negative, second-hand stories about methods of contraception from their friends and the media. Prejudices are extremely difficult to overcome. Over concern about side-effects, for example weight gain and acne , often affect choice.
Missing up to three pills a month is common, and in this age group the figure is likely to be higher. Restarting after the pill-free week, having to hide pills, drug interactions and difficulty getting repeat prescriptions can all lead to method failure. The results were that Of those sufrveyed, almost half had been involved in unprotected sex within the previous three months. These women gave three main reasons for not using contraceptives: Among teens in the UK seeking an abortion, a study found that the rate of contraceptive use was roughly the same for teens as for older women.
Inexperienced adolescents may use condoms incorrectly, forget to take oral contraceptives , or fail to use the contraceptives they had previously chosen. Contraceptive failure rates are higher for teenagers, particularly poor ones, than for older users. According to The Encyclopedia of Women's Health, published in , there has been an increased effort to provide contraception to adolescents via family planning services and school-based health, such as HIV prevention education.
In those countries, sex with a minor is therefore considered statutory rape. In most European countries, by contrast, once an adolescent has reached the age of consent, he or she can legally have sexual relations with adults because it is held that in general although certain limitations may still apply , reaching the age of consent enables a juvenile to consent to sex with any partner who has also reached that age.
Therefore, the definition of statutory rape is limited to sex with a person under the minimum age of consent. What constitutes statutory rape ultimately differs by jurisdiction see age of consent. Dating abuse and Teen dating violence Studies have indicated that adolescent girls are often in abusive relationships at the time of their conceiving. Girls under age 18 are twice as likely to be beaten by their child's father than women over age Similar results have been found in studies in the United States.
Teenage pregnancy has been defined predominantly within the research field and among social agencies as a social problem. Poverty is associated with increased rates of teenage pregnancy.
Males noted that teenage birth rates closely mapped poverty rates in California: