Social and economic effects of teenage pregnancy

Unprotected sex quickly develops to pregnancy among teenagers

Teenage pregnancy has been a national phenomenon, affecting every country's economy, development, and educational sector. It was once thought to be a "Third World" problem, since poverty has been the main issue forcing underage girls to be prematurely mothers, in many poverty stricken countries of Africa, South America, and Asia. But now it has been a much concern issue in Europe and even the United States of America.

The causes of teenage pregnancy vary considerably. For example in Africa, young girls from the rural areas who arrive in the cities to work or study without proper living conditions, often end up in prostitution. Lack of education, without the awareness of dangers in sex, contribute to teenage pregnancy as well at a very fast rate.

In Asia, Africa and in some developed countries, girls plagued by financial difficulties readily take men for money and within a short period become pregnant and they bear the responsibilities alone if the men do not accept the responsibility. Some girls who have reached their puberty, believe that up to a certain stage in life, abstinence from sex could lead them to mental instability, thus; they are compelled to go for boyfriends.

Teenage pregnancy has a great effect in many ways. For example, it is the main cause of population growth, which leads to unemployment and accommodation problems. In Africa, teenage pregnancy puts pressure on schools and hospitals. Since a teenage mother is not a fully adult, she and her child stand at risk, because the mother's reproductive organs are not fully matured.

Measures: To arrest the incidence of teenage pregnancy, there is the need to intensify education on this issue at all levels. The old customs of chiefs and other royal leaders in Africa, marrying young under-age girls must be abolished. Finally, governments must take the impregnation of under-aged girls as a serious offence.