While conceiving at an early age affects an adolescent’s physical and mental health, the effects of teenage pregnancy on society are also dire. An unmarried, pregnant teenager can face social discrimination, and they may often not get the support they need to complete their studies, get a job, and resettle in society.
Social isolation and poverty make them vulnerable to risky behaviors, which in turn can affect society by laying a financial burden on the government that needs to invest in the rehabilitation and welfare of teenage mothers and their babies.
Read on to know more about how teenage pregnancy affects society and some teenage pregnancy facts that parents and teenagers should know.
Effects Of Teenage Pregnancy On Society
Our society relies on moral beliefs, ethics, and human etiquettes. And unfortunately, teenage pregnancy is viewed as taboo. Society, as progressive as it wants to be, cannot embrace the concept of a pregnant teen mother.
And, here we look at some of the negative effects of teenage pregnancy on society:
- Teenagers getting pregnant at an early age cannot pursue their higher education due to extra responsibility, which increases the rate of literacy in society.
- The education of the teen mother remains on hold during pregnancy, and some teens even decide to drop out of their high school and find a job to supplement themselves.
- Teens who plan to attend college have to bear taunts, acidic remarks, and arrogant discourses from their peers about their pregnancy and baby. In such circumstances, teen moms decide to focus on the baby or plan to get married rather than pursuing a higher education.
- Researchers conclude that most teenage pregnancies end with education dropouts because of the fear of embarrassment, humiliation, and harassment from the fellow friends and college mates.
- Teenage pregnancy statistics states that only one-third of teen moms can even acquire the high school diploma, and a few also get a college degree.
2. Loss Of Government Revenue:
- In most developing nations, governments plan welfare schemes to take adequate care of teen mothers and their dependent children. As the low-qualified mother cannot get a good job, she completely depends on such welfare schemes to overcome the impending financial distress.
- In the United States, the annual expenses to fund the teenage pregnancies cost around $7 billion. The government has to spend money on public assistance, child health care, and foster care, to facilitate proper upbringing of the child.
- Teen mothers do not have to pay the taxes, and the government has to face a huge loss of revenue.
3. Social Obligations:
- A teenage mother has to face several social obligations like not getting a good job, not getting respect from friends and family members.
- The entire social life of the teen mother gets ruined due to her early and unexpected pregnancy, and she has to spend her life in emotional trauma.
4. Lack Of Financial Support:
- A teen mother who does not get proper financial support from her parents or friends has to face a severe financial crunch.
- She has to face extreme difficulty to buy basic items for her newborn baby like, clothing and baby care products.
5. Increased Risk Of Destitution:
- As teenage pregnancy hinders the mom from pursuing higher education and acquiring basic qualifications, she lands up in a poorly paid job.
- In most cases, the biological father abandons the teen mom, and the baby becomes her sole responsibility. Hence, the mother ends up living in poverty and running the risk of imminent destitution.
- Teenage pregnancy increases the risk of spending the entire life in poverty for both the teen parents and the baby. As fewer teen mom attain proper educational degrees and qualifications, they cannot find suitable and well-paid jobs to improve their financial position.
- Teenage pregnancy is most of the time linked to the lower annual income of the mother. As a result, 80% of teen mothers have to rely on social welfare schemes planned by the nation.
6. Medical Complications:
- Teenage pregnancy increases the risks of medical complications in both the mother and her baby.
- A lack of proper prenatal care often induces medical complications like high blood pressure, anemia, and premature birth of the baby.
- Although advisable, it isn’t always possible for the teen mother to go for regular prenatal checkups, which increase the risk of medical conditions.
- Moreover, teen pregnancy increases the likelihood of medical complications in the baby, and he may suffer from low birth-weight, blindness, deafness and respiratory problems.
7. Emotional Crisis:
- After getting pregnancy at an early age, the teen mother may suffer from huge emotional crisis due to lack of social support from family.
- Severe emotional and mental breakdown triggers the onset of evil behavior like suicide attempts or attempting to self-abort the baby.
- The teen mother experiences severe depression while facing the negative feedback about the pregnancy from the society.
8. Substance Abuse:
- Substances are a good way to adjust reality and soften the blow. Society can be cruel, and it often drives teen moms over the edge. It is not surprising that such women turn to substances to quell the ongoing negativity.
- Studies conclude that teenage pregnancy directly affects teenage drug addiction rates.
9. Work Harder Than Others:
- For those of you who think parenting is a task, imagine having to do it all alone, with no support and no one to talk with! Teen moms face several consequences.
- However, the reality is that they have to work harder than others. The poor literacy rates and a lack of education make it harder to support the child.
10. Bad Reputation In Society:
- Society usually considers teenage pregnancy a social dilemma and young parents have to face huge humiliation and negative remarks from people.
- Teenage pregnancy is a viewed as social stigma and teen parents have to bear bad reputation as the society treats them as outcasts and strangers.
11. Higher Suicide Rates:
- Teenage moms are more prone to committing suicides, as the humiliations and embarrassment, and the lack of social support can trigger depression.
- Emotional stress, financial crisis, and societal alienation are some of the main contributing factors that trigger suicide among teen mothers.
- A good support system is extremely crucial for the young mother, to help rid her of suicidal thoughts (1).
Shocking Facts About Teenage Pregnancy
Here are some of the most alarming facts about teenage pregnancy:
- Most teens get pregnant due to unprotected sexual intercourse, a lack of maturity and a lack of personal responsibility.
- A lack of proper sex education, the stigmatizing of sex, and many other societal rules contribute directly or indirectly to teen pregnancy. It is important to garner information from a reliable source, and not blindly follow the internet or Reddit. Teens should speak to their physicians about sex and pregnancy.
- 40% of teen mothers are unable to pursue higher education and cannot offer their child a strong financial ground.
- For a teenage mother, it may take a relatively longer time span to attain a stable living, and the child has to suffer the negative consequences.
- Most young fathers hesitate to commit to the teen mother and moms have to raise the child alone.
- Taking responsibility for the child is a huge burden itself, and the teen mother has to face several negative consequences like financial distress, no committed partner, lack of education or good job and no permanent house. All these consequences of teenage pregnancy on society make life more difficult for the mother and her baby.
- Teenage parents often have to face negative judgment from their family and friends and have to face discrimination from society. It makes life more miserable for the teen, as she cannot handle society.
- Having a child at a young age, does not stop either of the young parents from fulfilling their dreams or attaining success in life. However, the things become more difficult because of the extra responsibility of taking care of the baby.
- Almost all teen pregnancies, around 80%, are unplanned and unexpected. A lack of sex education and contraception is the main reason for it.
- Over a quarter of pregnant teens choose abortion to get rid of their hardships and social implications of teenage pregnancy on society.
- As compared to other developed nations, the United States has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy, parenthood, and abortion.
- Teenage pregnancy imposes several pregnancy complexities like anemia, hypertension, toxemia, premature delivery and placenta Previa (2).
Teenage pregnancy is linked to several apprehensions and objections. One of the reasons is that there are some adverse effects of teen pregnancy on society, including increasing the burden on various family members of the teen to raise the teen and their child. Hence, you should aim to follow practical measures to prevent teenage pregnancy by promoting proper sex education and abstinence in the young generation.
Prompt guidance is essential to aid your teen in leading a successful life and not being prone to commit mistakes in their impressionable years. Also, parents must instill the right set of values and morals in their children to help them make appropriate life decisions.
Altogether, it is the equal responsibility of the parents and the society to teach and guide teenagers towards the right paths, rather than merely passing negative comments and demotivating them.
- Christine W. Musyimi et al.; (2020); Suicidal behavior risks during adolescent pregnancy in a low-resource setting: A qualitative study.
- About Teen Pregnancy.
- School-Based Health Centers
- ABeth Barnet, et al.; (2004); Reduced School Dropout Rates Among Adolescent Mothers Receiving School-Based Prenatal Care
- Teenage Women, Abortion, and the Law
- Hilary S. Connery; et al.; (2014); Adolescent substance use and unplanned pregnancy: strategies for risk reduction