Sex is a biological factor needed to be able to produce and evolve the human race, whereas psychologically sex should be intimately shared with your partner. (Stoller, 1968 as cited in APA PsycNet).
In the last few years’ teenage pregnancy rates in the USA and UK have risen. The highest increase of pregnancy amongst teenagers is in the USA and UK (table 1 & figure 1).
These findings could be as a result of social attitudes of teenagers wanting to fit in with a particular crowd, partaking in risky behaviour. (Odgers et al.1996; Snow and Bruce 2003 as cited in Morrison, V., Bennett, P.). Snow and Bruce found that teenage mothers often show a history of dysfunctional relationships and social and financial strains, also having low self esteem issues.
With the government funding cuts and councils forced to close their community facilities as a result; forty seven Children Centres in the UK are due for closure by 2013. (Cheshire West and Chester Council, 2010) There is already very little for children growing up to do within their communities and are limited to finding their own entertainment, and are easily influenced into consume alcohol and other drugs.
This could be a reason why children are becoming sexually active at a younger age, and are risking their ambitions and health by becoming pregnant and catching sexually transmitted infections as the results of these risky behaviours. (Hingson et al. 2003 as cited in Morrison, V., Bennett, P).
Other factors for the increase in pregnancy rates amongst teens could be the stigma of using contraception. The retail market is continually reinventing solutions to the design and shape of condoms so that they are easily used, more attractive and are as accessible as possible.
Table 2 & Figures 2 shows the results of contraceptive with the same five countries. Although there is no real significance to the USA and UK figures, it does however confirm the attitudes amongst teenagers in lack of condom use.
Young people today should be more equipped with the responsibility of motherhood, and should understand that having children at a young and immature age could create potential health risks to themselves and their baby. Behaviours in terms of poor diet, smoking and binge drinking whilst carrying their unborn child; compared with older mothers is increased. An additional risk of premature births and miscarriages caused as a result of the physical immaturity of the mother. i.e. their bodies still undeveloped. (Department of Health 2003; Hogan and Kenny 2007 as cited in Morrison, V., Bennett, P)
The UK home office has taken steps into tacking this problem by reintroducing the licencing act, (Home Office, 2003) which focused on fining and closing down retailers who were selling alcohol to under-age customers. The message the government want to show is their commitment to ensure children are protected against the harms or alcohol (Home office, 2003 as cited in Rebalancing the licencing act, 2003).
Brokenshire, J. (2003). Responses to consultation: Rebalancing the licensing act. (pp 25). UK. Home Office.
Darroch, Singh, Frost and Team (2001). Differences in Teenage Pregnancy Rates Amongst Five developed Countries: The Roles of Sexual Activity and Contraceptive Use. E-journal of Familiy Planning Perspectives. Page 244. Retrieved from http://www. Jstor.org/stable/10.2307/3030191
Morrison, V., Bennett, P. (2009). Smoking, drinking and teenage pregnancy. An introduction into Health Psychology. UK: Pearsons education limited.
Stoller, R.J, (1968). Sex and Gender. [abstract]. American Psychological Association. Oxford, England: Science House. (1968). xvi, 383 pp. Abstract received from http:// psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1968-14083-000