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Teenage Pregnancy Quiz Pregnancy Symptoms

Teenage Pregnancy In Entertainment: Good, Bad And Ugly

Is there an overabundance of teenage pregnancies today? It seems like everywhere we turn we hear about a teen who is pregnant. Recently we heard about Britney's Spears baby sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, pregnant at only sixteen and this was followed by the news that Sarah Palins own teenage daughter Bristol was also pregnant. For many people it felt like there was an explosion of teenage pregnancies in the media and real life, however, this is not the case. Times have simply changed and the way that teenage pregnancy is viewed has also changed. Thirty or forty years ago a teenage pregnancy was viewed as an atrocity. It was something that a family hid away in shame. Many families would send away their teenage daughter away to have the baby and then quietly adopt it out in a private adoption so the neighbors would never know. Some parents forced their daughter to marry at fifteen or sixteen in order to save their reputation. This resulted in many babies being born to young girls that had no idea how to truly take care of a child or raise it. they were forced into loveless marriages with boys they didn't truly know but the parents felt they had to save the family name by either marrying their pregnant daughters out or simply having them give birth in private away from loved ones so they could quietly 'get rid of' the baby.

Thirty or forty years ago there were just as many teenage pregnancies but it was just not talked about. It was hidden way in shame and despair. Lies were told within the families that would last a lifetime to cover up the shame that hung over the family. Many young girls would adopt their babies out and never know what happened to them in closed adoptions. These young girls would spend a lifetime always wondering what had happened to their babies because the records were sealed.

Times have changed nowadays and the stigma no longer exists. Yes, we feel sorry for the teenage girl who is facing an unplanned pregnancy but now there are options that can be weighed out. A teenager can choose to keep the child and still attend school, there is abortion, and there are adoptions that do not have to be closed and private but can be open so the teenage girl can still remain involved in her babies life. These options all make teenage pregnancy easier for the girls, babies, parents and the public to face.

There is a lot of controversy that exists in how the entertainment industry is now depicting what was once a taboo subject. Movies such as Juno exist and have skyrocketed in popularity which shows a teenage girl making a very adult decision to adopt her unborn child out. The movie does not focus on the girl becoming pregnant but instead centers on her decision and why she makes the decision. I felt the movie was handled quite well because it shows that teen pregnancy is not the end of the world for a young girl. It shows that she does have options and that if she chooses those options she can still go on with her life.

Currently several weekly shows have tackled the hot topic of teenage pregnancy wonderfully. The Secret Life Of An American Teenager opens up to the world the reality of what being a teen is truly like. It shows what was kept so secret years ago. By creating this window you can launch a useful conversation with your teenager about topics like teenage sex, birth control, and teenage pregnancy. This show can actually aid a parent in having better communication with their teenager.

Even the soap opera industry has jumped on the teenage pregnancy bandwagon when One Life To Live decided to address the issue with their teens.

Now that teenage pregnancy is being brought out of the closet it can become easier for parents to address what our teens are currently facing which is sex, birth control methods, STD prevention, and unplanned pregnancies. Use these hot bed topics as a way to communicate with your teenager. Education is the way to overcome teenage pregnancy and that education should start in the home. Teenagers have had sex for years and they will continue to have sex no matter how much we want to believe dumbly that abstinence works. Teenage girls have always made mistakes and gotten pregnant but now we can openly address the issues and not keep them hid in the closet like generations past. Through education we can protect our teenagers from getting pregnant and contracting STD's. So use the media and entertainment to broach topics with your teen. Do not close the door if you see a show that features a pregnant teenager instead use the show as a way to start talking openly about teenage pregnancy. Use the basis of the show as stepping stone to talk about preventing unplanned pregnancy, birth control, and STD's. Let your teenager know that you understand that odds are good she will not choose abstinence so offer to be there to help with birth control, education, and advice. We will only reduce teenage pregnancy by educationg our teens.

By Kimberly Sharpe - Based in Oregon, Kimberly Sharpe has written for numerous online publications such as USA Today, Hotels.com, Trails.com, GardenGuides, Local.com, Whitefence.com, Ehow Home and Garden and Livestrong.  





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