CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

Cause or Effect? The burdens of early childbearing on disadvantaged teens are undeniable. Trying to untangle the factors which contribute to teenage pregnancy from its effects, however, leads to a "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" dilemma. Educational failure, poverty, unemployment and low self-esteem are understood to be negative outcomes of early childbearing. These circumstances also contribute to the likelihood of teen pregnancy. For example, recent studies suggest that most adolescent mothers have already dropped out of school before they become pregnant. On the other hand, adolescents still enrolled in school when they give birth are as likely to graduate as their peers. It is not clear how well the adolescents with the most problems would have fared in the future even without early parenthood.

Following are some of the contributing factors or causes of teenage pregnancy:

1) Lack of Parental Guidance: Most people evade their children from talking about sex. In some cases, they provide false information regarding sex and discourage their children to participate in any informative discussion about sex. In some cases, teenage mothers are not well educated about sex before getting pregnant and thus this leads to lack of communication between the parents and the children.

2) Adolescent Sexual Behavior: Among the adolescents, peer pressure is a major factor that encourages the teenage boys and girls to indulge in sexual activities. Early dating, as early as 12 years of age, is another factor that contributes to teen pregnancy.
3) Inadequate Knowledge about Safe Sex: Most adolescents are unaware of safe sex. They probably have no access to the traditional methods of preventing pregnancy. And the main reason behind is that they are either too embarrassed or fear to seek information about it.
4) Exploitation by Older Men: This is another major factor that contributes to pregnancy among the teenagers. Those girls who date older men are more likely to become pregnant before they attain womanhood. Rape, sexual exploitations etc. also takes place that leads to unwanted pregnancy among teenage girls.

5) Socio Economic Factors: Teenage girls who belong to the poor families are more likely to become pregnant. Researchers have found that even in the developed countries teenage pregnancy occurs most commonly among the deprived sections.