The vast majority of teen pregnancies (at least 85 percent) are unintended, and having a child before you're ready is serious business. Having children can and should wait until you and your partner are financially and emotionally ready-and until you're both committed to raising a child together.
Teen pregnancy can have serious consequences for girls and guys, including decreased chances of finishing school, a difficult financial future, and health risks for both the mother and the child. If you are thinking about having sex, it is important to know that the effects can last a lifetime. Here are the facts about teen pregnancy:
- Almost 50 percent of teens have never considered how a pregnancy would affect their lives.
- Parenthood is the leading reason why teen
girls drop out of school. Less than half of teen mothers ever graduate from high school and fewer than two percent earn a college degree by age 30. With increasing demands in schooling necessary to qualify for a well-paying job, it is more important than ever to finish high school.
- Two-thirds of families begun by a young unmarried mother are poor.
- Teen mothers are likely to have a second
birth relatively soon -- about one-fourth of teenage mothers have a second child within 24 months of the first birth -- which can further impede their ability to finish school or keep a job, and to escape poverty.
- Eight out of ten fathers don't marry the
mother of their child. These absent fathers pay less than $800 annually for child support, often because they are poor themselves.
- Children who live apart from their fathers are also five times more likely to be poor than children with both parents at home.
- The daughters of young teen mothers are three
times more likely to become teen mothers themselves.
- The sons of teen mothers are twice as likely
to end up in prison.