Over half of all out of wedlock births can be attributed to teen mothers, suggesting that reducing the amount of children born out of wedlock should be addressed during the teenage years. Compared to women in their 20s, teen mothers cost taxpayers a lot of money each year. Conservatively estimated, teen moms run taxpayers $7 billion per year, or $3200 per each teen birth.
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Single Parenting In Idaho
Being a single parent isn’t easy at any age, but teenage mothers have it particularly hard. Women who become mothers in their 20s are more likely to have been able to graduate high school or even college, which is an opportunity teen mothers typically don’t have. Due to lack of education, teens are less likely to be able to support themselves financially. Only 20 percent of teen moms receive child support from the baby’s father, with 80 percent ending up on welfare at some point. Currently, around half of welfare recipients had their first child as a teenager.
However, there is an argument that all of the problems that are attributed to teen moms can’t be blamed on the fact that they are teen parents. Some researchers suggest that many of the issues can be blamed on a disadvantaged background, not teen parenthood. In any case, teen motherhood doesn’t make it any easier and would especially have a negative impact on those from a disadvantaged group or background.
Future Boise Children
The children of teen mothers are also more likely to face more issues growing up than their counterparts with mothers of an older childbearing age. Children of these mothers are likely to be born prematurely or have a lower birth weight than other infants. Abuse and neglect are more prevalent among children born to teen moms, as well as poor school performance. They’re also the most likely to end up in foster care.
Idaho Teen Pregnancy Laws
The current welfare laws address different aspects of teen pregnancy prevention, including $50 million annually for abstinence education programs in high schools, paternity establishment initiatives, child support payment programs, requirements for teen moms to complete high school, $20 million bonuses to the top 5 states that reduce teen pregnancy rates, and requiring states to set goals to reduce teen pregnancy and welfare dependence.
Falling Pregnancy Rates
Most of these policies have failed, with child support enforcement being the only exception. Teen pregnancy has been on the decline since the 1990s, more than likely caused by social and other societal factors. Currently, teenagers are having less sex than they did in the 1970s through 1990s. Better and long lasting contraceptives like the IUD and the hormonal implant are also available, but it can still be difficult to convince teenagers to use these methods.
In the 1990s, there was also an increased fear of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, which may have also contributed. The fear, whether based in reality or not, made teenage boys more cautious in particular. Certain public health and education initiatives like a greater emphasis on sex education in high schools may have also played a role.
Boise Pregnancy Prevention Programs
It’s clear that only certain teen pregnancy prevention programs work. Increased access to reproductive health services and career counseling has been shown to prevent teen pregnancy, in addition to programs that encourage teens to use contraceptives and delay sexual intercourse until they are adults. Abstinence only programs have not been shown to be very effective in the prevention of teen pregnancy. A lot of it can be blamed on teacher beliefs, as well as how blurred the line is between abstinence only and comprehensive sex education with a brief focus on abstinence.
Some media campaigns have also proven to be effective, with ones that focus on the risks of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS as the most effective. It remains an inexpensive way to reach a large group of teens. Overall, it’s important to keep sex education both cost effective and accurate to get the best results and lower teen pregnancy.