Teenage pregnancy refers to the unexpected pregnancy among premature females aged 20 years and below. Pregnancy can occur at any time after puberty, which is usually the period when females begin experiencing their menstrual periods. At this stage, females are potentially fertile, and, thus, they have a prevalence to pregnancy. As for teenagers, they do not plan to get pregnant, but because of forces outside of their control, they become victims of it. This fact is attributed to a number of personal and societal factors, which influence the behavior of female teens. The prevalence of teenage pregnancies among young women indicates the level of innocence among the teens is and the way men exploit them for their advantage (Cocca 178).
The adversity of teenage pregnancy is severe to the society, thus the need to establish some causes of this phenomenon. In an analysis of the two poems “The Ruined Maid” by Thomas Hardy and “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, we can establish some of the factors which drive teens to early pregnancies. In both societies, where the poems are set, there is the value attached to early marriages and traditional gender roles, which contribute significantly to the teenage pregnancy. Under this issue, sexuality plays a significant role in exposure to early pregnancies among teens. For the innocent teens who venture into the exploration of life, their masters exploit them while they search for societal consideration. Repeatedly, most men engage in sexual intercourse with the innocent teens, thus, their vulnerability to lose value in the society. With this growing scenario, most of their partners are age mates, who are still in the teenage age. As a result, the failure to address the matter of sexuality increases chances of teenage pregnancies. For the teens, their pursuit of material gain with lack of adequate information about sexuality exposes them to the phenomenon.
“The ruined maid” demonstrates how a teen moved up-town from a village due to despise of the living conditions in the reserve contributed to her teenage pregnancies. The lifestyle indicated in the poem existing at town is attractive and pleasurable. This is contributed by the lack of strenuous activities prevalent in reserve. In the reserve, people adore the nature of living conditions in life, which makes them vulnerable to evil vices of the town. After the teen had left, the village, she underwent radical transformation in town with regard to her physic. Though, there exist many opportunities in town, there are prices to be paid for. The young teen is exposed to a unique environment, where she has no vital information of the surrounding evils (Abcarian189).
In town, most teenagers engage in drug abuse, which boost their vulnerability to early pregnancies increases. The alcohol consumption and other drug abuse play a key role in teenagers” involvement in riskier activities. On the contrary, the setting of the “Girl” shows how men entice teens in order to exploit and retain them. This induces tendencies of sex, which often results in pregnancy. In this event, that teens do not take appropriate precautions with the lack of information, they fall victims of pregnancies. Some of the influencing factors such as the lack of information or stigmatization in this instance aggravate the vice (Furstenberg 49).
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Age discrepancy in relationships is another crucial factor that contributes to pregnancies in town. Most of the relationships that exist between female teens involve adult men, which expose them to exploitation. With this form of prevalence among female teens, they are most likely to become pregnant and carry the fetus to its term. The main influencing factor is that they feel secure with older boys, and can easily be enticed. For some female teens, the fact that they are in relationships exposes them to dating violence. This factor contributes to exploitation and oppression by their boyfriends, resulting in unintended pregnancies. Additionally, the fact that they are young exposes them to a lot of influence from their boyfriends to avoid using contraceptives. With this form of practice, their chances of getting pregnant increase.
In the second poem, “Girl”, the socioeconomic factors contribute to the increase in the exposure of teens to early pregnancies. Poverty, being a crucial component in the society that influences behavior, contributes to teens” engaging in sex prematurely. Economical challenges contribute to high level of teenage pregnancies. In this regard, the teens are forced to cohabit with older men who are exploitative in nature but meet their basic needs. Similarly, the teens” realization of the need to become pregnant to receive benefits, welfare or council housing contributes to the rise in teenage pregnancies. Meanwhile, the nature of female childhood environment influences the prevalence of women to early pregnancies. Since these teens grew in societal settings that embrace the need of wealth through marriage, most of them end up being victims of teenage pregnancies. While for teens who experience abusive, violent and strife families in their childhood, they are more likely to be exposed to early pregnancies (Gillham 95). These factors contribute significantly to enduring and unsuitable health disturbances for victims, influencing their behavior at teenage level.
The occurrences of teenage pregnancies have several implications to teen matters, the child, and society. Initially, as portrayed by “the ruined maid” the teen mother is exposed to medical challenges, which affect both the developing fetus and the delivery process. At the course of teenage, many teens are renowned for the consumption of non-nutritious foods, which affect their health standards. In this regard, the general growth of the unborn baby is affected. Additionally, the lack of nutritious food affects the development of the pelvis, which allows for natural birth. This problem, prevalent amongst the teens, poses a threat to lives of the expectant teen mothers.
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With lack of proper parental setting, teen mothers are considerably exposed to psychological trauma caused by socioeconomic and medical factors in the course of pregnancy and after the delivery. In this regard, mothers and their child encounter varied forms of challenges. “The Ruined maid” illustrates how a teen that had move to town is force to return to the village after the phenomenon. With these challenges, they might be unable to sustain their lives accordingly, due to the lack of support or the prevalence to poverty. These factors contribute to a series of interferences in the development of a child. Additionally, the teen mothers face a lot of stigmatization from the society, which affects greatly their growth, as well as that of the child.
The development of both the teen mother and the child is significantly hampered by multiple challenges that they face. For the mother, there are high chances of engaging in shunned acts, such as prostitution and drug abuse to sustain the family. In this regard, the other family members of the teen mother would be considerably affected by the phenomenon. There exist chances that the teenage pregnancy will affect other younger siblings. Mostly, the younger sisters will refrain from the focus on quality employment opportunities and education in readiness for parenting at younger stages. As the two poems illustrate how the teens are affected by the surroundings, it depicts that there are the high likelihood of the same scenario reoccurring. This is contributed by the lack of access to education and growth in vices that are detrimental to economic growth (Swierzewski 1).
The fight for the elimination of this phenomenon dictates that women should be rated as equal with men, unlike being mistreated, as underdogs will low value. These values are exhibited in the two cultures of the poems setting depicting the high prevalence of teens to pregnancies. Some of the costs are that teens seek mainly to address is societal approval and material wealth to sustain themselves.