Rampant pregnancy: Should we worry?

Should we be worried about the newest fad? No, not the latest pair of shoes or designer clothing, but the bulging bulge on our campus. It seems that some individuals enjoyed their summer too much, with several sightings of soon-to-be mothers.

Is this the newest fad, or simply a case of unprotected sex?
Can it be that it is no longer taboo to be too young to be parents or bear another life? Acceptance?

According to Family First Aid, 34 percent of women become pregnant before the age of 20. That’s about 820,000 women a year.

Eight in 10 of teen pregnancies are unintended, and 79 percent are to unmarried individuals.

About.com reports that two-thirds of pregnancies occur among women from ages 18 to 19, and teen mothers account for 11 percent of United States birth.

With that said, I still ask: Should we worry?

From those shocking statistics, worrying is now a question of the past; it is now time for educational sexual prevention and awareness.

But where does educational prevention begin? Is it the school system’s obligation to enlighten children on protected sex, or does it start at home?

Whatever the case may be, it must be done in the proper fashion.

There are a host of pregnancy prevention methods, from condoms to birth control pills, but it does not stop there.

“Sex is not a yes or no, but it’s about who you are and your personal body image,” said marriage and family therapist and board-certified counselor Dr. Coleen Speed of the on-campus Student Counseling Center.

Dr. Speed believes that prevention starts with a strong foundation of self-image.

Early pregnancies occur because of the lack of self esteem and a combination of seeking love in the wrong places, peer pressure and poor decision-making, by both males and females. It takes two to conceive a child.

The body produces a chemical called oxytocin that is released once sexual intercourse begins and acts as an attachment hormone.

If this hormone is released on a consistent basis, it makes it impossible for someone to be emotionally attached to their sexual partner.

Here are some closing interesting facts from About.com.

Black teens between the ages of 15 and 19 have the highest teen pregnancy rate in the United States.

Children of teenage mothers have lower birth weights, are more likely to perform poorly in school, and are at greater risk of abuse and neglect.

The sons of teen mothers are 13 percent more likely to end up in prison while teen daughters are 22 percent more likely to become teen mothers themselves.

These statistics target mostly women, but males are also to blame with the devaluing and treatment of the women who are potentially the mother of their child.

Even though the statistics say otherwise, those women who have continued their matriculation through college despite being soon-to-be mothers deserve a round of applause and congratulations, because being a student is not easy and becoming a mother only increases the difficulty level.