Teen pregnancy refers to the unplanned pregnancies of unmarried school-age girls, some of whom conceived below the age of consent. It is a major social problem as teen pregnancies most often either result in abortion or in the raising of children in unstable single-parent families. The increasing rate of teen pregnancies is a consequence of increasing atheistic and secular pressures in modern society. These include the influence of Hollywood values and other manifestations of materialistic culture which erode and undermine moral standards, the hostility of school boards to the exercise of religious faith, and the bias of public school sex education against abstinence education programs, which are the only sure safeguard against teen pregnancy.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, "the rate of teen childbearing in the United States has fallen steeply since the late 1950s, from an all time high of 96 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 in 1957 to an all time low of 49 in 2000." , and these declines are attributable to reductions in pregnancy rates.
Note: In America, terms like teen pregnancy are often used informally to refer to pregnancies among unmarried teens. In other countries such as Australia, it refers to all teenagers regardless of whether they are in a relationship or not. There is nothing wrong with married teenagers enjoying conjugal love and bringing new lives into the world.
- Guttmacher Institute, Teen Pregnancy: Trends And Lessons Learned, By Heather Boonstra, February 2002 "During the 1990s, teenage pregnancy rates and birthrates declined to record low levels. Even with this progress, however, the U.S. teen birthrate is one of the highest in the developed world. Research on what is behind the U.S. declines and why rates nonetheless are lower in other countries may help in crafting responses to the problem....Recent declines in teen birthrates, then, are attributable to reductions in pregnancy rates. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the U.S. teen pregnancy rates rose. They remained steady through the 1980s, even as sexual activity among teens increased, due to improved contraceptive use among those teenagers who are sexually active. The rates declined 19% from 117 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-19 in 1990 to 93 per 1,000 in 1997—the lowest rate in 20 years. The recent decline is particularly encouraging, because—as with the teen birthrate decline—all population groups followed a similar pattern, regardless of young women's age, marital status, race or ethnicity."