By HB (16 years old)
Teenagers who choose to date must be mature enough to carry the responsibilities that dating brings. Therefore, I think before teenagers decide to date, they must seriously consider the downside of dating before embarking on such a venture.
Most dating teens are tempted to experience sexual intercourse which of course leads to the likelihood of the female participators becoming pregnant. For a girl whose monthly menstruation is not regular yet, the possibility of a premature birth and the delivery of a low-birth-weight baby is greater than that of a full-grown woman. The mother-to-be will also lack prenatal care and thus the possibility of giving birth to a deformed baby is very probable.
An abortion is dangerous for a teenage girl since her body is not fully grown and in many countries, abortion is illegal. A new young mother may also experience postpartum depression after delivering a baby. Her partner, on the other hand, will have the responsibility of raising enough money to support their young family. However, most teenage fathers do not marry their pregnant girlfriends and they do not stay with the mother.
Such is the case of a 9-year-old girl from the state of Jalisco in Mexico. She recently gave birth to a baby. The baby’s father is 17 years old and absconded before the baby was born. Can you imagine a 9-year-old girl taking up the responsibility of raising a baby? Does she even know how to care for a baby? The girl herself is still a baby and should be enjoying her childhood without carrying such a heavy burden on her frail little shoulders. Coming from a poor family and now, saddled with a child to care for, her future is certainly not looming bright.
Pregnancy or parenthood is the leading cause for dropping out of high school for teenage girls. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, teen mothers are less likely to finish high school. Moreover, some schools do not allow pregnant students into their schools and young fathers feel they have to drop out from school to earn enough money to support his family.
Teens in every country are raised by good and well-meaning parents who desire their children to be successful citizens when they are grown. Future prospects look bright for many of us but in succumbing to both curiosity and temptations of lust, our road to success will be barricaded with tougher road blocks.
- Girl, 9 gives birth to a baby in Mexico (Daily News)
- Philippine teenage pregnancy up 65% in the last decade (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Teen Dating and Rape (Women Centre for Change, Malaysia)
- The World’s Youngest Mother (Now I Know.com)