Teenage Pregnancy: A Global View

Teenage Pregnancy: A Global View

Teenage Pregnancy: A Global View

Teenage Pregnancy: A Global View

Synopsis

Teenage pregnancy is a worldwide problem that accompanies the initiation of sexual activity at increasingly younger ages. This unique reference resource provides students with cross-cultural comparisons of the issues associated with teenage pregnancy. How do different cultures deal with this problem? How has the problem changed in recent years? What programs have been initiated to try to control the problem? Answers to these and other questions for fifteen different countries are explored in detail to give a global perspective and to challenge students to think about how the problem should be addressed. The fifteen countries represented have been carefully chosen to represent the different regions of the world. Student researchers can use this resource to study the similarities that cross national and regional boundaries despite the varying needs and experiences of adolescents around the world. By understanding the history of teenage pregnancy and how it is viewed both socially and politically in each of the countries, students can come to an understanding of how it affects the world, what its dangers are, and how we can come up with a comprehensive strategy for preventing and coping with it everywhere.

Excerpt

No collective event in human experience creates such joy, celebration, and astonishment as the birth of a child. The celebration of a birth comes to us so easily and is so natural. Most of us cannot resist the primal/instinctual forces that are released within us when we are near a newborn. The birth of a child is a familiar yet surreal event—one that we can never become accustomed, one that could never be ordinary. The birthing process strengthens our bond to the child, to each other, to our past, and to our children's future. Somehow, we seem to know intuitively that every child is a small part of ourselves, our link to eternity. This is why understanding the experiences of children born outside our own community is so important. Teenage pregnancy is one of those situations that affects the celebration of life for the child, for those around the child, and in many countries. It affects society in general.

Today's adolescents, the largest generation of 10- to 19-year-olds in human history, are coming of age in a world that is very different from the one in which their parents came of age. Although the pace of change varies among regions of the world, societies around the world are in a state of widespread and rapid transformation, creating a dizzying array of new possibilities and new challenges for teenagers and young adults. This volume isolates one of those challenges and a common social phenomenon in all countries: teenage pregnancy.

Imagine a 13-year-old walking out of her apartment building in a modern city to catch a city bus to school. She stops to buy a pastry with the money her mother gave her. She leans against the brick and watches the cars inch . . .

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