The Attitude Of The Teenage Girls In NSW Towards Sex And Pregnancy

Introduction to Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health

Adolescent pregnancy is a global problem, which occurs in all the high, middle, and low-income countries all over the world. Teenage pregnancy is when a girl becomes pregnant at the age of 13 to 19 years (Franjic, n.d.). However, adolescent pregnancies are more often occur in marginalized communities for the reason of poverty, lack of education, awareness, and employment. However, some adolescents consider pregnancy only when it is planned by them and is wanted as in some countries and in particular communities, girls at an early age face the pressure to marry and to then to reproduce. Every year, around 21 million girls are married before the age of 18 years, and notice is that 90 % of the girls giving birth to children have been married, 2 million girls under 15 years of age become pregnant in the developed countries (WHO, 2020).

Research questions

Which factor is more prominent for teenage pregnancy in NSW among social, cultural, and economical?

The comparison of teenage girls in NSW of their level of awareness, education, nutrition, economical status with that of the teenage girls in the developed country?

Which changes in the educational, social, and administrative levels are needed to easily inculcate the optimum sexual knowledge in the teenagers?

Literature Review of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health

The world health organization defines sexual health as a state of physical, social, and mental well being with reference to sexuality. A positive and respectful approach to sexuality is essential for the well ebbing in this sense as well as in the relationships, also the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual intercourse which are free of force, coercion, violence, and discrimination. It is important to understand that adolescent sexuality is a natural indicator of healthy development, on the other hand, a matter of much vexation den controversy in the communities (Government…, n.d.). In the youngsters, and the section of health indwell being, there is much scope of promotion of sexual health and education and to affirmatively acknowledging the sexuality in young people. 

It is very important to find out the attitude of the teenager themselves about the matters of sex and early pregnancy, which is essential to find out the gap in their thinking level and status and the optimum level of awareness and education level which is needed for their optimum development and to attain the maximum possible life goals. The teenage term is used for such a person who has not to attend the age of legal adulthood chi is any person under 18 years in Australia (Government…, n.d.). Nationally in Australia, the teenage regency rate has been declined in the last 10 years which was about 16 babies per 1000 women aged 15 to 19 years and which is now fallen to 12 birth per 1000 women aged 15 to 19 years which is the lowest (Government…, n.d.). However, terminations can be performed until 12 weeks of pregnancy in Australia, and about half of all the pregnancies are terminated in Australia. Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease noted in NSW with rates continuously rising. 3.2 % of the mothers of the newborn babies were teenagers in NSW, however, the fertility rate in NSW teenagers has been declining in the 10 years from 17.2 to 13.6 per 1000 births (Darroch et al, 2016). Among the aboriginals and indigenous people of NSW, the 15 to 19 years age group indigenous teenagers the fertility rate was 78 births per 1000, and 19 % of the aboriginals mothers were aged below 19 years (WHO, 2020) and furthermore, it is also estimated that almost more than half of all the teenage pregnancies are terminated in NSW.

The causes of teenage pregnancy are both economical and social. The lack of knowledge about the negative consequences of teenage pregnancies the primary factor contributing to this dangerous practice, however, the upbringing of the children is also a major factor in this issue as the culture, environment, and social behaviors which a child experiences since her birth also contributes to her sexual behavior, other factors include famly7 conflicts on a regular basis, family violence and sexual abuse of the child, living in the out of home care system, nonstable housing arrangements, low and fallen socio-economic background, having a family history of teenage pregnancy, low education level of maternal health, low self-respect, living I the rural and/or semi-urban area, having a mental health issue, a same-sex attraction which has not been recognized (Darroch et al, 2016). Studies have indicated that girls who report that firsts equal intercourse in the early years of life have high chances of being pregnant in the teenage compared to girls who report their first intercourse at an older age. There is a strong association between partner violence and high rates of teenage pregnancy which also indicates high rates of medical pregnancy termination and miscarriages. The continuous high rates in the English-speaking nations have been attributed to their human nature towards sexuality, contraception, sex education, and mass awareness regarding sexuality, the welfare provisions for unmarried mothers, and their related social inequalities.

The reasons to find out and know the attitudes in the teenage girls of NSW about sexuality and pregnancy are very important teenage mothers have long been associated with long-term health problems, which includes mental and physical health issues (Lebesse et al, 2015). Along with this issue, teenage girls in NSW in particular and Australia, in general, experience social issues, lack of identity, increased health risks, low income, and poor health and nutrition status which is very probable to experience by their children also. Another study says that teenage mothers have more chances of being a drop out from school, be unemployed or with very low wage work, having no or lesser qualifications, may suffer from depression and other mental health issues, live on state social welfare schemes (Government…, n.d.). The study further says that the children of such teenage mothers are very likely to experience poverty, growing up without a father, having the chance to be caught by the drug or child trafficking mafias, drug abuse, and alcohol, studying or doing well in school, social disruption and exclusion. Involving in crimes can become a victim of abuse. As this chain can continuously produce more victims of such negative developments, it is very important to understand the attitude of children and teenagers towards sexuality and childbirth. These effects have been closely researched in NSW and statistics say that at least one of these categories catches such people. Such teenagers in NSW are also reported to depend highly on state agencies such as Centrelink (WHO, 2020).

The attitude of the teenagers for such an important and vulnerable issue of sex and early pregnancy is important as young people often lack adequate knowledge about their bodies, sexual behavior, and how to handle the change of hormones during these times, and it is possible that they may not appreciate the risks involved in this issue. Teenagers are more concerned about relationships or communication with the partners than with awareness of biological risks and issues and have more chances of acquiring STDs for biological, physiological, and cultural reasons. These issues become more vulnerable if the teenagers are same-sex attracted, transgender, or are questioning their sexuality.

Gaps in the Research

It can be noted that there is lesser research on the direct orientation of the teenagers which can be called first-hand information in this issue, therefore primary information in various forms with the subjects being the teenagers who themselves are at the core of this research could add a new dimension of understanding and resolving this issue from a new perspective. It has also been noted that the existing study tells less or nothing about the social and administrative awareness about the seriousness of this issue. In the studies conducted in Asia and Northern Africa, unmarried women are either excluded from the fertility and health surveys or they are included but have not been asked such questions related to sexual activity, contraceptive usage, and their desire for fertility. There is very little information available for younger adolescents as most of the studies included girls more than 15 years of age, whereas 10 % of the surveyed teenagers have reported having fist intercourse before 15 years (Lebesse et al, 2015). Requiring data from these younger teenagers is a serious challenge which includes requiring permission from institutional boards, consent of the youth’s participation, development of suitable survey methods, and questions that are appropriate for such young teenagers. In addition to that national health and fertility surveys often miss those youth who live in vulnerable situations like refugees. There is little knowledge of the behavior of the male adolescents who have an equal role in pregnancy and who can be very useful in sexual and reproductive awareness among themselves and their partners (Darroch et al, 2016). Sexual and reproductive behavior is generally self-reported and thus is prone to underreporting particularly for premarital sexuality and induced abortion.

References for Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health

Darroch, J., Singh, S., Woog, V., Bankole, A. & Ashford, L.(2016). Research gaps in adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Retrieved from https://www.guttmacher.org/report/research-gaps-in-sexual-and-reproductive-health#

Franjic, S. (n.d.). Adolescent pregnancy is a serious social problem.  Journal of Gynecological Research and Obstetrics. Retrieved from https://www.peertechz.com/articles/JGRO-4-149.php

Government of New South Wales (n.d.). Sexual health 3.10. Retrieved from https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/kidsfamilies/youth/Documents/youth-health-resource-kit/youth-health-resource-kit-sect-3-chap-10.pdf

Lebese, R., Maputle, S., Mabunda, J. & Chauke, P. (2015). Knowledge, attitudes and perception of students on teenage pregnancy: a case study of rural based university students in south africa. Journal of human ecology (Delhi, India) 51(12),55-65

Neal SE and Hosegood V (2015). How reliable are reports of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events in demographic and health surveys? International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 41(4),210–217.

WHO (2020). Adolescent pregnancy. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/adolescent-pregnancy

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