Explain teen pregnancy from a sociological perspective.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In order to explain teen pregnancy from a sociological perspective, we need to ask why some teens become pregnant.  We are trying to determine which types of teens are more likely to become pregnant.  Once we have determined this, we will try to understand why those groups have higher rates of teen pregnancy.

Sociology tries to understand how membership in groups affects people in society.  In other words, sociologists try to understand how different groups differ from one another and why.  For example, sociologists might try to find out whether different racial groups have different income levels even if they have the same amount of schooling.  If they find differences, they try to understand why this happens.

So, how do we understand teen pregnancy from a sociological perspective?  We would need to think about what groups of teen girls are more likely to get pregnant.  We would need to look at issues of race, income level, education, and religiosity.  We would then try to explain our results.  For example, we might say that poorer teen girls are more likely to get pregnant because they have less to lose.  We can say that they are not likely to go to college and get good jobs anyway, so they are less likely to take care to avoid pregnancy.

So, to explain teen pregnancy from a sociological perspective, we have to try to determine why teen girls of different groups are more or less likely to get pregnant.

mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In looking at teen pregnancy from a social perspective, there are many factors that need to be considered. There are various reasons for teen pregnancy. These include drug and alcohol abuse, lack of knowledge about contraception, family issues, and limited sex education.

Various sociological factors need to be considered. Sometimes, young women feel that they will be perceived as older and more responsible if they have a child. They also might feel that getting pregnant will not happen to them. Therefore, they are willing to take risks that ultimately could lead to pregnancy.

Family history may also be a factor. Sometimes, teens rebel against their parents. In other cases, teens know their parents had children as teenagers and believe this practice is acceptable.

Teens who get pregnant are more likely to have less education and lower income. They may also have less access to quality medical care. These factors will also like impact the society as a whole; social programs will be needed to help support those who need economic or medical assistance.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An interpretation of teenage pregnancy from the symbolic interaction perspective might focus on the idea of pregnancy conveying that a person is an adult. In other words, both male and female teenagers who have children may feel like being a parent conveys to society that they are adults. From the conflict perspective, teens may decide to become pregnant as a result of conflict with their parents and/or the older generation (teachers and others). By having their own children, they may think that they will become more independent and better able to make their own choices. In addition, from a structural perspective, teens may decide to create their own family units and take part in society as families because their own families have broken apart. In other words, they want to participate in society. They think that by becoming a parent, they will have a role in society, and they will be able to interact with other parts of society, such as with the healthcare industry and with schools.