FinalDraft4 - Gresh 1 Casey Gresh Engl101 Sec1421 Meredith...

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Gresh 1 Casey Gresh Engl101 Sec1421 Meredith Norris December 12, 2008 The Issue at Hand For seventeen years I had been brought up believing that there is a specific order in which to live by. This “order” came to a screeching halt and fast-forward when my sister became pregnant without even completing the first step. All of a sudden, my whole family had to reinvent our system of living and reestablish our beliefs to fit this alteration to the order into our lives. Needless to say, I have come to accept the concept of teenage pregnancy, or the process by which an underage woman becomes pregnant typically out of wedlock. I used to hold conventional views of the condition, in which it stemmed from “feelings of hopelessness about the future or loneliness…[depression] of suffering from low self-esteem” (Redd). I pitied those affected by it but never assumed that I would be personally exposed to it. I used to think that only a certain type of person unintentionally became pregnant as a teenager, and as disinclined as I am to admit it, I subconsciously would look down on those type of people. After all, the condition usually carries a social stigma, making it a topic of study among psychologists and sociologists in order to uncover potential causes and possibly limit the outcomes. I used to assume that factors such as the media, family background and environment, and deficit sexual education were prime predictors of teen pregnancy. It wasn’t until I was personally affected by such a situation that I realized how ignorant I had been and how much s
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Gresh 2 ocietal judgment influences the victims. Though many people, including federal and state officials, regard teen pregnancy as an epidemic sweeping across the nation and search for means to prevent it; it will inevitably continue to spread, the question is what to do once it occurs. The way in which society judges a victim of teen pregnancy and the way it judges those in relation to the victim both significantly impact those involved. Factors in which society considers when judging a teen mother include her relationship status with the father, the publicity of her sexual activity, and the perceived actions she will take concerning the pregnancy. My sister was almost seventeen years old when she conceived who is now my sixteen-month-old nephew, and she had no relationship whatsoever to speak of with the father of her son. In fact, the majority of children resulting from unplanned pregnancies are born to unmarried mothers (Unplanned Pregnancies). The paradox lies in the idea that while these teenagers are becoming pregnant with male partners in which they have no commitment to, society is more accepting of pregnancy and sexual activity when it occurs within a couple. However, this does demonstrate some growth within society in that a few mere decades ago pregnancy of any kind outside of marriage was intolerable. In a Cosmo Girl article discussing the subject, the author who is probably in her thirties says, “When I was in high school [teen pregnancy] was a taboo,
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This document was uploaded on 11/03/2011 for the course ENGL 0101 at Maryland.

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FinalDraft4 - Gresh 1 Casey Gresh Engl101 Sec1421 Meredith...

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