Child Development Section 2-2 “Teen Parenthood” Mrs. Moore Room 202
Teen Sexuality • Sexuality refers to a person’s view of himself or herself as being male or female. Sexuality includes how people feel about themselves and their sense of responsibility for and understanding of other people and their feelings. • Individuals show their sexuality in the way the dress, walk, talk, move, and their attitudes.
Teen Sexuality (cont.) • Hormones are chemicals in the body that dictate changes as teens become sexually mature. These changes often have an emotional and physical impact. • Social development changes during puberty as well. Relationships with friends and families often change as teens become more independent. Teens often begin to question parental authority and have a preference for spending more time with their friends instead of family.
Teen Sexuality (cont.) • Messages about sexuality are often in music, television, radio, movies, and advertisements conveying the message that sexual activity is a necessary part of sexuality. Peer pressure may come with the mind-set of “Everyone’s doing it—why aren’t you?” • Dating can help teens discover which qualities in another person they find desirable and can help teens learn how to build relationships. Dating can be fun without the hazards of being sexually active.
Making Responsible Decisions About Sexuality • Values and Sexuality – It is helpful for teens to talk to a trusted adult rather than their friends, even though that’s what teens tend to do. It is important for the family to pass on their values, or principles they hold important, and use these to guide their lives. These values can include trust, loyalty, self-respect, respect for others, and commitment. • By drawing on their values, teens can choose to build a sense of their own sexuality without becoming sexually active.
The Consequences of Sexual Activity • STD’s – A sexually transmitteddisease is spread from one person to another through sexual contact. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people in the U.S. has an STD. 25% of new STD cases are infected teens. All STD’s are preventable. The only way to completely prevent an STD is through abstinence, or avoiding sexual contact.
The Consequences of Sexual Activity (cont.) • AIDS – Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV can be in a person’s system for years before it develops into AIDS. Although AIDS does not kill directly, it allows other diseases to invade the body. There is no known cure for AIDS.
The Consequences of Sexual Activity (cont.) • Pregnancy – Teen pregnancy creates four kinds of problems: 1. Health Risks – Health risks for both teen mother and baby. A teen is not physically or emotionally mature to handle a baby. Also, teens are at a greater risk for iron deficiency, toxemia, which can lead to premature birth, and nutritional deficiencies, which can lead to low birth weight and learning difficulties.
The Consequences of Sexual Activity (cont.) 2. Education – It is important for pregnant teen to finish their education, at least through high school. Nearly half of teen mothers who leave school never return. Without a high school diploma, it is hard to find a job with a salary that will support even a small family.
The Consequences of Sexual Activity (cont.) 3. Financial Problems – Most teens parents experience financial problems. Teens must provide medical care, food, clothing, and housing. Even when teen parents don’t marry, there are still responsible financially for the child. It is important to establish paternity to legally identify the father and his responsibilities toward the child. The financial stress can be overwhelming and the stress can lead to arguments that affect the family and the baby.
The Consequences of Sexual Activity (cont.) 4. Emotional and Social Stress – Adjustments to new relationships and changes to old relationships can cause stress. Teens may not be able to spend as much time with friends or be involved in past activities.
Deciding to Abstain • The only guarantee to not get pregnant is to abstain from sex. Decide before you become involved with someone else. Once you make that decision to abstain, it is important to stick to it, even in a moment of passion.
When Pregnancy Occurs • A girl who fears she is pregnant may try to ignore the possibility, but getting proper medical care if she is pregnant is crucial for her health and the baby’s health. A teen who suspects should confide in someone close for help. • Once the pregnancy is confirmed, a teen needs to make plans and include the father in on the planning, too. He has rights and responsibilities, as well. The couple should their options and consequences.
Weighing the Options 1. Single Parenthood – Even though having a tiny baby to cuddle seems appealing, teens have to be realistic to the responsibilities of parenthood. It is a lifetime commitment. Many single teen parents suffer from burnout or depression from the high stress. Be sure you are ready to handle the emotional and financial stress.
Weighing the Options 2. Marriage – While marriage has many benefits, it also is not easy. It takes a special commitment, responsibility, and work. Teens who marry because of a pregnancy face additional problems because they are adjusting to a marriage at the same time they are adjusting to parenthood. On a positive note, however, married teens can share in the childcare, which lessens the load for each person and marriage allows the teens to build a caring home for the child (if they truly love each other).
Weighing the Options 3. Adoption – In adoption, the birth mother and father legallygive up their rights and responsibilities for the child to another family. This decision is not easy because it is permanent. Some teens choose adoption because they feel like they are giving their child an opportunity for more care, love, and guidance than they are able to give at this stage in their life. • There are two types of adoption: *Open adoption – birth parents and adoptive parents know something about each other. *Confidential(Closed) Adoption – Birth parents and adoptive parents know nothing about each other.