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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Emma B BS: No longer Great Britain? (220* d) RE: BS: No longer Great Britain? 16 Aug 10


Setting unrealistic targets may drive people to achieving better results but are probably ultimately counter productive

Before the recent election the previous government admitted that it was highly unlikely to meet its 1999 pledge to halve teenage pregnancies in England by 2010.

FIGURES FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN, SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES SHOW RATES IN ENGLAND WERE DOWN BY 13.3% FROM 1999 TO 2008.

(quoting figures for one single year is deliberately misleading as I'm sure Gaint is well aware)

Reacting to these figures Gill Frances, chairwoman of the Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group, said it also welcomed the teenage pregnancy strategy being back on its long term downward trend.
Simon Blake, national director of the sex and relationships advisory group Brook said: "It is good news that the teenage pregnancy rates have decreased"

Nevertheless, it remains a fact that the UK has the highest percentage of teenage pregnancies in Western Europe; among OECD developed countries, the United States has the highest level of teenage pregnancy although these figures represent the age of the mother and NOT her marital or partnership status


The debate concerning teenage pregnancy has become symbolic of the electioneering slogan 'Britain's "broken" society.'

In a recent publication**, Simon Duncan, professor of social policy at Bradford University and one of the book's editors argues that

"Teenage mothers and fathers not only do no worse in terms of their future employment or income than any of their peers, in many cases, they do a bit better
They generally become more purposeful and responsible, get more connected to their families and community, try to get better training and a good job, and give up some of their bad habits."

"Overall, however, it should be noted that teenage parenting is a very minor social issue in fact, it's lower now than it ever was in the 1960s or '70s. The truth is, it's not the teenage bit that's the problem, it's the socioeconomic disadvantage of the parents that's the problem."


For most of history teenage pregnancy has not been perceived as a problem atall

It is a medical fact that physiologically 18 is a better age to begin child bearing than 35 but according to a UNICEF report -

"Teenage births are today seen as a problem   because they are strongly associated with a range of disadvantages for the mother, for her child, for society in general and for the taxpayer in particular

Specifically giving birth as a teenager is believed to be bad for the young mother because the statistics show that she is more likely to drop out of school, to have low or no qualifications, to be unemployed or low paid to live in poor housing conditions to suffer from depression and to live on welfare'


I have posted earlier that it is necessary to look deeper by the explanation of the existence of higher rates of teenage pregnancy in the UK other than the lame claims of the likes of Gaint

An examination of socio-economic deprivation in sections of the UK population has shown that a higher degree of deprivation is associated with a higher frequency of teenage sexual activity
The concentration of social inequality in certain areas of the UK has created a culture of hopelessness in which there is little to lose from teenage parenthood
From - Contextual Effects on the Sexual Behaviour of Adolescent Women published in The Journal of Marriage and the Family


**Teenage Parenthood: What's the Problem? is published by Tufnell Press


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