A new study found that an increasing number of young adults aren’t waiting until marriage to have children; this is especially true for those who don’t have a college education.
Trends between Marital age and childbirthOn average, young adults have sex for the time around the age of 17, but they do not marry until their mid-20s; which increases their chances for unintended pregnancy and STIs.
However, per data compiled from Child Trend analysis of the birthrate in young adults:
• Teens between the ages of 15-17 saw a 30% decline in the non-marital birthrate
• Teens between 18-19 saw a 26% decline in the non-marital birthrate
• 15% of all non-marital births are attributed to teens.
To put this data into perspective, in the 70s, the birthrate of teens ages 15-19 accounted for almost half of all non-marital births.
The Consequences of Teen Pregnancy
Although the birth rate for unmarried females ages 15-19 has fallen, there is still some very grim news for those who happen to fall prey to temptation.
Per data compiled from Child Trends:
• Teen parents are generally unprepared for the financial responsibility, and the emotional and psychological challenges of early childbearing.
• About 75% of teen births are not planned.
• Children born to teen mothers are more like to die as infants, be born prematurely, and/or have a low birth weight; this is compared to children born to mothers in their twenties and early thirties.
• Teen mothers are less likely to finish high school or go to college and are more likely to be dependent on government benefits.
• Teenage pregnancy reduces the likelihood of the teen mother every getting married and also increases the likelihood of divorce if a marriage occurs.
• Teen mothers often fact the primary responsibility of parenthood alone.
How Can Parents HelpYoung adults who wait until marriage and college graduation before they have kids are more likely to be successful in life. Therefore, to prevent their kids from being statistics, parents must make an effort to educate their children about the realities of life, as well as their reproductive and sexual health. However, this is easier said than done; the last person that a teen wants to talk to about sex is their parent. However, parents must not give in. When a safe and nonjudgmental environment is nurtured, your teen will feel more comfortable about opening up to you.