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DRIVERS OF TEENAGE PREGNANCY

At Individual level

  • Inadequate SRH Knowledge
  • Misconception/negative attitude towards contraception
  • Inconsistent/incorrect contraceptive use
  • Poor risk perception
  • Low negotiation skills
  • Socioeconomic: Poverty, Unemployment & limited education

At Inter-personal level

  • Unplanned sex
  • Lack of girls decision making power
  • Coercion and forced sex
  • Sex under the influence of alcohol
  • Peer pressure
  • Negative attitude and risky behavior of partner, power differential (age)
  • At Family level
  • Parent objection to SRH information or services
  • Lack of parents communication about SRH
  • Negative expectation for girls
  • Parents support for traditional child marriage
  • Parent absence or poor engagement
  • Family history of teenage pregnancy

At Community Level

  • Negative attitude, stigma and taboos concerning teenage sexuality, SRH and access to contraceptives
  • Negative attitude about girls autonomy and sexuality
  • Rigid gender norms that place a high value on girls virginity and role as a child bearer.
  • Acceptance of social coercion and violence
  • Lack of CSE
  • Lack of adolescent SRH services
  • Low school participation for girls
  • At Societal level
  • Lack of legislation to address child marriage, exclusion or lack of enforcement
  • Policy or regulation that limit access to contraception's including for unmarried teenage.
  • Societal gender inequality

ACTION

  • Remove age and mandatory parental or spousal consent for contraceptions and other SRHR services
  • Improve the coverage and quality of CSE
  • Educate and mobilise, communities and leaders to address harmful cultural, religious and gender norms and/or stigmatized sexually active unmarried teenagers
  • Engage boys and men to address harmful gender norms
  • Inform policy and programs, particularly understanding the context of teenage pregnancy and the needs of sexually active unmarried teenagers.

If you are parents

  • Talk to your children early and often about sex and love – do your best to make your child feel comfortable in asking you question about anything including when issue of sex arises.
  • Communicate openly and provide guidance to the children about sexuality, contraception, and the risks and responsibilities of sexual relationships and pregnancy.
  • Discourage early frequent and steady dating – make it clear that one-on-one dating before 18 may lead to trouble
  • Take a strong stand against teens dating people who are significantly older or younger than they are. Try setting a limit of no more than a 2 - year age difference. Power differences can lead into risky situations—including unwanted and unprotected sex
  • Give due attention to your child’s sudden change of physical and emotional behavioral and warning signs such as becoming moody, withdrawn or experiencing  bouts of anger and trying to hide belly . Look at the situation immediately to find solution for the problem.                                     
  • Remember perpetrators are mostly someone who you know well – it could be friends of the family, relatives, neighbor.

If you are a Teacher

  • Children spent significant time with you – Be a friend to those under your guidance, be equipped and informed so that you could guide them positively
  • Give due attention to your child’s sudden change of physical and emotional behavioral and warning signs such as becoming moody, withdrawn and trying to hide the belly. Look at the situation immediately to find solution for the problem.
  • Use Comprehensive Sexuality Education as a strategy to educate prevent pregnancy among teenagers.

If you are a children or adolescents

  • Know the health benefit of choosing to remain sexually abstinent during teens.
  • Be aware of harsh reality of raising a baby and other consequences of teenage pregnancy such as loosing time, education etc.
  • Make an effort towards having comprehensive understanding on how to responsibly use contraceptives when at risk of unintended pregnancy.
  • Be aware of uncomfortable sexual advances -be it a verbal or physical