Analyzing Teenage Pregnancies using the Conflict Theory
Summary of the media
This YouTube Video by ABC News discusses teen pregnancy and the lives of the teenage parents after their baby is born. It discusses the statistics of teen pregnancies in the United States and how these affect the teenagers’ lives. The video provides two cases of pregnancies, one whose life seems to come to a standstill and another who defies all odds to continue with her education and to get her High School Diploma. One of the girls, Hannah, laments missing out on her senior year and graduation she also seems anxious about the presence of her babies’ father in her life. From the video, she seems to be relieved that the father visited the babies after they were born. Despite the support from her family, and her safe birth, she does not seem content about her life as she states that she feels a sense of loss. Seventeen-year-old Aliki did not let her pregnancy deter her from achieving her goals. On the clip, she is graduating from high school with her eighteen-year-old son. She seems hopeful about the future and fulfilling her goals. Jeremy, the baby’s father, however, has not graduated but put his education on hold to work. Aliki broke up with him due to his non-involvement in the few months after Aliki gave birth. He seems sad about his current situation in life.
Analysis of the Media
Teenage mothers are regarded by many cultures, as ones who break the boundaries of sociocultural norms by the very event of their pregnancy. Teenage motherhood walks a fine line between the type of family referred to as ‘socially acceptable’ and a deviant type of reproduction. By looking at teenage pregnancies through a sociological lens, in particular, the social-conflict approach, one understands the conflicts that teenage pregnancies inflict on the society such as education, economic status, and religion. From the conflict theories, one understands the inequalities that face pregnant teenagers.
The conflict between pregnancy and education occurs when teenagers get pregnant. School attendance while pregnant may be difficult for some since they may be faced with sickness, especially during the first trimester, or shame particularly in the second and third trimester when the pregnancy shows. After delivery, school attendance may be limited especially in cases when the baby falls sick or when the teenager lacks someone or the finances to babysit. This conflict can be countered by the teenager having a strong support system such as family members who are not shy of stepping in when help is needed. As evidenced in the video clips, Hannah cries over missing her senior year and Jeremy regrets putting his education on hold and failing to graduate.
Teenage pregnancies tend to create greater gaps in economic status such as personal property and income in teenage mothers than for women who delay pregnancy until their twenties and beyond (Introduction to Sociology, 147). Moreover, teenage pregnancies cost the Federal government a lot of money on welfare for teenage families that are unable to fend for themselves. An increase in cases of teenage pregnancies can, therefore, be linked to an increase in taxes for the rest of the Americans.
From the perspective of religion, teenage pregnancy is regarded as negative. This is because most religious institutions advocate for abstinence until marriage. Most teenage pregnancies occur between unmarried couples because most states in the US allow marriage for people above eighteen years. Few states, however, allow pregnant teenagers or those with a child to get married. Therefore, according to the social-conflict theory, there exists a conflict between religion and teenage pregnancy.
BIBLIOGRAPHY ABC News. “Teen Pregnancy: After Baby Is Born.” YouTube, 24 June 2009, www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb4u46f9fS8. Interview. n.d.
Introduction to Sociology. Houston: OpenStax College, 2013. Document.