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MANILA, PhilippinesThe sexual revolution has ushered in a period in which

the average adolescent experiences tremendous pressures to have sexual


experiences of all kinds. Filipino teens get a higher exposure to sex from the
Internet, magazines, TV shows, movies and other media than decades ago,
yet without any corresponding increase in information on how to handle the
input. So kids are pretty much left to other kids for opinions and value
formation when it comes to sex. Sexual misinformation is therefore equally
shared in the group. Parents at home and teachers in school feel equally
inadequate or uneasy to discuss the topic of sex with youngsters. The
problem mounts because the gang or peers (barkada) has a more profound
influence than parents do and they exert pressure and expect the adolescent
to conform to the rest of them. In fact, female adolescents whose friends
engage in sexual behavior were found to be more likely to do the same
compared to those who do not associate with such peers. If the teen
perceives her peers to look negatively at premarital sex, she was more likely
to start sex at a later age.
Numbers
Statistics in the United States show that each year, almost 1 million teenage
women10 percent of all women aged 15-19 and 19 percent of those who
have had sexual intercoursebecome pregnant and one fourth of teenage
mothers have a second child within two years of their first. In the Philippines,
according to the 2002 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study by the
University of the Philippines Population Institute (Uppi) and the Demographic

Research and Development Foundation, 26 percent of our Filipino youth


nationwide from ages 15 to 25 admitted to having a premarital sex
experience. Whats worse is that 38 percent of our youth are already in a
live-in arrangement. The 1998 National Demographic and Health Survey
(NDHS) reveals that 3.6 million of our teenagers (thats a whopping 5.2
percent of our population!) got pregnant. In 92 percent of these teens, the
pregnancy was unplanned, and the majority, 78 percent, did not even use
contraceptives the first time they had sex. Many of the youth are clueless
that even on a single intercourse, they could wind up pregnant.
Risks
There are many reasons teen pregnancies should be avoided. Heres a low
down on the facts:
Risk for malnutrition
Teenage mothers tend to have poor eating habits and are less likely to take
recommended daily multivitamins to maintain adequate nutrition during
pregnancy. They are also more likely to smoke, drink or take drugs during
pregnancy, which can cause health problems for the baby.
Risk for inadequate prenatal care
Teenage mothers are less likely to seek regular prenatal care which is
essential for monitoring the growth of the fetus; keeping the mothers weight
in check; and advising the mother on nutrition and how she should take care

of herself to ensure a healthy pregnancy. According to the American Medical


Association, babies born to women who do not have regular prenatal care are
4 times more likely to die before the age of 1 year.
Risk for abortion
Unplanned pregnancies lead to a higher rate of abortions. In the United
States, nearly 4 in 10 teen pregnancies (excluding those ending in
miscarriages) are terminated by abortion. There were about 274,000
abortions among teens in 1996. In the Philippines, although abortion is
illegal, it would shock you to know that we even have a higher abortion rate
(25/1,000 women) compared to the United States where abortion is legal
(23/1,000 women). For sure, there are more abortions that happen in our
country that are not even reported. Backdoor abortions are resorted to with
untrained hilot with questionable sterility procedures, increasing the
possibility for tetanus poisoning and other complications.
Risk for fetal deaths
Statistics of the Department of Health show that fetal deaths are more likely
to happen to young mothers, and that babies born by them are likely to have
low birth weight.
Risk for acquiring cervical cancer
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually-transmitted, wart-forming
virus that has been implicated in causing cancer of the cervix. This is the

most common cancer in women secondary to breast cancer. Women who are
at increased risk for acquiring this are those who engage in sex before 18,
have a pregnancy at or younger than 18, or have had at least 5 sexual
partners, or have had a partner with at least 5 sexual partners. If you start
sex at an early age, you have a higher likelihood of going through several
sexual partners before you settle down, thus increasing your exposure to
acquiring the virus and acquiring cervical cancer. The men can get genital
warts from this virus and can certainly pass it on to their partners, thus
increasing her risk for cervical cancer. Is that something you would want to
gift to your wife with on your honeymoon? There is a way to test women
(HPV Digene test) but no test for the man so you cant know if you have it.
Using the condom does not confer protection against acquiring this virus
since the condom cannot cover the testes where the warts can grow and
proliferate.
(Conclusion)
RISKS for the teen mother
Teen mothers are more disadvantaged, on average, than their same-age
counterparts. Teenage pregnancies are often associated with an increased
rate of delinquent behaviors including alcohol and substance abuse. To begin
with, majority of them belong to the low income group. Teenage births are
associated with lower annual income for the mother, 80 percent of whom
eventually rely on welfare. In the United States, seven in 10 teen mothers

complete high school, but they are less likely to go to college when
compared to women who delay childbearing. They are also more likely to
drop out of school with only about one-third able to obtain a high school
diploma.

With

early

termination

of

formal

education

comes

limited

employment opportunities. However, they have the responsibility of having


to fend for their children before they even ever planned to. In hiring, an
employer may lean toward someone without a child versus someone who is
already with one just because there are more chances of absences with the
latter when her child becomes sick. They also face greater financial
difficulties and marital conflict. With a lower capacity for earning and less
emotional maturity, relationships are under more stress for breaking. Young
unmarried mothers also face social stigmas that can have harmful
psychological and social impact.
Risk for the baby
Children of teen moms also face negative health, cognitive, and behavioral
outcomes. This may result from lack of maturity, and emotional quotient or
simply from ignorance due to a lack of lifes experiences. Children born to
teenage mothers are less likely to receive proper nutrition, health care, and
cognitive

and

social

stimulation.

As

result,

they

may

have

an

underdeveloped intellect and attain lower academic achievement. Children


born to teenage mothers are at greater risk for abuse and neglect. Boys born
to teenage mothers are 13 percent more likely to be incarcerated whereas

girls born to teenage mothers are 22 percent more likely to become teenage
mothers.
How to prevent teen pregnancy?
1. Keep them at home with an intact family set up. The social institutions
surrounding the youth jointly form a web of influence that either shield or lay
them open to the lure of sexual risk-taking. The family is one such social
institution since an intact family with both parents raising the child was
found to be correlated to less risk taking behavior by teens. Those who left
home early or were raised by separated parents were noted to engage in sex
early and other risk taking behaviors. Family supervision and a stable
parental union are associated with lesser chances of their children engaging
in premarital sex.
2. Keep them in school. The other social institution that shields the youth
from engaging in risk taking behavior is the school. Teens leaving school at
an early age are more likely than other group of women to have their first
sexual experience outside of marriage.
3. Keep talking to them. Increased parental communication decreases the
likelihood of young Filipinos to engage in sexual risk-taking activities. It has
been found that the mother, in particular, has a special role because their
monitoring as well as open communication lines with their daughter were
found to be associated with less chance for the teen to engage in intercourse
or have fewer sexual partners.

4. Keep them morally and spiritually grounded. Over 80 percent of the 502
teens in a September poll told researchers that religion is important in their
lives. Regardless of gender or race, survey results revealed that teens who
attend religious services frequently are less likely to have permissive
attitudes about sex. Orienting them with the proper values early helps them
imbibe it in their lives and keeps them from succumbing to peer pressure.
Preventing teen pregnancies requires a concerted effort on the part of the
parents, the school and government. They need to insure that the right
information is transmitted to children especially during their pre-teen years
and

that

they

are

well-monitored

and

supported

emotionally

and

psychologically. We cant watch what our kids do all the time, but then again,
we wont have to if they are equipped to make better decisions for
themselves.

Method of Scoring and Interpretation


In analyzing the data gathered though the questionnaire, the
researcher utilized the following: On the age of the teen aged female
student that started to become sexually active.

Mean Range
10 yrs. old and below
11-15 years old
16-19 years

Interpretation
too minor
early adolescent
old late adolescent

Statistical Treatment
The various data

gathered

were

subjected

to

statistical

treatment to present the profile and the extent of influence of the


identified factors, problems encountered and possible solutions. The
following formula will be used Percentage: F/N multiply by 100, where:
F = frequency, N = Number of respondents.
PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA
This chapter presents analysis, findings and interpretation of
data. For the clearer presentation, appropriate tables were used. All
findings and data gathered from the survey conducted are presented
and analyzed based on the specific questions and previously stated.
The presentation considers the variables included in the study namely:
(1) Profile of the respondents in terms of age, year level, and socioeconomic status. (2) Situation of pregnancy. (3) Pregnancy plan of the
respondents. (4) The knowledge of the respondents in abortion, family
planning and the place of free condoms. (5) The plan of the
respondents for the baby. (6) Managing the current situation. (7)
Continue schooling. (8) Respect from others.
TABLE I-A
Age Distribution of Pregnant Teenager

Age Bracket
10 and below
11-15
16-19
Total:

Frequency
0
9
11
20

Percentage
0
45
55
100

According to the Table I-A, out of 20 respondents, there are 0 or


0% respondents who age from 10 years old and below. There are 11 or
55% respondents who age from 11-15 years old and there are 9 or
45% respondents aging from 16-19. This show that the majority of the
14 respondents age from 11-15 years old. The tabulation shows that
the majority of the Respondents are from 11-15 years old.
TABLE I-B
Distribution of Respondents according to the Situation of their
Pregnancy
Situation of

Total Score

Percentage

Pregnancy
Fine
Good
Not Well
Bad
Total

14
0
6
0
20

70
0
30
0
100

As shown in the Table I-B, there are 20 respondents all-in-all,


about the situation of the respondent's pregnancy. There are 14 or 70%
respondents who are fine, there are 0 or 0% good. 6 respondents or
30% not well. And 0 or 0% bad. The tabulation shows that the majority
of the Respondents are in a fine condition.
TABLE I-C
Distribution of Respondents according to their Pregnancy if it is
planned
Pregnancy if Planned
Yes
No

Total Score
1
19

Percentage
5
95

total

20

100

Table I-C reveals that 1 out of 20 respondents or 5 % had


pregnancy plan. And 19 or 95% of them don't have the plan for being
pregnant. The data implies that most of the respondents have no plan
to be pregnant yet. This shows that the majority of the respondents did
not plan their pregnancy.
TABLE I-D
Distribution of Respondents according on Aborting the baby
Aborting the baby
Yes
No
Total

Total Score
1
19
20

PERCENTAGE
5
95
100

As shown in the Table I-D, there are 20 respondents all-in-all,


about the respondents plan in aborting the baby. Only 1 or 5%
respondents planned for aborting the baby and there are 19 or 95%
had no plan in aborting the baby. This shows that the majority of the
respondents did not abort the baby.