There are both biological and social consequences of teenage pregnancy but it is probably the latter that have the most serious consequences. Most girls become fertile around the age of fourteen. Traditionally it is considered prudent to delay motherhood until the age of eighteen or later. In modern society career minded women sometimes delay for too long and then struggle to get pregnant. In some societies marriage before the age of twenty is considered imprudent but in others girls are married by arrangement as young as fourteen. In such cases a very young wife might not be considered abnormal. In other societies sex before the age of sixteen is considered statutory rape.

In popular English discourse the term is understood to have precise modality. It implies disapproval of something that is seen to imprudent and socially regrettable Biologically girls are ready to be mothers as teenagers. When women had a dozen children it was probably wise to begin around the age of seventeen but now that it is the norm is to have one or two children and a career outside the family the situation is quite different. Because younger people are generally expected to be healthier than older ones it is probably safer for women to have children when they are younger. The disapprobation that is evident when young girls maternity is concerned derives from social and not biological factors. Young mother do tend to have smaller offspring and their inexperience might compound the difficulties in tending to young babies. However, such difficulties could be dwarfed by what lies ahead.

The first social concern of a young girl who finds herself pregnant may be education. Many girl who are quite mature at the age of fourteen might at first be delighted to escape the futile routine of classroom schooling. There are now very good online alternatives. Theoretically education need not suffer but in practice the demands of an infant can soon distract a young mother from study. If she lets it slip she can jeopardize her future employment prospects. Many teenagers who become pregnant are not married and the father of their child might be a sapling himself unable to earn a living. In some cases he may dissolve into the landscape eschewing any responsibility for the child. The hapless young mother may have to return to parents for support or she might find herself solely responsible for her own and her offspring's upkeep.

Some young mothers get seriously into debt and others become dependent on someone for a long time. Cultural and political circumstances in different countries seem to have an influence on teenage pregnancy. In general countries with strong cultures like Japan and Korea have fewer whilst countries where cultural norms have unraveled like Britain and America have more. However, it is in sub- Saharan Africa where cultural norms are totally confused that most occur. In South Africa teachers often impregnate their students and the social stigma that used to attach to early, unplanned and unwed motherhood has all but disappeared. The cause of the problem may be generous child grants which ensure that a schoolgirl is ensured of an income as long as she keeps having children, It is society and the children themselves who bear the major consequences.

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