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Teenage Pregnancy: The Male Perspective

Kayla Hughes Sociology Mr. Smith December 15, 2013

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Introduction
This research study was designed to get a general consensus on the average young males perspective of teen pregnancy; seventeen teenage males between the ages of 15 and 19 were to be interviewed on varying questions regarding teenage pregnancy. These males were to differ on their races and religious affiliations to prevent bias in the results from the data collected. The questions asked in the interviews allowed the participants to give their views on the opinions and causes of teenage pregnancy. It was expected to learn the average teenage males view on teenage pregnancy to compare to the already known and publicized view that the average teenage female has.

Literature Review
Studies show through trends and patterns that the United States has the highest teen birthrates of all the industrialized countries in the world; these patterns have fluctuated over the decades, but still four in ten teenage girls in America will get pregnant at least once in the age period of fifteen to nineteen years old (Stephens, McBrideurry). Risk factors such as an environment with a high level of poverty and male incarceration rates, low educational expectations, and poor mental health can make young males and females more susceptible to teenage pregnancy (Stephens, McBrideurry). The situation is clear for a teenage female when she becomes pregnant and she is aware of what mothers are supposed to do, even as teens, but teenage males do not have a clear idea of how they are to handle becoming a teenage father and do not know what they are supposed to do in such a situation. Whether the teenage male is aware of what he is to do and if he is a nave procreator, careless procreator, or a deliberate procreator he has certain responsibilities regarding the pregnancy as well (Moore et al). The

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teenage male that is the father must help the mother financially and emotionally support the child, keep the child safe, and ensure that the childs needs are met (Stevenson). However, this situation can be prevented, and teen birthrates can be decreased, by targeting teenage males in involvement programs that teach them about teenage pregnancy, like its causes, ways to prevent it, and how to handle it (Moore et al).

Processes and Procedures


The goal of the study was to discover the average teenage males view on teenage pregnancy, so seventeen teenage males between the ages of fifteen and nineteen were asked a series of ten questions. These teenage males varied in their race, religion, age, and sexual relationship status so that the whole young male population at Danville High School would be accurately represented and no bias would be present in the data. The data was collected through unstructured qualitative interviews that were recorded, and then later transcribed for quotes, and the questions asked were designed to get a view on the general opinions and causes of teen pregnancy. The whole study went on for just under four weeks, but the interviewing period only lasted for about two weeks. The data collected was organized at the very end of the research study into similar response types and compiled into an organized list.

Research Conclusions
The first four questions of the interview asked general questions that insured the right participants were chosen. The date from these questions show that out of the seventeen males that were interviewed 70.6% were white, 47.1% were not religious, 76.5% were seventeen years old, and 70.6% were not sexually active. The responses to the rest of the question were more open to interpretation so that the participants perspective could be more accurately recorded.

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The general consensus of the results from those questions show that the majority of the young males at DHS were sympathetic towards teen pregnancy, thought most males viewed it negatively, believed the fathers had certain responsibilities, would they themselves assume responsibility, and thought that teenage pregnancy was due to the wrong mind set and a lack of education on sex. The last question was designed to judge the mindset of the average teenage males view on sexual relationships, and the replies most commonly involved the safe use of contraceptives. The conclusion from this data is that the average teenage male at Danville High School is aware of teenage pregnancy and how to prevent it and finds it to be a taboo subject that is sad to see a friend go through, but is something that requires owning up to. This also implies that the consequences of sex as a teenager is not as obscure as they are made to be and that an accidental pregnancy should not be as surprising as it is made to be.

Sociological Analysis
The data from this research study is insightful on the teenage males social values, norms, and cultural patterns. From the conclusion, the young males in society in theory value their reputations over their common sense, create their norms accordingly, and then act in a way that fits the pattern of teen birthrates. The responses from the interviews indicate that the teenage males are aware of the consequences of teenage pregnancy and how to prevent it, yet the statistics on teenage pregnancies at DHS contradicts this. This would mean that they are acting in way that they know is risky, but want to fit in so badly that they disregard precautions. The resulting consequences then correlate with the statistical patterns of teen birthrates for the country. In essence, value of being cool dictates the actions of teenage males in such a way that history repeats itself in a pattern of teenage pregnancies.

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Research Self-Reflection
I learned from this research study that the young males at Danville High School are actually aware of their views and opinions, and are very knowledgeable. I now see now that they are not all immature and self-absorbed, and I feel like I can discuss topics with my male peers and get a good rebuttal. To better this study for a second trial, I would better plan how to interview more participants and make them more diverse for more accurate results. Doing the interview away from others was very helpful in getting serious answers, but interviewing an odd amount of participants made the data seem off balance. All of this has spurred me into wanting to research more female dominated topics from the males perspective, like body image.

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Works Cited
"Adolescent pregnancy." Sex and America's Teenagers. Guttmacher Institute, 1994. 41+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 24 Nov. 2013. Claussenius, David, et al. "A Direct Mailing to Teenage Males About Condom Use: Its Impact On Knowledge, Attitudes and Sexual Behavior." Readings on Men: From Family Planning Perspectives, 1987-1995. New York: Guttmacher Institute, 1996. 29+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 24 Nov. 2013. Moore, Kristin A., Anne K. Driscoll, and Theodora Ooms. "Male Involvement Programs Can Reduce Teenage Pregnancy." Teenage Pregnancy. Ed. Auriana Ojeda. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 24 Nov. 2013. Stephens, Dionne P., and Velma McBrideurry. "Teenage Mothers in the United States." Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood: In History and Society. Ed. Paula S. Fass. Vol. 3. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004. 807-808. Student Resources in Context. Web. 24 Nov. 2013. Stevenson, Jessica. "Male Teenage Fathers Must Know Their Rights and Responsibilities." Teen Pregnancy and Parenting. Lisa Frohnapfel-Krueger. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Current Controversies. Rpt. from "Teen Fatherhood FAQ: A Closer Look at Your Rights and Responsibilities." About.com. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.