alexa Adolescent fertility: worldwide concerns.
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography

Author(s): Senderowitz J, Paxman JM

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Abstract PIP: There is growing concern over the adverse health, social, economic, and demographic effects of adolescent fertility. Morbidity and mortality rates ar significantly higher for teenage mothers and their infants, and early initiation of childbearing generally means truncated education, lower future family income, and larger completed family size. Adolescent fertility rates, which largely reflect marriage patterns, range from 4/1000 in Mauritania; in sub-Saharan Africa, virtually all rates are over 100. In most countries, adolescent fertility rates are declining due to rising age at marriage, increased educational and economic opportunities for young women, changes in social customs, increased use of contraception, and access to abortion. However, even if fertility rates were to decline dramatically among adolescent women in developing countries, their sheer numbers imply that their fertility will have a major impact on world population growth in the years ahead. The number of women in the world ages 15-19 years is expected to increase from 245 million in 1985 to over 320 million in the years 2020; 82\% of these women live in developing countries. As a result of more and earlier premarital sexual activity, fostered by the lengthening gap between puberty and marriage, diminished parental and social controls, and increasing peer and media pressure to be sexually active, abortion and out-of-wedlock childbearing are increasing among teenagers in many developed and rapidly urbanizing developing countries. Laws and policies regarding sex education in the schools and access to family planning services by adolescents can either inhibit or support efforts to reduce adolescent fertility. Since contraceptive use is often sporadic and ineffective among adolescents, family planning services are crucial. Such programs should aim to reduce adolescents' dependence on abortion through preventive measures and increase awareness of the benefits of delayed sexual activity. Similarly, sex education should seek to provide a basis for intelligent, informed decision making. Programs tailored to reach teenagers in schools, recreational centers, and the workplace have particular potential.
This article was published in Popul Bull and referenced in Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography

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