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This assignment will examine issues around social exclusion and teenage pregnancy. It will explore the links between teenage pregnancy, poverty, and how it links into the underclass theory

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Introduction

Q. Describe and write a critique of any 'personal trouble' and illustrate how the key theoretical concepts raised in this class can help you explain it as a 'public issue'. This assignment will examine issues around social exclusion and teenage pregnancy. It will explore the links between teenage pregnancy, poverty, and how it links into the underclass theory. This assignment will look at the trends in teenage pregnancy in the United Kingdom. It will focus on issues based around assumptions that teenage pregnancy is a personal trouble and a public issue and why teenage pregnancy is a problem and whom it is a problem for. I will be looking at what the government expectations of young people are and how they hope to raise the aspirations of these young people through education and training. It will examine the government policies and practices in relation to teenage pregnancy whilst critically analysing the implications that these have on teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy according to figures published in S.E.U (1999) are rising dramatically and despite the introduction of compulsory sex education there doesn't seem to be anyway of stopping these figures from further rising. In England alone there are approximately 90,000 young people getting pregnant, girls under 16 account for about 7,700 of these pregnancies, and approximately 2,200 of these being under 14 years of age. Out of these pregnancies around 3/5,s go to full term and result in live births. If you explore this further the figures show that around 56,00 babies are born each year to teenage mothers. The figures suggest that there are 87,000 children living with teenage mothers in England alone. ...read more.

Middle

Not being educated, in training or work are factors that are seen as being a negative influence on young girls and thus the risk of them becoming pregnant rises. Teenagers from socially deprived, poor families are less likely to have abortions compared to the young girls from more affluent families has they have higher aspirations in life and also have the funds to pay for private abortions. The lack of aspirations in the poorer young girls life, can lead them to believe that they can do nothing else and also if it was not a personal trouble for their mother then why should they expect anything else in life. Evidence seems to support the socialisation theory, with young girls often having no prospects due to lack of education, family support to break the cycle, believing that this is the way life is that this is all that life has to offer them and seeing that this is the way their life has been mapped out for them. The lack of knowledge and confidence can also stop young girls from accessing services, which are available to them, and this just reinforces the negativity within their lives. As a result of finding themselves pregnant many young girls from poorer backgrounds, are less likely to continue with their education, compared to the young girls from more affluent homes who are expected to succeed in education and already have a prosperous career mapped out for them by their parents and peers. As a result of this young mothers from poor areas, start to become trapped in the cycle of poverty, with no way of supporting themselves and child they find themselves in the benefit trap. ...read more.

Conclusion

The government have responded to this positively by bringing out new policies and are changing ways of delivering this service to youngpeople these include: Compulsory sex education: Sex education in schools is to become compulsory part of the national curriculum and will be taught alongside reading, writing, maths and science. The fact that it is compulsory seems to indicate that all children are being taught sex education but this is not so as parents can opt to remove their children if they so wish to. So were is the compulsory part? Should it be given to all children regardless to what a parent may feel? It is a civil right for every young person to be educated, so why is the choices to learn about sex being taken away from the young person, Why does a parent have the right to dictate to the young person what they need to learn to become a responsible adult later in life? Without sex education how can a child make the transition through adolescence from a child to a teenager who has a need to experiment sexually safely? To conclude, teenage pregnancy is a personal personal and a public issue. Many adoloscents I think fell trapped in a viscious circle. However I think that social exclusion and teenage pregnance are inextricably linked and these terms cannot be separated. The government have reccomended that young people should have better access to sex advice and other issues based around sex education. This is good practice but these clinics are not available countrywide, it is up to individual schools and parents to decide whether or not this service is should be available. ...read more.

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