Talk:Teenage pregnancy

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Please don't take offence anyone. I'm just looking at bits that could make the article better. These are just my observations and opinions. So don't feel I am picking holes just to be nasty!

Human it just me or does it make us sound like farm animals? Would it be better if it was simply "pregnancy in girls aged 13 to 19" ? Or would those aged over 18 object to being called "girls" ? Does "pregnancy in women aged 13 to 19" sound better? Or is "women" the wrong term too? I think "pregnancy in girls and women aged 13 to 19" is too long winded. What are your thoughts?

WhatamIdoing Why do we need to have "...under the age of 20 at the time that the pregnancy ends? To me if someone is pregnant at 19 they are a pregnant teenager irrespective of whether or not they are still pregnant when they become 20. Felann96 (talk) 19:37, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

We need to have this fact on the page so that people will know what these statistics represent. These statistics do not include women who get pregnant shortly before their 20th birthday. The statistics on teen pregnancy are collected pretty uniformly throughout the world as being under the age of 20 at the exact date that the pregnancy ends. If it's helpful, here's a worked example for a woman who conceived at the age of 19 years and 6 months:
  • If she miscarries at one month (19 years, 7 months): pregnant teen
  • If she has an induced abortion at two months (19 years, 8 months): pregnant teen
  • If she has an extremely preterm birth at five and a half months (19 years, 11 and a half months): pregnant teen
  • If she has a full-term birth at nine months (20 years, 3 months): not a pregnant teen.
A minority of studies (but not, AFAICT, any official reports) attempt to estimate the likely due date for elective abortions and classify them according to the date at the natural end. This has statistical value because it reduces the systemic bias if you're comparing abortions to births. Otherwise, all the abortions end up being an average of seven months younger than the births.
I suspect that the main reasons for this system are primarily practical: It's much easier to verify the date that the pregnancy ends than to find out when conception occurred. It's probably also based on the idea that society has a stronger and more legitimate interest in the ultimate result (a baby that is going to need food, clothing, shelter, and education) than in the mother's private sexual activity. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:00, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

If a 19 year old is pregnant how would you know if she is a pregnant teenager? Felann96 (talk) 12:41, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

How would you know if she's pregnant at all?
If a woman turns 20 during the pregnancy, is that still a "teenage pregnancy"?
It doesn't really matter what seems reasonable to you. This is what the sources say: a woman who is 19 when the pregnancy starts, but 20 when it ends, is not counted as having a teenage pregnancy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:52, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
As stated in the #Are the opening paragraphs (up to contents) too drawn out and elaborate? section above, there is now a Definition section that addresses what WhatamIdoing means by "under 20" on this matter. Flyer22 (talk) 17:24, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

I still prefer the literal meaning of Teenage Pregnancy. Although I agree that dates when pregnancies end are easier to verify than dates of conception, many surveys of teenage pregnancies do in fact use estimated dates when conception occurred in their studies. Also most surveys of teenage pregnancies only include girls aged over 15 in their statistics.Felann96 (talk) 01:10, 16 October 2013 (UTC) Here are links which show that the UK government still use estimated dates of conception in their statistics : Felann96 (talk) 22:27, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

Teenage pregnancy should be simply be about teenagers that are pregnant. I cannot see the need for such a precise definition for a general article of the subject. AlwynJPie (talk) 21:56, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Most people understand teenage pregnancy as being about teenagers that are pregnant. There is no need to complicate the meaning for an article like this. AlwynJPie (talk) 22:38, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

What complication are you referring to? You object to the "under the age of 20 at the time that the pregnancy ends" wording? You object to the Definition section? Plenty of Wikipedia articles have a Definition section. Having one in this article is valid, given what is discussed in it. Flyer22 (talk) 22:45, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Flyer22. What right has Wikipedia to define the meaning of the article Teenage Pregnancy to exclude teenagers that were pregnant at 19 because their pregnancy did not end until they were 20 just because a specific method of collecting statistics uses the age of when pregnancy ends (which is done purely for the convenience of data gathering)? There are many pregnant 19 year olds that have issues in relation to their pregnancies whether their pregnancy ends when they are still 19 or continues until they are 20. AlwynJPie (talk) 23:18, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

It may not be as practical when it comes to collecting data, but I think this article should be about all those that are pregnant under 20. The age they are when their pregnancy ends should not be part of the article definition. AlwynJPie (talk) 04:55, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

If there is no objection I will change the definition to so that it includes any pregnant teenager. AlwynJPie (talk) 22:35, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

AlwynJPie, of course there is an objection. You can see that above. People not responding to you does not automatically mean that they don't object to what you are stating. It can mean that they are tired of debating this topic. If you want WhatamIdoing's attention on this matter, there I've pinged her via WP:Echo in this paragraph. But I think that this article/talk page is still on her WP:Watchlist. Flyer22 (talk) 22:45, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Flyer22. Do you have any opinions on this? AlwynJPie (talk) 23:31, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't know about Flyer22, but I certainly do: the definition in the article should correspond to the definition used in the sources the article uses.—Kww(talk) 23:55, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Something doesn't feel right to me about not including all pregnant teenagers in the article. I realise older teenagers are less likely to have problems in relation to pregnancy than younger ones, but some twenty-year-olds are still not fully mature. AlwynJPie (talk) 02:09, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

"Wikipedia" isn't asserting the right to define anything. Wikipedia is accurately reporting what published WP:Reliable sources say that the definition is, according to the agencies that have actually been using that definition, in some cases for more than a century, in all of these statistics. If you don't like the definition, because it doesn't match up with your interpretation of the name, then your next step needs to be contacting several thousand government agencies and convincing them that a woman who gets pregnant the night before her 20th birthday ought to be counted as a "teenage pregnancy", rather than complaining that we're accurately reporting their definition.
Your personal beliefs about the likelihood of a 20 year old being emotional mature are irrelevant. When they made up this definition, the issue in their minds had nothing to do with emotions, and everything to do with medical complications and economic power. In fact, they were concerned not about "teenage pregnancy" so much as they were concerned with "teenage motherhood": It wasn't really about whether teens were having sex (because more of them were married or engaged to be married back then, so sexual activity was expected). It was about whether they and their babies were going to live or die, and whether they would end up being charity cases. (Also, they thought that 20 year olds were mature, and that even 16 year olds ought to be able to run a household on their own. This was back when an 8th grade education was considered enough for most people, and when children were economically productive by age 10 or 12.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:45, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Because "it's much easier to verify the date that the pregnancy ends than to find out when conception occurred" should not bear any influence on the definition of this article. Because pregnancies in 19-year-olds that don't end until they are 20 are not counted in the statistics, does not mean they were not pregnant teenagers. Please show WP:Reliable sources to some of the "several thousand government agencies" that you claim define teenage pregnancy in the way you say. AlwynJPie (talk) 02:04, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

The fact that "it's much easier to verify the date that the pregnancy ends than to find out when conception occurred" is exactly why, in the 19th century, those now-dead white men came up with that definition. Remember, they started these statistics back when people honestly believed that a pregnancy could last for over a year, or that a healthy baby could be delivered in an unusually short period of time, and when women had every reason in the world to insist that they'd never had sex until their wedding nights (or when their husbands were gone for months due to military service, etc).
As for supplying sources, if you read either the article or the archives, you'll find that I already have. I notice that you haven't supplied a single source to back up your folk etymology that says a woman who gets pregnant on the night before her 20th birthday is a "teenage mother", though. Maybe you should spend some time looking for sources that use alternative definitions? If you don't want to read a bunch of scholarly articles (like I did), then another option for you is to write to the Guttmacher Institute and request their help in understanding the definition that is used for statistics. The contact link is Of course, they're just going to tell you the same thing that I did, but perhaps you'll like it better if you hear it from them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:18, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

A reminder to AGF, everyone, and civilly explain which definition has sourced support. Have some tea? American Barbarian | talk 02:39, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Americanbarbarian, how long have you been editing Wikipedia? I mean, before or after the American Barbarian account that you created on July 14, 2011? It's easy for me to see, looking at your relatively few contributions, and how you are already familiar with WP:AGF, that you are significantly familiar with editing Wikipedia. Also, there's no need to ping me to this talk page via WP:Echo, if you reply to me here. And, yes, I'd prefer that you reply to me here, not on my talk page, about this. Flyer22 (talk) 03:09, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I only recently decided to start editing actively. Still feeling my way around. I created my account a few years ago and let it gather dust for a while. I just noticed this conversation in recent changes and thought it was getting a bit heated - but that might just be me. American Barbarian | talk 03:22, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks WhatamIdoing for your reply. I agree it is easier to obtain accurate dates of when a pregnancy ends compared to when a pregnancy starts but a pregnant 19 year old should be regarded as a pregnant teenager irrespective of whether that pregnancy ends when she is still 19 or lasts until she is 20. Methods used to obtain statistical information on a subject should have no baring on the definition of that subject. I have not been able to obtain sourced support for the definition of teenage pregnancy from your links or elsewhere. AlwynJPie (talk) 03:05, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Have you been able to find any definitions yet, or have you not progressed that far? I know that it's not actually the easiest thing to find on the web, so I'll help you out:
Go to the article page and scroll down to the section ==Definition==. See the little blue [9]? Click that. You don't even need to read the source, because I've provided a direct quotation, which includes an exact, complete, word-for-word copy of their definition. Read the words, especially the ones at the end, which say, "women who conceived at age 19 had their births or abortions after they turned 20...were not counted as teenagers".
I don't care whether women conceiving before their 20th birthdays "should be" regarded as teenage mothers. I care whether they "actually are" regarded as pregnant teenagers by the WP:reliable sources (e.g., not by the high school students who frequent this page). As you can see from this quotation, they "actually are not" regarded as pregnant teens, no matter what you or anyone else believes. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:35, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Because some women that were pregnant at 19 are not included in some statistics does not mean they should not be regarded as having been pregnant teenagers. AlwynJPie (talk) 17:20, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

It's not "some statistics". It's "all statistics".
If you want this changed, then you need to find a high-quality WP:Reliable source (i.e., not your own idea of what the words "ought" to mean) and present it here. Until then, we really cannot make the change you propose. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:24, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
The "date when pregnancy ends" method of evaluating teenage pregnancy rates is NOT universal; many authorities use "date of conception" in their statistics of teenage pregnancies. AlwynJPie (talk) 01:34, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

The Lead[edit]

I transfered the second paragraph as I thought it went a little too deep for the lead, and also because the third paragraph said roughly the same thing as the second but not in as much detail. AlwynJPie (talk) 07:11, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

I also think the last paragraph in the lead "Teenage pregnancies appear to be preventable by comprehensive sex education and ..." is better suited elsewhere in the article. AlwynJPie (talk) 07:25, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

I reverted you on this because, as noted in my edit summary, the lead is meant to summarize the article...per WP:Lead. From what I saw, you had cut too much. That stated, I now see the redundancy when comparing the second and third paragraphs, and that obviously needs tweaking; the redundancy needs to be removed, but the important aspects should stay. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 09:47, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Currently, this article frames teenage pregnancy as a problem, describing causes, negative effects, and prevention methods in detail, while omitting positive effects, causes of suppression, effective methods of encouraging freedom of choice. The article clearly reflects a tenor in 20th-century public policies, but fails to conceptualize teenage pregnancy as a societal task that most industrialized societies failed and still fail to cope with. Furthermore, correlations with health and education are worthless if third factors like poverty, educational background of the young parents, and migration aren't controlled, as done in contemporary scientific studies. --PanchoS (talk) 15:29, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

These are high risk pregnancies with a greater chance of negative outcomes. This is stats. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:20, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
Pregnancies of 12 or 13 years old, okay. But not pregnancies of 18 or 19 year old women, and clearly depending on societal circumstances, so not uniformly the case throughout the world. --PanchoS (talk) 16:10, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

Thus the article says "There are, however, additional medical concerns for pregnant girls aged under 15, who are less likely to have become physically developed enough to sustain a healthy pregnancy or to give birth.[4] For girls aged 15–19 risks are associated more with socioeconomic factors than with the biological effects of age.[5]" Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:53, 15 June 2016 (UTC)