The United States maintains the highest rate of teen pregnancy among developed countries. The U.S. tries to reduce teen pregnancy just like other nations, however, the methods used have proven to be ineffective. Implementing health classes in schools and informing students about contraceptives is not enough to prevent adolescents from getting pregnant. These current methods of reducing teen pregnancy have a significant positive effect on the educational attainment of those with the most favorable background characteristics but very little effect on those with the least favorable characteristics. It is important to understand that teen pregnancy is a result of poverty, rather than a direct cause of it. Hence, teen pregnancy is more common in underprivileged areas of the country. Since the most disadvantaged teen mothers would have dropped out of school at about the same time even if they had not gotten pregnant, preventing the pregnancy would have little effect on their educational attainment. To decrease the rate of teen pregnancy, poverty needs to be eliminated first. If the U.S. aims to encourage the educational attainment of economically disadvantaged teenage mothers, discouraging them from having babies will not help much. What may help, however, is to create programs to help them to increase their academic ability and to make educational resources available within the home.
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