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Teen Mothers

  • By: Gayle Letherby, Corinne Wilson, Geraldine Brown & Geraldine Brady
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Parenthood is something that women and men are expected and encouraged to be a part of, but for most societies, only within the social, economic, and sexual circumstances considered appropriate for those societies. Many view teenage motherhood as inappropriate. Although in reality, the label of teenage pregnancy and motherhood is accurate for any female who is pregnant or becomes a mother before the age of 20, teenage pregnancy is more commonly used to refer to 13–17-year olds—i.e., to girls rather than adults.

Teenage pregnancy and parenthood in developed countries is often seen as a barrier to full participation in society, as well as both a cause and a consequence of social exclusion and disadvantage. Consequently, there are governmental strategies and a plethora of research aimed at ...

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