Baldwin (1950) viewed teenage stage, as a period where reactivation of the `sexual drives that has been inactive during the latency period. He said teenagers are on the boundary between childhood and adulthood and they are faced with the choice of a whole way of life in terms of their job, their ethics and so forth. He further said that to find this in the face of many alternative roles, individuals must decide what they want to do and whether they are able to do it, they must take responsibility for decisions that may shape the rest of their life or destroy it. And to take this independent step, persons need a real sense of identity of their own worth as individuals and their esteem and he said our culture does not make it easy for our teenagers to take this step in life.
Watson and Lindgren (1979) gave the definition of a teenager simply as the period or stage of development that separates childhood from adulthood. They said it is also difficult to indicate the limits of a teenager; at what point does it begins and what point does it end, they said the characteristics of a teenager first shows themselves about 10, 11, or 12 years of age with the subtle changes In behaviour and appearance, then it becomes most obvious at puberty with the start of the menstrual cycle in girls.
Longman dictionary of contemporary English (1995) gave a definition of pregnancy as the period of time when a woman is pregnant while pregnant on the other hand having an unborn baby growing inside an individuals body. So therefore, teenage pregnancy is a period of time by which a girl is carrying or having an unborn baby growing inside her womb.
World Health Organization (2004) opined that a teenager is a person between 15-19 years of age, they said it is a period where an individual is shaped and prepared for adulthood responsibilities they said also that there are advantages and disadvantages of teenage pregnancy or having a baby at ones teenage stage, they went ahead to say that when you are younger the benefits are usually associated with greater fertility a more healthy pregnancy and a quicker recovery after birth. But the down side is that your social life, education and training can be severely disrupted just when it might be taking off into an interesting direction. Moreso, they said some teenagers are much more capable of looking after a child than the older women because late motherhood or late pregnancy has a greater risk of complications in the pregnancy and reduce fertility. Being older, they said can also be more exhausting looking after growing children.
This study was concerned with the advantages and disadvantages of teenage pregnancy in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State. For clarity of purposes:
- Teenage girls do not have adequate knowledge of protecting themselves from unwanted pregnancy.
- Given them out in marriage early and then using the benefits they get from the girls husband to train their male children in school.
- Their male counterparts taken advantage of them by abusing them sexually.
- Leaving school because of unwanted pregnancy.
- Giving them out in marriage early to prevent them from prostituting.
- Getting pregnant even when their reproductive organs have not fully developed.
Teenage pregnancy has continued to be a major concern not to Kaduna teenage girls only but also to Nigeria at large. This study may then serve as a pioneer efforts towards the understanding of teenage pregnancy to Kaura Local Government Area. The result of the study may help policy makers particularly, educational planners in Kaduna State to design more appropriate instructional Programmes on teenage pregnancy. The result of the study may also help to highlight some of the diseases that are associated with teenage pregnancy like Vesico Virgina Fistular (VVF) and Rector Virgina fistular (RVF). The study may also provide the basis for further research on teenage pregnancy.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Teenage pregnancies occur as a result of relationship with older male counterparts.
- Free assess to pornographic films without the presence of adult guidance on sex education.
- Are there adequate knowledge and proper guidance on teenage pregnancy.
- Are there any benefits and dangers of teenage pregnancy to teenage girls and the society at large.
- Does cultural upbringing and religious inclination affect teenage pregnancy.
- Does teenage pregnancy affect young girls performance in school.
At the time of the study there were a thousand staff working with Kaura local government area. These were: four hundred (400) were senior staff, three hundred(300) were junior staff and the rest were messengers, cleaners and security men. However, this study was limited to two(2) areas in Kaura local government area.
- Transportation to Kaura local government to collect information for the study posed a problem to the researcher.
- Lack of fund posed a major constraint during the conduct of the study.
- The poor weather with the slippery condition of the untarred roads made traveling difficult during the study.
- Some local government staff were shy to talk about teenage pregnancy with the researcher.