The Shame Placed on Teenage Girls
By Brooklin Painter
Teenage pregnancy is often taboo, but what those who have teenage pregnancies really need is for their loved ones to support them. Different pockets of society have certain opinions about teen pregnancies that may affect the teens in those communities. The evangelical Christian community, because of their beliefs on premarital sex, views it as a sin.
Premarital sex is shamed so substantially that there is little to no focus on supporting the teen(s) that are struggling through pregnancy and parenthood. The community places precedence on the sin you have committed over the well-being of the teenager and their child.
A pregnant teenager, however, should not be seen as something shameful or even sinful. Their lack of sexual education might be largely to blame. Even though the church preaches abstinence, Christian teenagers still have sex before marriage. Seeing that the church does not provide sexual education, the lack of knowledge obtained may lead to unprotected sex and pregnancy.
The University of Western Cape in South Africa performed a survey on abstinence, asking 37 Adventist youth about their sexual education and attitudes concerning sexual behavior. Further analysis of the results showed less correlation than anticipated. While 70% endorsed the church’s prohibition on premarital sex, 54% reported they had participated in premarital sex themselves. 
The results reveal that being told to abstain from sex isn’t nearly as effective as the church would hope it to be.
Whether one chooses to have premarital sex or not, the Christian community is too inquisitive of what people choose to do on their own time.
Instead of shaming pregnant teenagers, they should receive love and support from their family and friends. They already have to experience the repercussions of their acts. Shaming them is only going to make life more difficult.
Got Question Ministries, an online media ministry founded by S. Michael Houdmann, responded to the question, “How should Christian parents handle a teen daughter who has become pregnant?” Got Question Ministries answered, “As disappointing and overwhelming as it may be to learn a teenage daughter is pregnant, it’s crucial to keep a kingdom perspective. The sin is done. Whatever influences the teens have been under to lead them to sin can’t be avoided now. This new situation is not about the morality of out-of-wedlock sex or the reputation of a family. It’s about the development of a child.” 
The father of the child will occasionally choose to be absent and therefore the pregnant teen will have to go through the pregnancy alone. Maintaining support and being non-judgmental can create an environment for your teenager to feel not so alone while being a single parent.
Got Questions Ministries adds, “Some parents fear that giving their daughter the love and support she needs will encourage the behavior that led to the pregnancy. But, again, being pregnant and giving birth to a child are not a sin, and there are so many other benefits to actively and publicly standing with a pregnant teen. It fosters an environment in which the child is valued as a blessing.” 
At the end of that day, teen mothers need support and love. The Christian community often forms an inhospitable environment towards the pregnant teenager even though shaming them is going to do nothing to help the situation.
- Ali, H. K., & Naidoo, A. (1999). Sex Education Sources and Attitudes about Premarital Sex of Seventh Day Adventist Youth. Psychological Reports, 84(1), 312–312. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.19126.96.36.1992
- Houdmann, S. M. (2021, April 26). How should Christian parents handle a teen daughter who has become pregnant? GotQuestions.org; Got Questions Ministries. https://www.gotquestions.org/teen-pregnancy.html