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close this bookHuman Growth and Development (FAO)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAims/objectives
View the documentBasic concepts
View the documentActivity no. 1 - The wrong information, or the right information
View the documentActivity no. 2 - The human reproductive cycle
View the documentActivity no. 3 - How does the story end?

Activity no. 3 - How does the story end?

How does the story end?

Group members complete stories involving adolescent pregnancy.



· The leader first explains to the group that the activity concerns the risks of teenage pregnancy.

· He then tells the group the complete story on the following pages.

· After the story, the leader starts off a discussion by asking the group members what they think about what happened and stimulates the discussion of adolescent pregnancy by asking some of the questions on the following pages.

· After the discussion, the leader starts a number of other stories involving adolescent pregnancy and asks members of the group to suggest how the stories might end.

· The activity ends with a review by the group leader of the advantages of delaying pregnancy.


So that group members will be able to:

· Learn about the physical risks of teenage pregnancy for mother and child.

· Analyse the possible negative social and emotional results of teenage pregnancy.

· Understand the need for responsible decision making regarding pregnancy.



· The complete and incomplete stories on the following pages.

· The background information on the following pages.

· Participation and interest.

Some background information for the group leader

Is adolescent or teenage pregnancy a risk?

A teenage girl who becomes pregnant is at much greater health risk than one who waits until she is at least 20 years old. She is likely to have a more difficult time in childbirth because her hips and muscles may not be fully developed as explained in the last section. The chances of death in childbirth are much greater. Other complications are also more frequent.

The physical risks are also much greater for her child. Babies born to teenage mothers are more likely to die at birth or in the first year, and those that live are more likely to be underweight, weak and sickly.

A woman who has her children later, when she is between the ages of 20 and 35 for example, gives them and herself the best chances for good health.

What are the emotional and social risks of teenage pregnancy?

A pregnant girl leave school

A young girl who becomes pregnant finds herself faced with a series of responsibilities for which she is probably not prepared. This can lead to emotional stress and anxiety.

A young girl who becomes pregnant faces many problems. She may be forced to leave school. If that happens, her education is interrupted and she will have fewer chances to adequately provide for their child. She may also lose contact with her friends who are free of such heavy responsibilities. A young girl who gets pregnant may also be rejected by her own family and be left with nowhere to turn.

An early pregnancy may also lead a young girl to marry or unite with a boy or man who she really does not want as her long-term partner. This can cause great tension in a relationship and lead to an unhappy, unhealthy environment in which to live and raise children.

What are some of the factors that contribute to adolescent pregnancy?

Curiosity or lack of self-control. Young people become curious about sex as they go through adolescence and may risk getting pregnant for the sake of a new experience.

Lack of knowledge. Many young people do not know about the risks of teenage pregnancy or about methods of avoiding or delaying pregnancy.

False information. Youth may have false or inadequate information about the risks of pregnancy. For example, they may have heard that "you can't get pregnant the first time," or "you can't get pregnant if you don't enjoy it."

Desire to escape their family situation. Some young girls may deliberately get pregnant in the hope of leaving a poor or troubled family situation.

Irresponsible behaviour by adults. Older boys or men may try to have sexual relations with young girls. In many areas, this is illegal with very young girls. Another example of irresponsible adult behaviour is parents who push their children into early marriages.

Pressure from other young people. Young girls may have sexual relations to please or gain acceptance from other people of their own age. Other young people may say things like, "everyone is doing it," or "you don't know what you're missing."

What are the effects of teenage pregnancy on population?

A woman who starts having children early in life is also likely to have more children than a woman who has children when she is older. This means that teenage pregnancy contributes to rapid population growth.

What are some of the things a young person should think about regarding sex and pregnancy?

A young person should think seriously about the risks and possible results of their actions. When considering sex and having children, a young person should ask himself or herself the questions on the next page.

Why am I doing this? Do I really care for this person? Or is it just to "prove" I can do it?

What are my hopes and plans for the future?

What are the risks? Do I know what I am doing and am I prepared to pay the consequences?

Is it morally right?

Do I have the physical and emotional maturity to take care of a child?

Could I provide for a child? Could I give it the food, clothes, time, and affection it would need?

If I were to have a child, would I be able to continue in school? Or to work?

Would I have to stay with my mother and father and be an extra burden on them?

The complete story to start off the activity

Victor is 17 years old and his girlfriend Susie is 16. They have been seeing each other for six months when she discovers she is pregnant. The two decide to get married so Susie leaves school and they move into a little house. In eight months a little girl is born but Susie is very sick in child-birth and the baby is small and sickly. It takes all of the little money they have to care for her.

Over the year, Victor has changed a lot. He is always in a bad mood, he drinks a lot and sometimes he doesn't come home at night. What is worse, he doesn't seem to care about his daughter at all. One day, Susie asks Victor to get some medicine for the baby. He starts screaming and beating her and then he leaves and never comes back.

The problems with Victor and Susie

Some questions to start off the discussion

What do peopled in the community say?

What do you think of the story?

Do you think was a good idea for Susie to get pregnant at such a young age?

What are some of the risks to the mother of early pregnancy?

What about risks to the baby?

Do you think Susie will ever be able to go back and finish school?

What do their parents think?

What happens young people that have children without really being ready for them?

Stories for the group to complete

Stories for the group to complete

Note: The group leader should read out each story showing the group the picture associated with it. He or she should then begin a discussion of the story with the group starting with the questions on page 49. Try to ensure that all group members join in the discussion by encouraging quieter members to give their opinion.

Dorothy is 14 and is the eldest of 10 children. For as long as she can remember, she has had to help her mother take care of her brothers and sisters. Her boyfriend Jackson keeps asking her to come and live with him. Dorothy thinks she probably will say yes because she would rather care for one person than for nine...

More stories...

Rhoda is 17 and has recently discovered she is pregnant. She tells her father who screams at her "You stupid girl. After I paid all those school fees for you!"...

Rhoda tells her father she is pregnant who screams at her

Michael and Rose are both 16 and they like each other very much. Michael wants to have sexual relations with Rose but she isn't sure. "Come on," says Michael, "everyone knows nothing can happen the first time."...

Michael and Rose

Dawn has a six-month-old baby. She lives at home with her parents but there is a lot of tension in the family since the baby was born. Dawn's mother has seven children of her own and there is never enough food...

Rose with children

Nora is only 13 but she looks older than her age. John, who is 21 and has already got two other girls pregnant, keeps taking her for walks and buying her presents. One day, he takes her down to the river and tries to convince her to have sexual relations with him by saying, "Well, if you get pregnant we will get married."...

Nora and John

James is 19 and his girlfriend Anna is 17. He keeps on saying, "If you really love me, you will say 'yes' “. She says, "If you really love me, you will wait until I want to."...

James and Anna

Booklets in this Leaders Guide Series:

Population and Agriculture
Population, Employment and Income
Population and the Environment
Population and Nutrition
Population and Health
The Family and Family Size
Human Growth and Development
Responsible Parenthood
How the Population Changes
Community Involvement

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Integration of Population Education into Programmes for Rural Youth INT/88/P9