Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy and Completing College
Lesson One: Why Should You Care About Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy?

Why Should You Care About Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy?

Lesson One helps you consider the effects of unplanned pregnancy on your educational and life goals.

Did you know?

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Sources: The Fog Zone and Magical Thinking

 

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Most unmarried young adults feel strongly that pregnancy should be planned and think it is important to avoid unplanned pregnancy -- at least right now.

YET...

Most young adults underestimate their chances of getting pregnant if they don't use contraception. Among couples who have sex regularly, 85% will experience a pregnancy within one year if they do not use contraception. Six in 10 young adults (57% of both men and women) underestimate this risk.

Many unmarried young adults say they know little about even the most commonly-used methods of contraception.

Magical thinking is common: For example, many unmarried young adults incorrectly believe they are infertile. 59% of women and 47% of men say it is at least slightly likely they are infertile (19% of women and 14% of men describe it as quite or extremely likely), but available data suggest that only about 8.4% of women age 15-29 are unable to carry a baby to term.

Myths and misinformation are prevalent among young adults. For example, one out of five guys thinks that having sex standing up prevents pregnancy.*

The three lessons in Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy and Completing College address these contradictory beliefs, attitudes, and actions. Lesson One helps you consider why you should care about preventing unplanned pregnancy. Lesson Two explores some of the myths, magical thinking, and gaps in knowledge that put you in danger of unplanned pregnancy. Finally, Lesson Three helps you -- no matter your sex -- select a birth control method, find out where to get it, learn strategies for discussing sex and birth control with your partner(s), and make an action plan to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

*Sources: The Fog Zone and Magical Thinking

 

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Why Should You Care About Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy?

Lesson One helps you consider the effects of unplanned pregnancy on your educational and life goals.

Lesson One Objectives

At the completion of this lesson, you will be able to understand the impact of unplanned pregnancy on your: 

  • Educational goals,
  • Social life,
  • Work,
  • Significant relationships, and
  • Finances.

During this half-hour lesson, you will hear real students -- both men and women -- tell their stories about how an unplanned pregnancy changed their lives. You will also learn some of the facts about unplanned pregnancy among college-age students, as well as some facts about the financial impact of becoming a parent.

The lesson is organized around a series of videos and presentations. Please print or save the Lesson One Study Guide on the right and use it to take notes as you progress through the lesson.

 

Image - Back Off Baby I am in school

 

Before You Get Started

Here are some things to keep in mind before you begin:

Technical Information

  1. It's a good idea to have the latest versions of Flash and QuickTime on your computer. If you have trouble viewing any of the pages in the lesson:

a. Flash: Flash version 10.3 or higher needed.

1. Check your version of Flash.

2. Install the latest version of Flash.

b. QuickTime: Version 7.7 or higher needed.

Download and install the latest version of QuickTime. Note: Once you have downloaded QuickTime, you must install it. Start the install process by clicking "Run." Detailed instructions for installing are at the bottom of the QuickTime download page.

2. Also be sure pop-up blockers are disabled in your browser.

What Students Say About Unplanned Pregnancy

In this video students -- both men and women -- of varying ages talk about the effects of unplanned pregnancy on their lives and/or the lives of their friends.

During the video, facts about the numbers of unplanned pregnancy and facts about how unplanned pregnancy affects student academic success are presented. Take notes on these facts on the Lesson One Study Guide.

This video is about 3 minutes long.

"Student Perspectives" 

Self-Check: Did You Catch the Most Important Points?

Play this drag and drop game to see.

  

Your Educational Goals

An unplanned pregnancy can greatly affect your educational goals.

Have you ever thought about how it might affect:

Self-Reflection Activity

  

Your Educational Goals

This is an ideal day for a student who also has a baby to care for.

Unfortunately, not everyone would have the luxury of an ideal schedule like this. For example, many students would have to fit a part- or full-time job into this already packed schedule.

What might your day look like if you had a baby to care for while also going to school? What would you have to add in, and what would be the first items you'd take out?

Image of a daily schedule of activities for a parent/student. Time spent caring for a child in a typical day is 4.5 hours.

Your Social Life

How does being a parent affect your social life?

Listen to these students talk about what it really takes to be good parents.
This video is about 3 minutes long. 

"What it takes to be a parent"

This video is from session six of the p.a.p.a. (Parenting and Parenting Awareness) series and was used with the permission of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.

Self-Check: "What It Takes to Be a Parent" Video

  

Your Significant Relationships

The impact of an unplanned pregnancy on a romantic relationship

Think an unplanned pregnancy will bring you closer to your significant other? Listen to what the students in this video have to say.

This video is about 3 minutes long.

 

"9 Months"

Used with the permission of Professor Tamra Ortgies-Young, Georgia Perimeter College. Edited (with permission) by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

 

Your Significant Relationships

The impact of an unplanned pregnancy on a romantic relationship

Did you know?

 

 

 

Source:

*The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy | DCR Report, Section G:   Stability of Parent Relationships Following an Unplanned Pregnancy and Birth (2008-2010)

**The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy | DCR Report, Section H:   Relationship Quality of Parents Who Report an Unplanned Pregnancy and Birth (2008-2010)

1. Compared to those couples who both agreed that the pregnancy was planned, net of other background characteristics.

2. Compared to those couples who agree that the pregnancy was planned, net of other background characteristics.

Your Significant Relationships

Telling your parents you're expecting a baby

Telling your parents that you are expecting a baby might be difficult.

Listen to these students talk about having that conversation with their parents.

This video is about 2 minutes long.

"Telling your parents you're expecting a baby"

This video is from session two of the p.a.p.a. (Parenting and Paternity Awareness) series and was used with the permission of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.

Your Finances

How much does it cost to have a child?

Having an unplanned pregnancy would affect your financial situation. 

Visit the "BabyCenter First Year Baby Cost Calculator" for an estimate of how much a baby might cost in its first year.

 

 

Image that says First-Year Baby Costs Calculator

Your Finances

How much does it cost to raise a child to age 18?

 

 

 

*Does not include the cost of a college education for your child, which could range from $20,000 to several hundred thousand dollars for four years.
Source: Lino, Mark. (2014). Expenditures on Children by Families, 2013. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Miscellaneous Publication Number 1528-2013.
http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC/crc2013.pdf.

1. Single parent families with before-tax income less than $61,530
2. Husband-wife families with before-tax income more than $106,540.

Your Finances

The benefits of finishing your education

It's obvious that having a child is expensive! How would you pay for a child, particularly if you have one before you finish your degree? As we heard earlier, many students who have a child (or another child) while in school struggle to finish their degrees. Postponing having children (or additional children) while in school not only puts you in a better position to complete your degree, but in a better financial position to support a family.

This chart shows how your earning power increases as your education levels increase.

 

Graph comparing earnings of a high school graduate to a college graduate. Bachelors degree college graduates earn $20,748 more per year than high school graduates. Associates degree graduate earn $7,020 more per year than high school graduates.  

Self-Check: Your Finances

   

Lesson One Complete

You have reached the end of Lesson One: Why Should You Care about Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy?

If you completed this lesson for course credit, check your course syllabus or consult your instructor to find out if you are required to submit an assignment and/or take a short quiz.

Click here to proceed to Lesson Two: How much Do You Know About Sex and Birth Control?