Jugendliche Schwangere und Mütter/Young pregnant women and mothers, englische Version
Almost 5,000 young women between the ages of 12 and 17 had a child in 1998. While the number of births for 18 to 20-year-olds has varied significantly since 1982, it has remained constant throughout this period for under-age mothers at around 5,000.
The total number of terminations in this group has slightly increased in recent years but, when compared internationally, remains the fourth lowest in Europe with a rate of 6.9 for every 10,000 and far behind the United States (22.9), Japan (11.0) and the Russian Federation (64.6). Basic facts such as these have been compiled by Evelyn Laue and Hans-JŸrgen Heilmann of the Federal Statistical Office of Germany for this FORUM.
In the empirical research project "She is still practically a child herself..." Annette Remberg is concerned with the educational and vocational perspectives of young mothers and their aspirations for their private lives. Other areas covered are how they experience their own sexuality, sexual knowledge and contraception. The motives and perspectives of fathers also form part of this study, which should contribute to providing young pregnant women and young mothers with realistic advice and care.
Anneke Garst is one of the founders and a co-worker at Casa Luna, a residential facility for 14 to 20-year-old mothers in Bremen. She first describes the background and problems of these young women, who almost always come from very difficult family circumstances. In ten years of practical work Anneke Garst has amassed a great deal of experience which she has categorised under the headings of "Dealing with sexuality and contraception", "Deciding for the child" and "The role of the father", amongst others. The discrepancy between the hopes of the young mothers for a new beginning through the child and the actual life circumstances which often overwhelm the mother and her child is clearly demonstrated.
Barbara Wittel-Fischer is concerned with the longing for pregnancy and motherhood as a "forgotten subject of sex education". She criticises the fact that the subject of teenage pregnancies is almost always treated as problematic in counselling work and, from her work with young immigrants, forms the thesis that even in girls and young women brought up in Germany there is a yearning for pregnancy and motherhood which is not sufficiently taken into account by sex education. Finally, she pleads for appropriate reform of counselling services to provided access if required "to all possible female resources".
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