Teenage pregnancy 'can be positive'
Teenage pregnancy can "make sense" for young people and have a positive effect on their lives, according to the authors of a new study.
The book, Teenage Parenthood: What's The Problem?, argues teenage pregnancy is not necessarily the result of ignorance about contraception or low expectations.
Its authors say the majority of teenage mothers they interviewed were more motivated to succeed at school or work because they wanted to provide for their families.
Dr Claire Alexander of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) said teenage mothers were often stereotyped as "dysfunctional and immoral".
She said: "In contrast to the ignorance, fecklessness and hazardous consequences reiterated in policy and media, our research makes it clear that young parenthood can make sense and be valued and can even provide an impetus for teenage mothers and fathers to strive to provide a better life for their children."
The study shows a fall in the number of teenage pregnancies since the 1960s and early 1970s.
A Department for Children, Schools and Families spokeswoman said there had been a 23% reduction in the number of under-18s giving birth since 1998.
She said: "While many teenage parents manage very well, they and their children are more likely to suffer health, emotional and economic problems.
"As the vast majority of teenage pregnancies are unplanned, our strategy focuses on giving young people the knowledge, skills and confidence to make positive and informed choices about sexual activity and parenthood."