The Big bang theory behind Teenage pregnancies
A Faint heart never won a fair lady
Every morning Cindy entered the class I was exuberant. I stopped writing and stared, watching her calculated steps as she proceeded to take her front seat. My position at the rear of the classroom gave me a magnificent view without being noticed by other classmates. I stole glances and smiled, trying to hide the giggles I made occasionally. Everything about her was flawless in my eyes. Her curly hair was perfectly aligned with loose ringlets which she often rolled with her index finger, bending her head to chat with the deskmate. Whenever she smiled, I gazed at every detail. Her left dimple was an incarnation that first appeared to brighten up her face, the edges of her mouth then broadened to expose pearl white teeth. Her eyes squinted and her whole face lightened up to give this ravishing smile, the curve that had the ability to set everything straight.
I had a eureka moment, something I had never experienced before was happening to me! This feeling was as strong and innate as the seismic waves discovered by Augustus Edward called Love Waves. They are caused by a strong vibration as a result of an earthquake, a volcanic explosion or power from a highly energetic source. They move in a horizontal motion which is traverse to the direction of propagation and have the ability to change the surface of the earth. (Haldar, 2018) This best describes what was happening to my heart. It throbbed heavily and panted whenever I saw Cindy. She was my world, I could envision spending the rest of my life with her, instead of working on an assignment. I fantasized building her a big mansion in The Bahamas, instead of focusing on the Algebra question that the teacher was trying to solve on the whiteboard. The Love seismic waves always triggered by her presence, shaking me like an earthquake, it was a novel and undeniable feeling.
The Touch love language
I walked into the library later in the evening to research about this feeling that was so compelling. Perusing through books and reports to dig deep into this force majeure, I was thrilled to realize that I was not alone. There are probably many other people in my class experiencing the seismic love waves but choose to remain unnoticed.
I read about adolescence on an old science book that revealed that at puberty, there are fundamental changes that occur in the body of an adolescent that perpetuate the strong emotional attraction, especially to the opposite sex. In males, there is the production of testosterone, which stimulates the production of sperms and leads to the individual being sexually active. Moreover, there is a growth of pubic and under-the armpit hair, broadening of chest and expansion of the larynx to cause a deep voice. These are features that attract the opposite sex towards them.
On the other hand, the female is also growing during this time. There is the production of the hormone progesterone that is responsible for ovulation. It is produced in the Corpus luteum and prepares the endometrium for fertilization. It also triggers the walls of the uterus for easy passage of the fertilized egg. (Fish, 2019).
All this information made me understand the science behind the strong force behind Cindy. It wasn’t just a gravitational force, but a normal process for every human being who was my age. I was lucky to have accessed a glimpse of the information as it made me make critical decisions that would enable me to complete my studies.
Few weeks down the line, reports of Cindy being pregnant were all over the place. Every Tom, Dick and Harry knew the boy responsible, Jado who was a well- built lad who was part of the senior class. He used to come to check on Cindy every end of classes and she would accompany him to his house. Then what happened between them could be best captured by this allegory.
An allegory of the earth.
The big bang theory is one of the explanations of how the earth was formed. It is believed that over 13.8 billion years ago, everything that exists today was a spark of tiny bits of energy. The temperatures then grew to unimaginable levels of about 5.5 billion Celcius. (NASA, 2020). This made the protons and neutrons to collide and make deuterium, which is an isotope of hydrogen.
After 380 000 years, matter started cooling down to form atomic particles. Two hundred years later, the universe began forming in the during the cosmic dark age and the first set of gases were collapsed to form the stars and galaxies. After exactly nine billion years, the universe and the entire solar system was formed. (Wood, 2019)
This is exactly what happens in the body of a teenager. Their sexual urge increases because of the essential changes in their bodies and the production of hormones. This high inflated heat causes them to look for means to cool it down, which is most often engaging in sexual activity with the opposite sex. According to the World Health Organization, 16 million girls aged between 15 to 19 years give birth every year. Moreover, adolescents acquire 51% of the new Sexually transmitted infections, yet they only contribute to 25% of sexually active people in the world. ( Tulloch and Kaufman, 2013).
During puberty, there are over 525 billion sperm cells that are produced in males and 2 million egg follicles in the body of a girl. During the big bang, 40million to 1.2 billion sperms are released and start flowing to collide with the eggs in the fallopian tube. One sperm and one cell then merge to form a zygote that gets implanted to the uterus, which develops in stages to form the embryo then a foetus. After nine months, a baby is born. (Olson, 2013).
Sub-saharan Africa to bear the brunt
Raising the question “Dad, how did you and mom meet?” would be a serious offence when I was growing up, that would make one be severely punished. The last time I asked that was when I visited my friend Kelvin who stay in an opulent home. His father was a well-known doctor and the mother an adept psychologist. Kelvin used to shoot any question at is parents and I was bewildered at how they answered him with great comport. Kelvin encouraged me to do the same with my parents and ask them about marriage and sexuality. Little did he know that I would be grounded for two weeks and be sent to stay with the priest in church for almost a month in order to be assisted to recuperate from my ‘mental illness’.
Sub-saharan Africa has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in the world. It is estimated that close to half of the women who give birth at any given time are teenagers. According to the World Health Organization, there are over ten million pregnancies every year of girls ages between 15 to 19 years. Teenage pregnancies are also the main cause of deaths due to abortions and other complications. About 5.6 million abortions are happening to avoid social stigmatization. (WHO, 2020).
In my community, an unmarried woman who was pregnant was regarded as an outcast and sent to another village where she would begin a new life with the man who impregnated her. The parents would shun her and curse the child, warning the lady not to give him/her their name. Years of cleansing from the traditional elders and religious leaders would be the only way the girl was accepted back. This led to many of them opting for abortions where some of them ended up losing their lives. Talking about sexuality was a great taboo for unmarried teenagers and parents adhered to this notion to the letter.
Reproductive health education is essential to prevent the detrimental effects of teenage pregnancies. Despite most communities being conservative, the government should formulate policies that allow the adolescents to be equipped with knowledge on sexuality. This should not only be delivered to the teenagers, but also to teachers and parents.
Efforts of making it part of the curriculum and providing platforms where students could raise questions would be effective in curbing the challenge. The South African government is leading the way by the introduction of various programs in the schools. They have trained Life orientation educators who teach the students on different topics regarding reproductive health. Moreover, they have partnered with the South African Development Community to provide support services to students who are already affected. (Tucker, George, Reardon. et al).
Other African countries and humanitarian organizations should emulate this and ensure every young person is being equipped with relevant knowledge and capacity to tackle the processes that accrue physical changes in their bodies regardless of their social, economic or demographic background. Community mobilization could be used to sensitize people who are deeply rooted in a culture that hinder adolescents from having access to sexual education.
Fish. (2019). Progesterone | Endocrine Society. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://www.hormone.org/your-health-and-hormones/glands-and-hormones-a-to-z/hormones/progesterone
Frey. (2017). Zimbabwe records highest teen pregnancy rate in sub-Saharan Africa. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://clubofmozambique.com/news/zimbabwe-records-highest-teen-pregnancy-rate-sub-saharan-africa/
Haldar. (2018). Augustus Edward Hough Love | British geophysicist. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Augustus-Edward-Hough-Love
Tucker, George, & Reardon. (2020). Sexuality education in South African schools: The challenge for civil society organisations – Leigh Adams Tucker, Gavin George, Candice Reardon, Saadhna Panday, 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0017896916652166?journalCode=heja
Tulloch, & Kaufman. (2013). Adolescent Sexuality. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://pedsinreview.aappublications.org/content/34/1/29
NASA. (2020). The Big Bang | Science Mission Directorate. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-powered-the-big-bang/
Olson. (2013). Why Are 250 Million Sperm Cells Released During Sex?. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://www.livescience.com/32437-why-are-250-million-sperm-cells-released-during-sex.html
Physical changes in puberty: girls and boys. (2020). Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/development/puberty-sexual-development/physical-changes-in-puberty
WHO. (2020). Adolescent pregnancy. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/adolescent-pregnancyWood, C. (2019). The Big Bang Theory: How the Universe Began. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://www.livescience.com/65700-big-bang-theory.html