The Impacts of Housing Support on Teenagers Parent in United Kingdom
UK leads Europe in teenage pregnancies in Western Europe with 35,966 conceptions in the under 18s in 2009. Majority of these unplanned pregnancies are the cause and consequence of social exclusion in UK. (UNICEF, 2001) There are 90K teenagers under 20 years and 8k under 16-year's pregnancies in England each year; it is the highest rate in Western Europe (SEU, 1999).
Teenage pregnancy can take place before first menstrual period (12or 13 years), which can result into pregnancy but usually occurs between 13 to 20 years of age. The National Health Services spends over £63 million a year on teenage pregnancies in UK. (Dennison, 2004).
Teenage parenthood is a serious social problem; it has adverse effects on parents and children. These young mothers have greater chances of being poor, less educated, unemployed and socially isolated. Young mothers are at a risk of pre-natal and maternal health. Children at a young age can badly influence young women's health and well-being and severely limit their education and career prospects; chances of stress related diseases increase manifold for the young mother and her parents. The chances of suicide are more for teenage mothers. Research has shown difficult and problem creating children from teenage single mothers; the social isolation of the mother badly effects the psychosocial development of the child. (DfES, 2006b, p7).
Under the Homelessness Act 2002, the provision supported to provide lone teenage mothers with supervised semi-independent housing facility by 2003. The decision should be taken through a homeless review so that only deserving should be accommodated. Should the government support an un- ethical practice (teenage mothers) in the society? This issue is a combination of two problems, teenage mothers and Government support for a social evil. Analysing these problems through moral philosophies will help us to redefine the moral codes of the society.
Right or Wrong is determined through Moral philosophies; they present guidelines for "determining how conflicts in human interests are to be settled and for optimizing mutual benefit of people living together in groups" (James 1986). There is no single philosophy which is acceptable to all. Moral standards acceptability is related to the long-term sustainability of a nation.
People of Europe wanted Freedom, Equality and Fraternity in 1800. To achieve Freedom, the philosophers and social scientists advocated sexual freedom desirous for high growth and development. Utilitarian philosophers created Capitalism and Socialism to achieve Freedom, Equality and Fraternity; the economic theories under capitalism or Socialism may differ but sexual freedom was advocated commonly by the social scientists. Sexual Freedom gained momentum after the 2nd World War. Media supported these ideas (sexual freedom) challenging the religious restrictions on sexual relationships. These new sexual freedoms were exploited by business conglomerates in the name of business development.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was instrumental in bringing the importance of Libido (Life Force) for perfect working of mind. He conducted research on Rich Austrian women and applied his postulates on the whole population. Most of the fantasies of Freud with regard to his Psycho analytic theory were challenged by psychologists of Behaviourist, Humanistic and Cognitive Theories of Psychology. Even other members of Psychoanalytic school of psychology like Carl Jung and Karen Horney argued against the ideas of Freud.
Women's Liberation Movement challenged the conventional views on female and andro-centric culture. Women's liberation was equated with sexual revolution; freedom of women to experiment in sex and relationships. This freedom of women would lessen the dominance of men. Women were used as a sex symbol in advertisements to increase sale of products and services; Consumer behaviour theories supported this new role of women. If the objective of feminist movement was to gain equality with men; are they successful?
In United Kingdom, the Sexual Revolution started after the World War II. The young generation was tired of the strict Victorian Values enforced by their elders and the strict austerity measures taken during the War. Fashion became common after 1960 was seen as a young generation rebellion against the conservative traditions of the older generation. D.H Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover was banned since 1920s was allowed to public readership in 1960s. Pill was freely available to married women under the control of National Health Service in the 1960s; it was made available to all women in 1970s. In 1967 abortion and homosexuality was allowed legally. Was it ethical to allow sexual freedom to the society?
The Information Revolution made Knowledge a factor of production in economics. The dimensions of time and space accelerated the pace of change and economic development. However, this explosive growth of the Third Wave played havoc with the human relationships. The divorce rate soared in advanced countries; sexual experiences crossed all boundaries. Teenage mothers and single parent families have become a dilemma for the most civilized nations of the world. Instead of reconsidering this presumed freedom issue in the name of Sexual Freedom related to Development and High Growth, we should understand the different perspectives of Goodness. Sex related crimes/issues increased manifold on the internet.
What is Idealism? Should we follow the dictates of Christianity or the pagan customs of the ancient Greek? Christianity forces us to have restrictions on relationships and intoxication. The sustainability of nations and maintaining a healthy reproductive cycle is linked to follow the religious injunctions. Whereas making ancient Greek our ideal, allows us to support the status quo. Thinking from the perspective of Realism, our new generation has been ruined in the name of modernism. The birth rate of White Englishmen has gone into negative, reducing the prospects of sustainable high growth and consumption. Temporarily we allowed immigration of Common Wealth nations, which added conflict and crime in the society. Now we have reached a stage of negative economic growth which is very much linked with our presumed concept of liberalism and freedom. Social scientists who advocated linkages of sexual freedom with high growth and development are defeated; the concerns of not very qualified grandparents of Generation X were right.
I think we have reviewed the teenage mother from the point-of-view of Teleology (Brandt 1959); linking it with results. These theories looked at the positive results of Sexual Revolution. The gender balance of Europe was disturbed after the 2nd World War. The opportunities created by the Marshall Plan allowed the social scientist to create solutions with respect to high growth rates. Allowing a freedom to a teenager and women was linked to high consumption. From the perspective of Egoism, the teenager took independent decisions to satiate his/her lust and greed. Getting the greatest good for his/her own self-made them increase the national economic growth. However it was not Enlightened Egoism. From the perspective of Utilitarianism the sexual freedom was linked to high growth and international markets. It was providing the greatest total utility. Maximum good was created for the Government, Businessmen, Bankers, Generals, Media Moguls, Agriculturalists, Entrepreneurs, Social Scientists, Researchers, Technologists and Individuals. The comparisons of cost and benefits favoured all stake holders. Strength of Relationships was sacrificed for the national economic benefit. Teleology had limits; teenage mothers are a serious Social Issue. As the chief beneficiary, Government is providing Housing Support to a social evil (teenage mothers) for the greatest good of the society. What is the economic cost of this generosity in the era of financial crisis? If Malthus's fears on population growth resulted in British Expansion in the World, Industrial Growth and Scientific Growth in the 19th century, all in the name of Utilitarianism. How would we tolerate a low birth rate in 2013? It is affecting our economic growth and future survival. Was the Government aware of the fallout of the social experiment of sexual revolution started in 50s? If yes than this money is being spent on the feeling of guilt for creating this social evil; if no than a time will come when the Government will be trapped in a Catch 22 situation as we find in France and USA.
Let us see the problem from the perspective of Deontology "it refers to the moral philosophies that focus on the rights of individuals and on the intentions associated with a particular behaviour" (James 1986); Deontology is not linked with results. From the Deontology perspective, Social Evils like teenage mothers issue had to be viewed seriously. This practice has to be curbed through some kind of negative reinforcement or punishment, even if results go against maximum utility. We need to increase the respect for women in relationship rather than following the animal instincts without the institution of marriage between a boy and a girl desirous of having sexual relationship. The concepts generated by Greek philosophers to create Utopia were too vague to follow them as gospels of God. The Religious values are linked with the intrinsic human sense of a sincere relationship and stable family; it raises the respect of individuals in the society. These values are imperative for the normal psychological and…