The author, Hilary Mantel has claimed that girls are ready to have babies when they are 14 years old. Mantel argues that “society ran on a male timetable that women should have babies at an older age”, she goes on to say, “There is this breed of women for whom society’s timetable is completely wrong”.
“I was perfectly capable of setting up and running a home when I was 14, and if say, it had been ordered differently, I might have thought ‘Now is the time to have a couple of children and when I am thirthy I will go back and I’ll get my PhD’, but society isn’t ordered with that kind of flexibility, we were being educated well into our twenties, an age when part of us wanted to become mothers, probably little bits of all of us. Sone were more driven than others”
The Government has a 10 year campaign to lower teenage pregnancy rates in Britain as there is growing concern that Britain still has the highest rates in western Europe.
Yes, girls of 14 can be very mature, but they may not be psychologically mature enough to be a mother, the real issue is whether they they are with a man or have a family who is supporting of her, surely? A child needs a stable family home.
Teenage pregnancies have increased for the first time in seven years, especially those under 16. Nearly three-quarters of the 8,196 girls under 16 getting pregnant were 15 year olds.
Mantel said that women should be able to choose whether to have children when they are teenagers or pursue a career and have children later in life.
So, what do we think? Should we have our children earlier rather than later?