I have found responses to this to be very frustrating. Ever since the Time article came out, there have been a lot of media sources jumping on it and railing about the horrors of teen pregnancy. Most of the topics that have cropped up in response to the initial article have been centered around access to birth control and better sex-ed. Both of which are missing the mark as usual.
In the initial article, the principal of GHS stated that the apparent reason for the increase in pregnancies is a combination of the economic depression in Gloucester and the glamorization of teen pregnancy in films. Another explaination for the increase came from Amanda Ireland, recent grad of GHS and current teen mom, as she asserted that most of the girls who got pregant are “so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally.” (I would like to state as a sort of aside that I find this argument to be a common and extremely selfish reason for having children among non-Christians and an expectation that a mom should never have for her kids. Being a mom is one of the highest callings in a woman’s life and it should not be pursued as a quick way to have a loving relationship. Besides, anyone who has had a baby knows that it is the mom who is the sacrificial lover not the child.)
While these reasons may be related to an increase in teen pregnancy, they seem to me to be secondary as opposed to a primary reason. I’ve been kicking around another possible reason for teen pregnancies in general that my fellow MCH and public health associates would frown upon. I’m becoming convinced that the current ‘problem’ is our society’s over-glamorization and fanticization of the all-glorious and almost completely fictictional concept of childhood.
Now I’m not talking about the actual time frame in which infants grow into reproducing adults. I referring to the concept of a time of life that is completely devoid of responsibility and full of self-centered and self-seeking pleasure and play. In an attempt to give our kids ‘all the best things in life,’ we’ve perpetuated a sin problem. In the process of taking away their worries, we’ve glorified a lifestyle that is so self-centered it’s unsustainable in real life (and it honestly should not be sustained).
I think what it boils down to is not an issue of ‘babies having babies’ but of parents not training their children. And a fix for that is neither more access to birth control nor better sex-ed.