June 19, 2008

Pregnancy Pact

From Time:
As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies—more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers. But principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there's been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town. School officials started looking into the matter as early as October after an unusual number of girls began filing into the school clinic to find out if they were pregnant. By May, several students had returned multiple times to get pregnancy tests, and on hearing the results, "some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were," Sullivan says. All it took was a few simple questions before nearly half the expecting students, none older than 16, confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. 
The NYT makes the Jamie Lynn connection.


a conversationalist said...

I immediately thought of this book title that I have seen on my wifes night stand when I heard about this. Perhaps she could shed some light on whether it is a valid connection.

Pomeroy Kinsey said...

Conversationalist - your link is taking me back here. Is this some kind of metaphor? ;)

a conversationalist said...


no, just tired....

Jennifer said...

It's interesting to me how much this story corresponds with the post before it about poverty and powerlessness. Girls becoming mothers in order to establish some sort of identity, to obtain some perceived power in an otherwise powerless existence, or to find much-needed love and acceptance is not a new story, especially in poor communities. I have to wonder if this is newsworthy because these girls don't match the typical "teen mother" profile, or is it simply because they articulated it as a plan?

What's really strange about the coverage in both Time and the NYT is the focus on sex education and access to contraception, which seems beside the point if they are choosing to become pregnant.

The bigger question is why they would make such a choice. It seems more complicated to me than any of the news coverage I've seen so far acknowledges.

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