Thursday, June 19, 2008

Scrape my chin off the floor

"School officials started looking into the matter an unusual number of girls began filing into the school clinic to find out if they were pregnant. 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." 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 girls who made the pregnancy pact, some of whom reacted to the news that they were expecting with high fives and plans for baby showers, declined to be interviewed."

Why and what is going on in these girls lives that persuaded them to pack with other girls to get pregnant? Did the promise of attention in the form of shower gifts and people rubbing their tummies attract them to having sex with a 24 yo homeless man and other 20 something men who had no intention of being a father either emotionally or financially?
Some people think that schools unintentionally reinforce by allowing girls to go to school while pregnant, ( think Juno the movie) since she has the most limitations placed on her. By giving her these opportunities, some argue, the attitude of safety net being always being there is inferred.
Some girls are lucky to have their family there to take care of the child while mom finishes school, others aren't, forced to reach out to social service benefits. But these too have a cost: expectations of the mom having to work by time the baby is 3 months in order to get those benefits. But how are you going to work, needing day care and wanting to get out of this cycle if you are stuck in this cycle of poverty?
I always hated the statement free white and 21 when it came to men and their ability to sow their oats without consequence because its sexist. But it is true: teenage girls who get pregnant are more likely to be poor, in abusive relationships and undereducated, preventing them from making a living wage.

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