Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pregnancy Pact

gsI used to blog for my old company, but they took the blog down. I am
not actually allowed to own the writings I put up on that blog, but as
I reference them on occasion in my writing I am putting those articles
up in my archives here for reference sake. I'll put the tag GS on those
articles noting that they were originally published on the

Pregnancy Pact

June 20, 2008 – 4:40 am by Brendan

Kim obviously published her take on this story yesterday and it has been all over the morning news, but I spent a few hours on this last night and I don’t want all that time to be wasted. (Does that attitude give any clues as to why there is so much junk in my garage?)

Parents and administrators at Gloucester High School in Gloucester Massachusetts have discovered that whether they want it to happen or not, their little girls are growing up. In a story originally published by Time magazine, that has reached all the way across the pond, we learn that at least 8 high school girls, 16 years old or younger, had made a pact to get pregnant by the end of the school year.

In October school officials suspected something was amiss due to the abnormally large number of requests for pregnancy tests. In May, after some girls had come back for tests several times, they figured out that nearly half the expectant students had made a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together.

In the mostly Catholic town of Gloucester the high school does not give out any sort of contraceptive without parent permission. There will be a debate on this subject over the summer, but for now if an underage child would like to get free contraceptives without informing their parents they must travel 20 miles outside of town.

In the five articles I’ve read concerning this story, most of them mention the possibility of movies and Hollywood eroding our family values. Most also mentioned that teen pregnancy rose in 2006, the first rise since 1991. I only found data up to 2002. Only Time seemed to entertain the notion that because the girls wanted to get pregnant there was pretty much nothing we could do to stop it from happening. Time also did a good job of subtly suggesting that the loss of fishing jobs coupled with the general downturn in the economy might have some effect. Specifically, many people in the town might feel that the future is looking pretty bleak.

Perhaps the ultra-conservatives are correct in that family values being destroy by movies and stars that glorify sex and violence. Or perhaps the ultra-liberals are correct in thinking that we need to focus more on promoting condoms and contraceptives because kids are just going to have sex no matter what we do. Then again it could be that the burdens of living in an ever changing world with a sometimes uncertain future is just too much stress and our children just want someone to love them. Some may even think it is the schools fault for having day care on site and not enough sex-ed classes. (My high school only had one and it certainly didn’t teach me anything about sex. I did however wait until I was in my 30’s before having kids.)

Then again we might just have teenagers who didn’t quite think things through all the way. Perhaps, they used a bit of poor judgment and will now have to live with the consequences.


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