Don’t blame media for pregnant teens

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Society cannot blame its problems solely on the influence modern pop culture has on younger generations. The movie Juno did not embellish the life of a pregnant teenager, nor did it make it attractive.

Jamie Lynn Spears did not encourage 16-year-old-girls to carry around a baby as this season’s newest style. But somehow today’s culture has swept the real sources of youth ignorance under the rug and covered it up by pointing fingers at the media.

Television shows, magazines, movies and famous people do have an influence on adolescent actions. However, no one should disregard sloppy parenting, rebellious spirits, experimental mentalities, boredom and the absence of unfailing love in a child’s life. These, perhaps are the real, attackable issues at hand.

The most recent and major publicized event concerning this matter is the pregnancy pact among 17 teenage girls in Gloucester, Mass. The nation is seeking answers on why so many high school students are bonding together to raise their children and what statement they are making by getting pregnant at such an early age. Has a pregnancy epidemic already arrived? We must stop blaming the media for our youth’s problems and then hoping they will just fade away. Action is more profitable than ignorance.

Plan B should not be encouraged by public schools. Condoms, contraceptives and women’s health clinics have no place in our educational establishments, nor should the government pay for daycare in this regard. There should be a balance in sex-education curriculum. Abstinence is best, but being naïve is counterproductive.

Yes, teenagers will prematurely sleep around, and parents should be aware. Being blindfolded to the issue is more dangerous than addressing it. Education is vital, and self-discipline needs to be encouraged.

Enabling pregnant students is promoting the misconceived idea that children can raise children.
Nancy Gibbs wrote in TIME magazine that people should view higher teenage pregnancy rates as a step in a positive direction.

She said, “Surely they deserve more sympathy and support than shame and derision, if the trend they reflect is not a typical teenager’s inclination to have sex but rather a willingness to take responsibility for the consequences.”

Optimism is a great concept, but 750,000 teenagers becoming pregnant every year is an issue. Every child deserves the chance to be born, and I applaud any female for not using abortion as birth control. But the truth of the matter is that if girls were responsible earlier on, they wouldn’t be faced with such a tough decision.

Rock music, hippies and GenXers have all defined a past generation. Perhaps we can name the upcoming future the overweight, overstressed, computer-generated baby deliverers.

Author: Crystal Donahue

A senior from Lago Vista, Texas, Crystal enjoys hanging out at the lake with friends, eating ice-pops, having conversations over hot chocolate with marshmallows, going on random road-trips and watching Gilmore Girls with her mom. She is double majoring in mass communication/journalism and Spanish. Post graduation, Crystal plans on getting her master's and working abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. Having served in various positions on The Bells, Crystal is now the editor-in-chief. She enjoys feature and sports writing.

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