I guess I can see the aspect of getting kids to think twice about the long term consequences BEFORE they get pregnant, but I don't like the shaming effect of it on the teens who already have kids. As has already been said, they are already living that reality, and now being slapped in the face with something that to me, essentially says "your kid doesn't have a chance because you had them as a teen" I know the message is not that strong but that's how it comes across to me and I don't like that at all.
I get that making people feel bad sucks and can have bad consequences, but i get kinda of frustrated with this 'Teach kids about contraception!!!, Get kids birth control!!!" (Imagine it said in a high pitched idealistic happy voice)
We spend SOOOO MUCH time focusing on this already. I feel like this is what we are constantly trying and it doesn't work! Or at least it doesnt' work fully effectively on its own.
Its just like the fat shaimging thread. "Teach about nutrition! Teach about healthy eating!" We DO that a lot...the government has spent money on programs that are supposed to do this. Again, it doesnt' seem to work on its own.
What if a teenager doesn't have a parent around that reminds them of the actual consequences of having a baby or remind them how friggin expensive children are?
This "not talking about the consequences because some people suffer from those consequences at the present time and will feel bad about it" thing is starting to irk me.
I get that we don't want to make people feel like failures or terrible people or whatever else...but I think we need to find a balance. Putting these statistics in the fine print on the back of a brochure isn't reaching anyone. Maybe focusing on the consequences of your actions is actually pretty essential in changing someones behavior.
See I think there are 3 camps here.
1. Teen parents...so too late and now areshaming them.
2. Teens that are sexually active and have listened and are taking precautions so they are preaching to the choir.
3. Teens who think it won't happen to them.
Seems like the wrong approach to me.
If those are the only three groups that would indicate there is no way to approach the situation and we just live with the status quo.
Originally Posted by Jessica80
I think those are three solid groups that do exist, but I think there are 'fringes' of those group that can be influenced and we try to reach them so that those in group 2 stay in group 2 and those in group 3 might go to group 2.
If you view them all as stable and non moving individuals in each group then we shouldn't bother to do anything.
ETA: AND if there are any that fall into group number three that can be influenced at all...I think a 'HEY this is reality'...'this is what actually happens a lot of the time' campaign is going to work better than a "YAY Contraception!" campaign.
Or better yet, have both types so that once the ones that decide they should think twice then know how to prevent it.
And of course we have to accept that no approach will be 100% effective at reaching all the people it needs to in a meaningful way.
I can remember before kids, seeing a big billboard about how much it cost to raise a baby. At the time I did not believe those numbers could be accurate, and sat down when I got home and did some real number crunching to figure out if it really was that expensive to have a baby.
I can see the argument that it is not a good idea to shame someone, but I do think if worded correctly they can make someone stop and really think about the facts.
Kim you are right..there are fringes and members in my groups could be fluid....this program seems to be an expensive way to approach them and a hurtful one to young parents.
I don't see it as shaming teen parents. I see it as a wake up call that if you don't want your child to be one of those statistics you have to work harder to make sure it doesn't happen. And it could be a deterrent to other teens to help them make wiser decisions so they don't get pregnant. I don't see anything wrong with them.
I see the shaming more in how these posters are done, than in the message they are sending. Why not have a picture of a young mother and her baby, with a quote from her along the lines of 'My baby daddy and I broke up, now I am trying to raise my baby on my own and finish school.' Then add your states around the father sticking around. Having the message come from real teen mothers seems more like educating and less like talking down to anyone. More of a girlfriend to girlfriend, 'I love my baby, but this is HARD and I wouldnt recommend it' kind of vibe.
Originally Posted by KimPossible
I would say the group this targets the most is the 'Its cool and wonderful to have a baby' group. In our highschool you can pretty much predict who will get pregnant a lot of the time, because they are the ones who hang around with the other teen mothers and their babies, and spend time especially with the babies. There is this subculture that is telling these girls that having a baby will complete their lives, so they are purposely trying to get pregnant.