Thursday, June 19, 2008

High school baby boom

Weird story from Gloucester, Mass.:
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. . . . 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," [principal Joseph] 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. Then the story got worse. "We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy," the principal says, shaking his head.
(Via Hot Air Headlines.) Despite the obvious fact that these girls wanted to get pregnant, the idea that teenage pregnancy must always be an accident, the result of ignorance -- that what kids need is more classes about condoms and pills -- nevertheless persists:
[A]fter nurse practitioner Kim Daly had administered some 150 pregnancy tests at Gloucester High's student clinic, she and the clinic's medical director, Dr. Brian Orr, a local pediatrician, began to advocate prescribing contraceptives regardless of parental consent, a practice at about 15 public high schools in Massachusetts.
It's an interesting story, so read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Allahpundit asks, "Any theories?" A couple:
  • Nature triumphs over nuture. Let's face it: Baby-making is biologically programmed into the female psyche. Absent any strong incentive against getting knocked up -- i.e., ferociously protective parents who threaten to beat the living daylights out of any guy who tries to get frisky with their daughter -- this is what will happen.
  • The power of suggestion. The school has a program to keep pregnant students from dropping out. Once the girls see one of their classmates walking around with a baby, they get ideas in their heads.
If you really want to understand the issue of teen pregnancy, you should read Maggie Gallagher's The Age of Unwed Mothers (available online in PDF format).

1 comment:

  1. What is amusing about the Time article is their view of the "causes" Jobs moving overseas (meaning George Bush). Lack of local clinics. Blah, blah blah. Standard leftist nonsense.