Thursday, March 14, 2013

Will harsh facts reduce teen pregnancies?

A new campaign to reduce teen pregnancies has begun appearing in the NYC subways.  One poster which features a photo of a baby reads: “I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen.”  While another, which addresses teenage dads reads: “Dad, you’ll be paying to support me for the next 20 years.” (Dudman, 2013)

Oddly enough Planned Parenthood has expressed disapproval of the effort stating that they “prefer a judgment-free approach.”  Hmm.  What does telling it like it is have to do with making judgments? 

From what I have read they could have gone a step further, and reminded people that the sons of teen moms are nearly three times as likely to serve a prison sentence. (Maynard, 1996)

So what do you think?  Is the approach too harsh to work?  Or will it open some eyes and be a success?

Dudman, G. (2013, March 13) Bloomberg’s teen pregnancy prevention campaign sparks controversy.  Washington Square News.  p3.

Maynard, R. (1996) Kids Having Kids.  Washington D.C.: Urban Institute Press


  1. Well regardless, judgments are being passed. Yes, teenage pregnancy is an epidemic. And sure, this campaign is probably verified by statistics, but still, not everyone who has a child as a teenager is doomed. And vice versa. Um, my dad had me in his 40s and he was paying to support me for nearly 21 years of his life.

    The approach is a bit off-putting. And every solution I hear is a bit extreme i.e. teaching abstinence. If they want to target teenagers and have them think twice, it needs to be with education. And empathy. And that starts with educators and peers and support groups in academia. And extends as far as conversations at the dinner table. Why don't we leave the subway advertisements to fun stuff like Uniqlo and Manhattan Storage? I bet half of those teenagers looking at the ad are probably laughing inside.

    1. I actually saw an advertisement earlier today in the subway on this, and I'd like to retract my earlier statement. It wasn't really off-putting. The ad went along the lines of, "Can you REALLY afford to care for her?" with a picture of cute baby crying. It was tough love, but I think it hit home. I felt like there was a genuine care there, and hopefully, the message resonates with sexually active teenagers.

  2. Yes I saw this ad.The conbination that sentence and the picture of crying baby gave us kind of strong feeling.I think this ad works for more parents who have a teenager kids than teenagers.The point is that we can see this ad in subway.I saw this ad with the real young mother and a little kid.And also there another family, rich parents and chirdren in good cloths.In spite of myself I compare the two family.The ad is kind of extreme, so some teenagers are laughing at this, but it is effective to make the parents who have teenagers think it seriously.


  3. Telling it the way it is - is the best approach in my eyes. To bring awareness to the realities of having a baby too young is the point. If it helps one person to change either their thinking or behavior it would be effective.

    Susan DiBello