Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Pregnant Teens in the Limelight

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Pregnant Teens in the Limelight
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think about this often, but obviously, it's on my mind today in regard to Bristol Palin.

I'm just wondering what all of you think about how someone like Bristol Palin or Jamie Lynn Spears simply deals with the pressures of being underage and pregnant and so publicly visible. It's tough enough for teen women to become pregnant and deal with pregnancies without all the eyes of the world on them, or additional pressures put on them based on how their family is.

I imagine even deciding what to do in terms of what reproductive choice they make has got to be far more difficult for them than it is for those not so visible (and flatly, worry about how pressured they are in their choices).

What do you think it might be like being in their position? How do you think, perhaps, the pressures they were living under even before becoming pregnant might have felt? Do you think you could handle being where they're at?

(I probably don't have to say this, but with discussions like this, the same rules apply as they do with any other discussion at Scarleteen. Name-calling, what have you, isn't okay, even if who we're talking about isn't present.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
Activist
Member # 25983

Icon 1 posted      Profile for -Lauren-     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To sum it up briefly, I'm saddened, because in Hollywood the only acceptable choice seems to be to keep the baby, as we've discussed in another thread.

Lots of teens' careers are controlled by their parents, and they have even less say in their pregnancy likely. That sort of coercion frightens me, and I certainly couldn't handle that sort of pressure. I feel very sorry for Spears in particular, who also faces mockery on behalf of the media's focus on her sister's image/mothering blunders.

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
qeii
Neophyte
Member # 23487

Icon 1 posted      Profile for qeii     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think focusing too closely on Bristol or Jamie Lynn's pregnancies misses a major point- they aren't representative of most teens, nor should they have that added responsibility of being a "poster child" of sexually active teens. I hope that Bristol's decision to continue with her pregnancy was her own, and not forced upon her by her mother's or anyone else's beliefs (but the cynic in me suspects this might not be the case).

Everyone's situation is different, and I think the media is focusing way too much on these girls who decided to continue with their pregnancies. That isn't the right choice for everyone, and I worry about the backlash against young women who don't have the means to support a pregnancy.

I'm 20 now, and even with a couple of years on these girls, I don't think I could deal with the situation well. It's really a damned if you do, damned if you don't sorta thing.

Posts: 13 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alice
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 28346

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Alice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think it's really unfair. It's hard enough to be a teen and pregnant, I can't imagine being in the tabloids at the same time. As a non-famous person, I got hardcore judged at the freaking grocery store, which was hard enough.

As for the VP nominee w/McCain, I don't even want to go there. It makes me sad because it's possible that she was pressured into keeping the kid. I know that there's no clinics in Alaska. I know that woman actually have to travel here, the pac northwest, to get an abortion. One more thing on her - in an article I read Sarah Palin was quoted saying that she's doing the right thing and marrying the father. She's 17! It just makes me sad. At least she seems to have family support.

Anyway. To sum it up, I think it's sad. The focus on celebrities is getting more ridiculous by the day. Also, the idea that movies like Juno glorify being a young mom make me angry, too. Because we are all so dense and naive that the situation in June made pregnancy look like so much FUN and going through a tought adoption scenario is so great. Because of course all the people in the country should have power over our reproductive choices. Of course we need more pressure on us to do the "right thing."

[ 09-01-2008, 10:27 PM: Message edited by: Alice ]

Posts: 1180 | From: WA | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Djuna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Of course, no questions have been asked of the (as far as I can make out) notably absent father.

Personally, I have never met Bristol Palin, and will not judge her. However, I think it speaks volumes of a Republican ticket that is pro-abstinence and anti-contraception, anti-sex education. The message isn't even working in the politicians' households, for crying out loud - how do we expect them to legislate for the development of however many millions of American children?

--------------------
“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For sure, on the hypocrisy when it comes to Palin's parent.

But I want to be sure this thread stays on topic: it's not about her mother. Sarah Palin isn't a pregnant teenager, and neither is John McCain, and based on what we know, neither has ever been one, either.

Rather, let's talk about the pressures put on Bristol and, if you like, the pressures put on Levi Johnston as well.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Djuna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I assume Levi Johnston is the father? I haven't even heard his name mentioned over here.

There was an interesting article on the subject of pregnant teenagers recently on the BBC:

quote:
News that the daughter of the vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is expecting a child at 17 has again focused the spotlight on teenage pregnancy. But why do we have such a problem with it?

A teenager expecting a baby is a bad thing. Or so you would believe if you ever read the news.

It is proclaimed that the UK's rate of pregnancies in females aged 15-19 makes it the "worst" in Europe.

This is certainly the government's view. The stated goal of its Teenage Pregnancy Strategy is to "halve the under-18 conception rate by 2010, and establish a firm downward trend in the under-16 rate".

With under-16s it's easy to see the reasoning - the age of consent is 16, compulsory schooling runs until 16. But for those over the age of 16, but under the age of 18, or even 20, is it still a social ill?



[ 09-12-2008, 06:20 PM: Message edited by: patrickvienna ]

--------------------
“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Only passing though (needed a down day unexpectedly), but I feel like you've missed the point.

It's not about if being a pregnant teen is a social ill, save how stigma -- amongst many other things -- makes it tougher to BE a parent as a teen than it tends to be for older parents. If we listen to young parents and pregnant teens, they tell us, clearly, that it is very hard. If we listen to parents who parented in their teens and then also later, we will almost always hear them talk about how much harder it was for them the first time.

And since -- sparing the treatment Plain is getting, primarily because she is being used as a political prop -- it very much IS treated as a social ill, including how much pregnant teens get shafted with fewer resources than older people, there is great pressure in being a very young parent. Add in being in the limelight, and you exponentially increase that pressure. For instance, if Palin winds up divorced or gets reported to social services, it won't just be her own trauma, but will be all over the news, and she knows that. If she DID want to abort (we can't know what she wants, since she hasn't spoken for herself), her making that decision in the midst of all this, and with a nation knowing and watching would be....well, UGH. Impossible, really.

And yes, that is the name of the father.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3