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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » Eleven-year-old girl to become Britain's youngest mum

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Author Topic: Eleven-year-old girl to become Britain's youngest mum
Gumdrop Girl
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/healthmain.html?in_article_id=385968&in_page_id=1774&in_a_source=&ct=5

quote:
Girl, 11, will be Britain's youngest mother
By IAN DRURY, Daily Mail 08:52am 12th May 2006


A girl is to become Britain's youngest mother after becoming pregnant at 11.

The girl smokes 20 cigarettes a day despite being eight months' pregnant. She conceived aged 11 when she lost her virginity to a boy of 15 on a drunken night out with friends.

The 15-year-old has since been charged with rape by police, and is due to appear again at Edinburgh sheriff court on July 10.

Her 34-year-old mother, who gave birth to her youngest child eight months ago, said she was 'proud' of her daughter.

She will be 12 years and 8 months when she has the child next month. Jenny Teague, Britain's youngest mother until now, was a month older when she gave birth in 1997.

read more in the link at the top of the post

your thoughts? [Eek!]

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September
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Good grief.

What bothers me is that her mother claims to be "proud". I'm not sure what she's proud of? Having a daughter who started smoking at 9, drinking at 10 and having (unprotected, drunken) sex at 11?

I feel sorry for the unborn child.

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Johanna
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Beppie
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Hmmm... I think that article is a bit sensationalist-- it's pretty clearly aimed at the folk who love moaning about "what is our society coming to?" and blaming the parents, etc. Of course it's a good reason to question sex ed policies and indeed on a personal level to question what her circumstances are like at home-- but I'd hope she's being treated as an individual rather than as a social ill.

In my opinion, from what I can make out, it's pretty clear that this girl has some serious problems that extend far beyond (though they are certainly exasserbated by) her pregnancy, and those problems need to be addressed privately with counsllors, rather than publicly in the media. I hope that she and her baby both get through this okay.

[ 05-13-2006, 04:07 AM: Message edited by: Beppie ]

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Beppie
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=379738&in_page_id=1879

I'd also note that the article above links to this one, which is aimed at encouraging abstinence based sex-ed in the UK, claiming that according to Daily Mail "reports" (ie, the speculation of journalists, rather than academic, peer-reviewed studies), teenage girls are becoming pregnant in order to get a few hundred pounds of assistance available to them, although in order to recieve a good deal of this money they need to attend an educational program that teaches essential life skills. This article also tries to demean young mothers by comparing them to a fictional character in the comedy series Little Britain.

September: it may well be that the mother has a few things to answer for here, but I'm not sure that a comment reprinted in a the Daily Mail is necessarily one of them. After all, it could have easily been taken out of context-- she might have said much more to them that wasn't printed. Furthermore, I hardly see how it would be helpful for the mother to go around publicly saying that she was ashamed of her daughter. After all, the girl is going to have to deal with an awful lot as it is. She's going to get loads of crap for being a single mother even though she was raped, and the rape factor itself will likely increase the amount of stigma that she will face-- increasing the shame and stigma that she will receive as a (very) young single mother and rape victim is certainly not going to help any.

[ 05-13-2006, 04:25 AM: Message edited by: Beppie ]

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September
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I somehow missed the rape part. I assumed he'd been charged with statuatory rape since she is quoted as saying that she didn't think she could get pregnant her first time. I took that to mean that she'd made the decision not to use protection, which implies that she had the opportunity to make decisions. Maybe I missinterpreted that.

Either way, now that she's pregnant and has decided to carry the child to term it's certainly more useful to help her out than to slam her, but that doesn't change the fact that she's made a few lousy decisions.

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Johanna
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dailicious
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Sadly, it doesn't really shock me, but the fact that she said she knew she couldn't abort because she "doesn't believe in it" and then goes on to insisting that smoking multiple cigarettes every day during her pregnancy isn't a problem because it's not affecting the pregnancy! It's depressing to see how issues of life and death and health weigh in so differently morally. Abortion is considered "wrong" because this girl, would NEVER consider killing her baby! But quite possibly causing irreversible, life threatening and serious damage to a child (which she has no excuse NOT to be aware of) because she doesn't think smoking is really doing anything to the pregnancy- oh, that certainly isn't wrong at all!

THAT irritates me greatly. Yes, her mother probably could have done something diffierently to help her child early on. Yes, the girl has made some bad decisions regarding her own well being considering underage drinking, smoking, and unprotected sex as it is. But the fact she doesn't think it's a problem that she's been smoking daily and continues to do so this entire time? Not to mention, I don't see how she wouldn't just continue smoking every day after she's delivered the baby. That is stupid, irresponsible and completely thoughtless.

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Jean
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Beppie
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The charges may well be statutory rape (it doesn't specify) but as it says she was also drunk at the time, I don't think it would be unfair to say that the issue of consent is dubious at best. Furthermore, even if she was fully aware of what she was consenting to in spite of the alcohol, the fact that she was 11 and her partner was pretty much half again as old as she means that she's the victim of some pretty shocking sexual abuse, in my opinion.

Dailicious, I agree-- I personally find smoking during a pregnancy that one plans to carry to term is far more ethically questionable than aborting a fetus. I have got to wonder how well educated this girl is, however, before condemning her personally.

This is clearly a very crappy situation and I doubt that there's any completely clear way out of it for her-- I hope that she and her child manage the best that they possibly can. Certainly, I hope that someone is trying to get to the bottom of it-- someone who is far more well informed about the specifics of the situation than we are-- for the sake of this girl and her child. I just don't think that we, on these boards, can make broad sweeping statements about who has gone wrong where based on the limited and biased information in that article.

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logic_grrl
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Hmmm... I think that article is a bit sensationalist-- it's pretty clearly aimed at the folk who love moaning about "what is our society coming to?" and blaming the parents, etc.

For reference, for anyone not in the UK, the Daily Mail is a right-wing tabloid newspaper, notorious for prurience and bigotry.

In a linked article, they're busy being appalled that pregnant teens are getting free courses on parenthood and healthy pregnancy - apparently that constitutes "financial incentives" for pregnancy.

So I really wouldn't trust them to present an honest and unbiased picture of any situation.

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"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - the Talmud

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Heather
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Honestly, I'm not even sure what the question is here.

A very young woman was raped -- whether we're talking via her age or via the fact that she was intoxicated, we are talking some form of rape -- and chose to remain pregnant with the intent to parent.

The tabloid article chose to, in essence, make this about her being a "girl gone wrong," rather than addressing the fact that women of all ages -- especially very young women -- get raped, that sometimes results in pregnancy, and they have all the usual choices to make of any woman who becomes pregnant, though with, often, greater difficulty.

And like plenty of women, she's smoking while pregnant, which isn't a sound thing to do for anyone's health (though for all the shame-shame in that article on that, it should be noted that one often sees European mothers smoking and drinking while pregnant). Like many mothers do and have in situations like this, her mother is expressing pride, ostensibly, in her daughter choosing to keep the child, likely because she sees that as being a more difficult path, but one she feels is more worthy of props.

Clearly, from the whole of the article, she's got some problems, and it's likely her parent hasn't done the best job.

So, again, I'm not sure I understand what's really to evaluate here.

[ 05-13-2006, 04:43 PM: Message edited by: Miz Scarlet ]

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Gumdrop Girl
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My question is what happens in the course of 11 years that by age 9 she's smoking, drinking at 10 and getting pregannt at 11? What kind of example did her mother set for her kid?

as for rape, yes, it was statutory rape, but nothing has been said about whether the girl had unlawfully consented to the sex.

in whatever case, what the hell was wrong in that kid's life to have led up to this point? my sympathy is with the baby who is already being abused by its chain smoking mama and never asked for any of this. the baby is the innocent party here.

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Heather
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Well, in a lot of cases what happened was that there was, at a minimum, probably some serious dysfunction in her family. I started smoking at 11 myself, and I can tell you that a lot of why was escapism, was self-medicating, and in hindsight, I'd say a profound need to feel like I could put some distance between myself as the child I was stuck being in a crap home, and adulthood. None of which are sound things or smart things, but one can only expect so much from those living in the murky area between childhood and adolescence, especially if they aren't being nurtured by parents; especially if there isn't room given them to still be children.

I think it's safe to say we have more than one innocent party here. If ANY of the "facts" presented in that article are apt, from the sounds of things, we have a very young girl living in a hosuehold where it was, at the very least, in some way put upon her that anything but remaining pregnant wasn't an okay choice. We have a very young girl who became pregnant by an elder boy who knew she was intoxicated and also probably knew she was eleven years old, and likely took advantage of the entire situation. (And she did unlawfully consent: rather, she couldn't consent at all, because 11 is not over the AOC anywhere in the UK) And now she's got the eyes of the media on her, which never helps any scenario like this.

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Gumdrop Girl
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as for the media, my guess is that the family doesn't know how to differentiate between good publicity and bad publicity. otherwise, they wouldn't have offered comments. there are plenty of people who believe very simply that any mention in the newspapers or on TV is always a good thing; fame is not distinguishable from infamy. testament to this phenomenon lies in the fact that Jerry Springer's show is never lacking for guests.

and innocents? i don't believe the girl is a total victim as she does make her choices for how she lives her life (partying, drinking, smoking and the like). and while children don't always make smart choices, it isn't to say that they are utterly incapable of making some good ones.

Ask any typical eleven-year-old about cigarettes and alcohol and most of them will tell you they are bad (even if the reasoning is simplistic). It's not news to them that drinking and smoking are bad for health. So I don't think it's right to completely absolve the girl for some of the wrong doing. She was probably well aware that she was "being a bad girl," but got some warped signals from her social network that it was okay to behave like that.

so that's why i think that the baby is the real victim here, as it has had no chance to have made any of these choices whatsoever, but will be suffer the consequences nonetheless.

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1 in 3 sexually active people will be exposed to a STD by the time they turn 24.

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Heather
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Let me be plain: I just do not think that Scarleteen is the appropriate place to be putting an eleven-year-old girl, whose story has only been represented here per a tabloid piece, up for personal judgment.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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