New NYC anti-teen pregnancy campaign....are they being too harsh, or just enough?

  1. Critics blast NYC's anti-teen pregnancy campaign

    Just read this article. And I have to admit I am kind of conflicted.

    On the one hand...Studies have been done showing so many negative repercussions on children born to teen parents, as well as on the parents themselves. That isn't to say that it happens all the time. Of course not.

    But just looking at statistics: 'Nearly one-third of teen girls who have dropped out of high school cite early pregnancy or parenthood as a key reason. Only 40 percent of teen moms finish high school, and less than two percent of teen mothers (those who have a baby before age 18) finish college by age 30. (

    I am sure that most parents who decide to go back to school think it is much harder to do when you also have to worry about financially supporting a child, and meeting their needs, both physical and emotional.

    What about poverty rates among teen moms? Or the fact that according to the CDC, 'The children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement and drop out of high school, have more health problems, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, give birth as a teenager, and face unemployment as a young adult.'

    On the other hand, much of this is because of our current society and it's failures. We have shows like 'Teen Mom' that to some people kind of glorify teen pregnancy. There is also a lot to be said about sex education in school. Then you have parents who have no choice to both be at work full time, therefore less time spent with kids. And when hormonal teenagers are alone, they are more likely to do things they shouldn't, like having unprotected sex.

    Now please, before people get their panties in a bunch, I'm really not wanting to be judgmental. I'm not saying that having two working parents makes them BAD parents. I'm not saying that all teen moms are high school dropouts who will raise another high school dropout. I guess I just want a change, want this ugly trend to turn around, for the sake of our society as well as my daughter who will be a teenager all too soon lol.

    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Mar 10, '13
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    About uRNmyway

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 1,163; Likes: 2,284
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: Med-surg, mother-baby


  3. by   hopefulwhoop
    I've seen nothing wrong with the ones I've seen. The ads are brutally honest and for that reason, there will be backlash. Wrap it up, folks!
  4. by   JDZ344
    I see nothing wrong with presenting facts and statistics. The ads are not offensive. If it makes even one teen think twice about unprotected sex, then the message is working.
  5. by   Rose_Queen
    As long as the ads are factual, I see nothing wrong with them. Sometimes, it takes a strong message to get the point across.
  6. by   ProfRN4
    The message NEEDS to be strong. Most teens don't respond to subtle hints.

    As a parent of a teen, living in NYC, I see no issue with the ads. As a parent of a teen within a 2 working parent household, I'd like to interject my opinion. I really don't think it's about the quantity of time not spent with her, it's about the quality of time we do spend with her. I'm fortunate that my schedule is not as full as the average nurse (teaching affords me a nice amount of time off) and that she is my only child. But I know I need to be attentive to her needs and emotions. She has always been a very needy child, so I am very mindful of that as she gets older, and starts to get into relationships. Many Kids have sex when their needs are not met at home.

    And we do watch teen mom, so I can point out to her how pathetic these girls are. I don't mean to say it in that way, but the best example is Kailynn. No one loves that poor girl.. I truly feel bad for her (or the character they have portrayed her to be). Janelle and her mother are equally pathetic, because they have an awful relationship (and her mom doesn't appear to have a job).
  7. by   ckh23
    I agree. The facts and statistics are what they are. In fact, there needs to be things like this to combat these ridiculous shows like "Teen Mom" that is supposed to help prevent teen pregnancy, but only ends up showing these young teen moms collecting a nice paycheck from the show and interviews with garbage magazines.
  8. by   wanderlust99
    I remember Tyra Banks, when she had a talk show, she did a show about teen pregnancy. Tyra's mom apparently sat her down as a teenager and told her all the things boys would tell her to talk her into having sex. How they'll say they love you, you're the only one, you're so special, it feels so much better without a condom, i can just pull out and it'll be fine. Anyway, Tyra was saying that later on when she started dating she would hear the boys say the same things her mother warned her about, so she didn't have sex with them.
  9. by   uRNmyway
    See I am personally a supporter of tough love. I guess our current society does not usually fit that bill, so it's kind of surprising for this kind of campaign to be started.
    I'm just afraid that without the proper support and parenting at home like one of the previous posters mentioned, all the campaigning will be useless.
  10. by   Double-Helix
    I suppose my concern would be that these ads don't directly address sexually active teenagers, they address teenagers who have already had children or, to a lesser degree, those who are pregnant. Yes, the facts are true, but most teenagers don't read an ad like that and think, "Oh, that could be me if I don't use birth control." Ads that point out the consequences of unprotected sex- like STD's, HIV, and unplanned pregnancy would probably be more beneficial.

    The ads seem to most directly target teenagers who have already had children and are trying to raise them. In that respect, the ads do alienate and even insult teenage parents- insinuating that their children are being raised in substandard homes with a doomed future despite the best efforts of their parents.

    For girls who may be pregnant, the ads don't provide anything by the way of counseling, resources, or options for the pregnancy. The very clear message seems to be, "Don't have a baby if you're a teenager." Which is all well and good if you're not a pregnant teen, but if you are, it doesn't give you much hope for the future, and, in my opinion, increases the likelihood that the teen will choose to have an abortion.

    Now, I understand that teenager pregnancy is a problem. I understand that teen parents, and children born to teen parents, face additional struggles, but I also believe that the decision to parent a child is a personal one, and teenagers (especially pregnant teenagers who are already confused and scared) should be offered support, accurate information, and resources- not have giant signs at every street corner telling them what a terrible parent they will be, and what a terrible future their child has if they decide to deliver and raise their child. I think the problem needs to be addressed at the level of sex education, birth control availability, and the consequences of unsafe sexual activity.
  11. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from Ashley, PICU RN
    For girls who may be pregnant, the ads don't provide anything by the way of counseling, resources, or options for the pregnancy. The very clear message seems to be, "Don't have a baby if you're a teenager." Which is all well and good if you're not a pregnant teen, but if you are, it doesn't give you much hope for the future, and, in my opinion, increases the likelihood that the teen will choose to have an abortion.
    I guess it depends on how you look at things. It's kind of like the debate between "don't have sex" vs. "if you have sex, use protection." Which is the right way to approach it?

    I hate to put it this way, but these kids already know that there are resources available for them when they become pregnant. If their own parents cannot support them, someone will (their schools, the government, in the way of welfare, WIC, food stamps, or even MTV or TLC). They'll still graduate HS if they want to, or 'just' get their GED. They will get financial aid to go to college, and there will be some program to pay for their child's daycare. There's really no incentive to not become pregnant, because in their invincible wisdom, they will not be one of those girls who will let this baby hold them back. And (of course) their baby's father will stick by them. Sounds perfect, right? But somewhere along the way, it doesn't all come together.

    I just wish these young women would have enough confidence and self esteem to keep their legs closed, and work on themselves and their goals (like Becoming nurses, ). That's where our efforts need to be focused.
  12. by   Double-Helix
    Quote from ProfRN4
    I guess it depends on how you look at things. It's kind of like the debate between "don't have sex" vs. "if you have sex, use protection." Which is the right way to approach it?
    I understand what you're saying, but the difference is that both the "don't have sex" and the "use birth control" approach address teen pregnancy before it actually happens. These ads address it after it has occurred or even after the child has been born.

    When I mentioned resources I was really referring to things like adoption services, counseling, and prenatal care, rather than welfare. But I'll also add that if it those resources that you describes really were so readily available and commonly utilized, then the statistics for these ads really wouldn't exist at all, would they?

    In your last paragraph, I think you hit the nail on the head. Society (or the city of New York) should be more focused on promoting the self-confidence and self-worth of our teenage girls, not posting giant billboards with barely dressed and photoshopped Victoria Secret models on one corner and an ad with a crying toddler with a teen mom on the next.
  13. by   Nurse ABC
    I just hope the young kids from teenage parents don't read these ads and feel bad or a burden to their parents ( like older grade school). I don't think these are really going to make that big of a difference. Teens are known for being impulsive and for thinking it won't happen to them. Kids would have to live under a rock to not know they SHOULD use condoms or other birth control but like one of the pp said-even if it does happen, there are so many resources and govt aid available so it's not that big of deal to many. I think the best way to prevent teen pregnancy is by promoting girls ( and guys) to have big goals, self-confidence, and helping them to resist peer pressure. I do watch Teen Mom with my teenage daughter and it in no way glorifies being a teen mom if you watch it. All of these girls have a very tough life having trouble trying to finish their high school education and college while raising a baby as a single mom. They are all sad that their baby daddy relationships aren't working well. The only couple that did stay together gave their baby up for adoption and they are still sad and having a hard time about it 3 yrs later. This show has opened up many conversations with my daughter about how decisions like these can affect the rest of your life. I also think it's important for girls to have a good relationship with their fathers. It's been proven that girls who have fathers that make them feel special and loved (in a healthy way of course) will be less likely to be influenced by a boy telling her that just to get in her pants. I definately think the self-esteem issue and trying to feel loved is the biggest problem in teen pregnancy!
  14. by   Elkay
    Something will ALWAYS offend someone. Those ads are the truth. Life is too short to worry about sugar coating reality.
    Seriously if you have ever dealt with teenagers before, in order to engrave anything into their head you got to beat it into them. Otherwise it just goes through one ear and out the other.