Monday, March 18, 2013

New York City's Teen Pregnancy Campaign Creating a Stir

For many of us, it's too late to discuss the hardships that come along with teen pregnancy. Although teen pregnancy statistics have dropped to historic lows in 2010, according to the CDC, there are already thousands of teenage parents in the U.S. alone. In the CDC's brief, they stated that "fewer babies were born to teenagers in 2010 than in any year since the mid-1940s".

But, despite these figures, there are still already thousands of teen parents out there, and we have to think about these parents and children when we're making posters for teen pregnancy awareness campaigns.

Take a look at this poster, which is part of New York City's new teen pregnancy campaign:

Human Resources Administration
The advertisement above can be found around New York City in neighborhoods that have higher rates of teen pregnancy. “I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen,” the poster is captioned.

And, this is another advertisement in the NYC campaign:

How do you think it makes teen parents feel when they see it? Or the parents of the teen parents...or even better, the children of teen parents?
Although they certainly capture the attention of passersby, they do not offer a bit of encouragement or information for teenagers! All they really do is tout negative stereotypes that are associated with teen pregnancy!

Going one step further with the stereotypes, Michael Powell of the New York Times mentioned in his column that teenage pregnancy is a "problem of poverty".So, Sarah Palin must be poverty stricken?

Of course, we don't want to encourage teen pregnancy, but this campaign seems to be going a bit overboard. And, the stereotypes that are associated with teen pregnancy? It can happen to anyone, and merely saying that teen pregnancy is a "problem of poverty" is misleading and misinforming.

What are your thoughts?

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