Pregnant teenhood: Bristol Palin wouldn’t recommend it

Pregnant: n. containing a developing embryo, fetus, or unborn offspring within the body

Bristol Palin did her first interview yesterday (on Fox, where else?) and she made two statements that indicate that Reality has a way of intruding on Ideology, even on a Palin person:

“I like being a mom, I love it. Just seeing him smile and stuff, it’s awesome…It is very challenging but it’s so rewarding…Of course, I wish it would happen in ten years so I could have a job and an education and be, like, prepared and have my own house and stuff… I just hope that people learn from my story and, I don’t know, prevent teen pregnancy I guess… It’s not just the baby part of it that’s hard, it’s that I’m not living for myself anymore I’m living for another human being…I’d like to be an advocate to prevent teen pregnancy because its not a situation you strive for I guess…Kids should just wait–it’s not glamorous at all.”

And actually, “abstinence only” might not be such a great idea after all:

I think abstinence is like, like the…I don’t know how to put it…like the..the main….everyone should be abstinent or whatever, but it’s not realistic at all.”

Like, whatever. Too bad she didn’t figure this out a year or so ago. And nationally the numbers reflect the toll “abstinence only education” has had on the teen birth rate, which is suddenly spiking across the country after fifteen years of steady decline.

The highest teen birth rates are in the South and Southwest; Mississippi is highest with 68.4 per 1,000, followed by New Mexico, with a rate of 64.1 and Texas, with 63.1. The lowest rates are in the Northeast.  New Hampshire had the fewest teen births with 18.7 per 1,000. Vermont, with 20.8 per 1,000, and Massachusetts, with 21.3 per 1,000, were also low.

Hmmm. The states most likely to support abstinence only education have teen pregnancy rates three times higher than use using more comprehensive sex ed programs. And how about this recent study, summarized at USA Today:

Teenagers who pledge virginity until marriage aren’t making good on their promises not to have premarital sex, according to a new study published in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health analysis finds pledgers are just as likely to have sex before marriage as those who didn’t pledge to remain virgins, but the pledgers are much less likely to report using birth control or practicing safe sex when they do.

The report reviewed data from a federal survey of teenagers who said they had never had sex and had not taken a virginity pledge and matched them with peers of similar characteristics who had taken a pledge. Both groups were surveyed in 1995 and again five years later when they reported on their sexual behavior, sexually-transmitted diseases and safe sex practices.

Both those who pledged and those who didn’t pledge did not differ in their sexual practices or the incidence of premarital sex, but pledgers used birth control and condoms less often. Also, 84% of pledgers denied ever making an abstinence pledge.

I’m shocked. SHOCKED! I tell you.

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4 responses to “Pregnant teenhood: Bristol Palin wouldn’t recommend it

  1. It’s often scary being the mother of a teenager – I do my best to have frank, open discussions with my son (especially regarding alcohol, which leads to loss of inhibitions) – but other than that, it’s a case of scare the hell out of him and cross my fingers.

  2. It’s scary being a mother, period. You do the best you can, love them to pieces, try to share the wisdom you’ve gained the hard way (flashing your scars to prove it), and in the end they’ll do what they’re gonna do. And sometimes it’s beyond stupid. You pray they survive intact.

  3. The language that young woman uses to express her feelings about being a teenage mother lead me to believe that she could use an education. I realize that at my age, (85 next month), I don’t have a proper appreciation for the language our young people use, but Bristol Palin would be well advised to take some lessons in grammar. Unfortuneately, unless she is very lucky and determined to better herself, she will always be functionally illiterate. Now that’s a shame!

    • Whaddya mean? Like ya think she can’t, ya know, express herself?

      The sad thing is that she’s bright enough to realize she needs more education, and that being a teen mother really cuts into that possibility.