I am seeing a horrifying trend in YA romance: glorifying teen pregnancy.
Now, before I go on, I am not slamming teen moms (or dads). I am simply saying that books targeted at kids should NOT glamorize babies having babies (as Judge Judy would put it). I feel like these books give teens a very bad, incorrect view of what being a teen mom is like. So here are the facts:
- 1. 3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20. That’s nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year.
- 2.Parenthood is the leading reason that teen girls drop out of school. More than 50% of teen mothers never graduate from high school.
- 3. About 25% of teen moms have a 2nd child within 24 months of their first baby.
- 4.Less than 2% of teen moms earn a college degree by age 30.
- 5.The United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the western industrialized world.
- 6. In 2011, the teen birthrate in the United States fell to the lowest level recorded in nearly 70 years of tracking teen childbearing.
- 7.In 2008, the teen pregnancy rate among African-American and Hispanic teen girls, ages 15 to 19, was over two and a half times higher than the teen pregnancy rate among white teen girls of the same age group.
- 8. 8 out of 10 teen dads don’t marry the mother of their child.
- 9. A sexually active teen who doesn’t use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year.
- 10. More than half of all mothers on welfare had their first child as a teenager. In fact, two-thirds of families begun by a young, unmarried mother are poor.
Also teen moms are:
- Are more likely to get pregnant more times during their life
- Are more likely to be single parents
- Are less likely to have good health coverage for their babies
- Are less prepared for being a parent and may not know how to take care of their baby
- Are less likely to get support from the biological father
So, fellow authors: Can you PLEASE stop making it look like a Disney movie? Books most notorious for this behavior are:
Taking Chances by Molly McAdams
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Hooked by Catherine Greenman
Fifteen...& What?! by E. McNew