The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Teen Pregnancy in Tennessee

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Today, 86 young girls are pregnant or have had a baby at Frayser High School in Memphis, TN. 

Pregnancy is not a new problem at this school, nor is it in the state of Tennessee. The teen pregnancy rate is approximately 15-20% in Memphis, while the pregnancy rate at Frayser High School is over 26%. Alicia Williamson, a former student, told KTUU “There were a whole lot of bellies. You had to watch out so you didn’t bump into them”.

The city of Memphis plans to fight teen pregnancy with the help of the nonprofit organization Girls Inc. Deborah Hester Harrison, the executive director of Girls Inc. in Memphis, believes that part of the increase in teen pregnancy rates is at least partly due to popular television shows, such as “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom.” Girls Inc. and the city of Memphis are promoting the new campaign –“No Baby!”—is designed to education both girls and boys about the risks of pregnancies and how to prevent them.

For the first time in a decade, pregnancy rates have jumped over 3% and the abortion rate has also gone up 1% among teenagers. Why has pregnancy rates among teenagers increased?  Researchers believe poverty, lax use of birth control, or sex-education programs that only focus on abstinence are may be to blame.  To learn more about the rise in pregnancy rates and sex-education funding, please read “Rise in teenage pregnancy rates spurs new debate on arresting it”.

Interested in learning more about teen pregnancies? Please read previous blog posts discussing  the glamorization of teen mothers on television and the controversial decision to allow girls as young as 13 to be on birth control.  
- Samantha Bradbeer
Junior Girl
Girl Museum, Inc.

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