Welcome to week 10 of our semester. This Tuesday March 22, we will be discussing teen pregnancy in the U.S. and with an international comparison. What we want to understand are the root causes of teen pregnancy in the U.S., how other countries have developed successful solutions, and what potential solutions could work in our (multi)-cultural context. We will go over this prezi on teen pregnancy and discuss the related issues. Please be ready to discuss the topic that your group was assigned.

We will be reading chapters from two books.

The first article is “Avenue to Adulthood,” by Gabrielle Raley (338-350). In this article, the author argues that living in concentrated poverty is the single most important predictor for teen pregnancy. For teens living in urban areas of vast poverty and high unemployment, they have few reasons to postpone parenthood as their options for higher education are low and professional employment is unlikely. Surprisingly, the author points out that when teen moms are compared against their peers who postponed child-rearing, there ends up being little different in their socio-economic outcomes later on in life. Therefore, a program that combats teen pregnancy is one that addresses root causes based out of poverty (inadequate social infrastructure, education, and future prospects).

We read chapter 8 in Kristin Luker’s book When Sex Goes to School. In this chapter, she discusses a sex ed tour she took through Sweden, France and the United States. She provides some contrasts between these very different systems and outcomes. She also provides an overview of the political context out of which our sex education programs originated.

In class, we will watch a short clip from the documentary The Education of Shelby Knox.

For our blog posting #9, which is due 2 hours before class on March 22, please answer one of the follow question, based upon your group number. Find a relevant link and information on this question and be prepared to present this material with your group on Tuesday. Also, include a summary of the main points of the articles and your analysis.

Group 5 will lead us on the overall topic on Tuesday. They can post links to any relevant materials that will help their presentation. Please use the assigned reading as a basis from which to jump from, and include outside information, not just a summary of the texts.

Group 1 General U.S. statistics nationwide and of New York State on teen pregnancy. Create at least two discussion questions on the topic for the class.

Group 2 Provide a comparison to four different countries on teen pregnancy rates and other related issues (include 2 “developed” countries and two “developing” countries). Create at least two discussion questions on the topic for the class.

Group 3 Provide additional information on sex education in the U.S. and in other countries that is NOT provided in the textbook. Create at least two discussion questions on the topic for the class.

Group 4 Discuss media representations of teen pregnancy (i.e. Teen Mom). Show some examples and compare the media representation against the statistical facts of teen pregnancy. Is the situation represented accurately? Create at least two discussion questions on the topic for the class.

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