President Obama Endorses a Day for Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Posted on Wed, May 06, 2009 @ 05:53 AM
teen pregnancy prevention

Today (May 6) is America's National Day to Prevent Teen pregnancy. Mind you, lest there be any confusion, no one is saying the problem is going to be solved in a day. So why have a day at all? Don't we have enough 'Hallmark days' on the calendar as it is?

It's trendy these days for bloggers and twitterers to greet every new commemoration with that very question in petulant chorus, but the fact is that when media coordinate to focus on an issue in unison it does make a strong, positive impact on public awareness and involvement. 

This year, which marks the 8th annual commemoration of this day, the official Web site of the non-partisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy displays a letter from President Obama, who obviously considered the topic important enough to warrant his recognition. After acknowledging the risks and challenges presented by America's high rates of teen pregnancy and pledging his support for combined community efforts, President Obama had this to add:

We must also remember that, as parents, mentors and friends, we have a responsibility to be involved in the lives of our children and talk to them about teen pregnancy.

How do parents talk to their children about this important issue? Bill Albert of the National Campaign offers some practical tips in "Teens, Parents and Teen Parents." More information can also be found at the National Campaign's sister site, Stayteen.org.

Tags: parenting teens, teenage pregnancy, bill albert, national campaign to prevent teen and unplanned pr, teens and parents

Childhood Interrupted

Posted on Tue, Dec 09, 2008 @ 03:54 PM
A Special Report on Teen Pregnancy
family relationships

The recent Rand study connecting the viewing of sexual content on television with increased rates of teen pregnancy has created quite a stir. Even though the Rand researchers did not lay blame, and indeed were careful to make appropriate qualifying statements, Monday-morning quarterbacks who haven't taken the time to read the study have in some cases been too quick to accuse them of one-sidedness.

Perhaps any one-sidedness in the story was introduced on the part of those reporting it.

Fortunately there are cooler heads amongst those who deal with this issue on a regular basis. One of these is Bill Albert, chief program officer for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Though I spoke to him on a Monday, there was no post-game quarterbacking involved.

"The recent Rand study that came out about sexual content on TV was a very good study, one of the best that’s been done to date," Albert told me. Acknowledging that he had nevertheless been "fearful of the unintended consequences"—that would follow if people were to focus on TV at the expense of other factors, Albert pointed the way to the reason the Rand study is important for families to read: "TV actually grows in stature as other important influences in a teen’s life—for instance, parents—diminish," he said. "The negative aspects of media influence can be greatly mitigated by on-the-job parents."

How do we make sure we're the on-the-job sort of parent? Albert gave some very sound, practical advice in this portion of the interview. More of our discussion will appear in the Spring issue of the journal Vision.

Tags: family relationships, teenage pregnancy, bill albert, national campaign to prevent teen and unplanned pr