Original post made
on Jan 9, 2008
The 50-fold higher birthrate for teenage mothers in East Palo Alto is a sad reflection of the fact that no matter how much exposure to the issue of teen pregnancy there is in this community, there still isn't a stigma associated with it as there is in Palo Alto.
The truth of the matter is that there is no stigma attached to teen parenthood when the teens are products of teen parents themselves. If we look at the picture of the parents of the teens getting pregnant, we will find that they are probably 2nd, 3rd or even 4th generational teen parents.
To stop this circle, educating the older residents who have been in the situation themselves as to how to demonstrate to their teen kids that this is unwise is key. It is very difficult to get the message across to teens who see their own mothers having survived very nicely on welfare, etc. as not being good role models is an unsupportable hurdle particularly when these role models will support the teen in everything they choose to do in regard to sex and its subsequent responsibilities.