Responding to my earlier post, several commenters said that the campaign’s messaging seems to single out girls. But I’ve learned that some of the posters are clearly aimed at boys. One features a cute baby who says: “Dad, you’ll be paying to support me for the next 20 years.” Another says: “Think being a teen parent won’t cost you? NY state law requires a parent to pay child support until a child is 21.” So the overall message is clearly to both boys and girls.
Here’s another one of the ads (and this one blew me away):
First, it’s factually true. Surely that ought to count for something!
Second, other than church-sponsored communications, this may be the first time I have EVER seen a public service message to young people about sexuality and childbearing that specifically suggests, “don’t have children before you are married.” I can’t recall a single other instance in which the “m” word has been used in this way.
Almost all messaging on this issue has always said, “don’t have a baby while you are a teenager!” To me, this new message is much stronger, much better. Bravo, Mayor Bloomberg! I mean, what are we as a society actually trying to say? Don’t have a baby when you are 17 or 19, but when you are 20 or 22, no problem? How lame is that? Meanwhile, most of the unwed child bearing in the U.S. today that is causing so much human suffering is not to teens at all, but to persons in their 20s. So the whole idea of society being up in arms solely against “teen pregnancy” has always been something of a mystery to me, given the actual demographics in the country, and the actual living conditions of America’s poor and at-risk children.