11-Year-Old Girl Who Gave Birth Is Not Normal

Say What!? 305

pregnancy testIf there was ever a sentence that made me want to throw up my hands and scream "what is the world coming to!?" this is it. An 11-year-old girl has reportedly given birth in a hospital in Colombia. Eleven!

I was still playing with LEGOs at 11, and here this kid is a mother. Get that? Not just an 11-year-old having sex, but an 11-year-old who had a living, breathing human being cut out of her uterus by doctors performing a C-section.

O. M. G. This is me, hyperventilating. So I'm going to go ahead and talk myself -- and you -- off the ledge.

Because I really can't deal with the thought of my beautiful, smart, funny 6-year-old being a mother anytime in the next decade (or two), I'm going to put this story in context for everyone who will be freaking out about this on the interwebs for the next week or so.

This is not normal. At least not here in the United States. Yes, the age that girls are hitting puberty, and thus able to become pregnant, is dropping. But the average age for first intercourse for American girls is 17.4. For boys, it's still a fairly respectable 16.9. Only a quarter of teenagers report having had sex by age 15.

In Colombia, where this girl gave birth, the numbers are different. It's sad and heartbreaking. But it's also a different culture. This girl in particular is a member of the Wayuu tribe, an indigenous group that lives apart from much of Colombian society. Their way of life is not something you expect to see mirrored in an average American household, so grouping your kids in with her is unrealistic and unfair.

Our daughters -- and our sons, ahem -- have us. I don't mean to sound culturally insensitive, but I dare say we are better role models, or at least place more value on the sanctity of childhood here in America.

Also good to note? The average age of a first-time mother in the United States is now around 25 years old. There are some extremely young kids who get pregnant, tragically, but it's a blip on the radar screen.

And now for the really super, duper good news. A gazillion researchers have found there's a direct correlation between kids having a good, honest, open relationship with their parents and the age of first intercourse. If kids feel they can trust you, they're likely to put it off.

In other words: by being freaked out by this 11-year-old new mother and wanting to do something about it? You're already on the right track to making sure it's not your kid freaking us out next.

When do you plan to start having these talks with your kids?


Image via janineomg/Flickr

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nonmember avatar kim

Im colombian and i know most grils in colombia dont have sex till there 15\16 yes that is still very young but our familiys are alot more helpful then american familiys also here in the us how many kid u have drinking under age growing up in colombia ihad a much better relationship then my friends that had grow up here

Laurlev Laurlev

The vast majority of girls this young are victims rape or part of a culture that does not value women. She did not have this baby because her parents failed to have "the talk" with her.

nonmember avatar HS

You don't sound "culturally insensitive" but you do sound "culturally stupid". You were quick to whip out statistics for American teens so why not find some for Colombian teens? Other than the broad, uneducated statement, "In Colombia,..., the numbers are different."

nonmember avatar Darlene

I'm not surprised. Also, has nothing to do with puberty IMO. I'd be very interested in the Columbian teen statistics myself. I think the average age is VERY young...just not 11.

femal... femaleMIKE

yes, this is nasty to me.

Im pretty sure this girl was no longer playing with legos.  Her culture has prepared her for life as a mother.


nonmember avatar stfu

I have been to colombia kim and i believe kids in the U.S. Are way better than over there. They have coke directly related to them. Families are more helpful.? According to who. . .YOU? PLEASE. . . .How many kids were killed by Luis Garavito? EXACTLY. How many years did he get in jail? 22 . . .Yeah people in colombia care more about their kids. . . NOT. If they did more than 150 kids wouldnt have been raped, tortured, and killed by this guy who only got 22 years in JAIL. Next time think before you type.

MomoJL MomoJL

I just have to know, stfu - what exactly does "they have coke directly related to them" mean?

nonmember avatar OutThere

So, in your article you stated that "in Colombia it is a different culture" and then proceeded to admit that the girl in the story was from a small minority group in Colombia which is not the norm for the entire country. In your article, you mention that "the numbers are different" and call them sad and heartbreaking, but you never offer any statistics from Colombia.

In your article, you offer at least three statistics related to Americans, but none related to Colombians, but have the audacity to make a barely veiled claim that we are better parents when you haven't even presented the Colombian side except for some generalizations using one girl from a minority group as an example.

So, Ms. Sager, I'm not going to accuse you of sounding culturally insensitive, but I really wanna know....

Did you have to try to write an article this full of ineptitude and outdated racial stereotyping, or did you just kinda throw words up on paper?

(P.S. My boyfriend's mother was born and raised in Colombia and is the best mother I have ever met. My own mother was born and raised in America and was physically abusive. I guess that means Colombians are better parents. What? Those are just individual examples and not statistics? Oh? Well, I thought everyone got to stereotype entire nationalities using only one female as a sample today.)


There are girls in the US that have had babies at the age of 10. America isn't any better than Columbia when it comes to kids having kids.

mmlzrl91 mmlzrl91

This does not surprise me at all. I had kids in my school who were 10-11 years old and pregnant. My cousin who is now 15 had kids as young as 9 in the same school as her, pregnant. And... I live in America.

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