Will National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Succeed When 'Teen Mom' Is So Popular?

Jacqueline Burt Cote

teen pregnancy prevention video

Time for yet another National Day/Week/Month you never knew existed! Wednesday, May 4th, is the 10th Annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, and this year's, um, celebration (?) is being promoted with all sorts of interactive bells and whistles with an online game called Invasion of the Myth Monsters where Lego-esque teen characters fight equally Lego-esque zombie creatures who say things like "you can't get pregnant the first time you have sex" (take that, conception misconceptions!).

Nice try, National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, but I'm not expecting Teen Mom to get cancelled anytime soon.

I applaud their efforts, really I do, but what I want to know is: Do any of these teen pregnancy prevention pros actually remember being a teenager? We didn't have block-headed cartoon people to warn us about the dangers of unprotected sex back in my day, but we did have awkward assemblies promoting abstinence. Did we pay attention? No, we huddled in the back of the auditorium and passed notes about which couple happened to be doing it that particular week and whether or not the girl knew the guy was doing it with like, three other chicks on the down low (do kids even say "on the down low" anymore?). No way we could hear all of those carefully orchestrated messages about peer pressure and diseases and college careers run off the rails by unwanted babies when our ears were already buzzing with rumors of school bathroom bjs and post-prom hotel room rentals.

Of course these campaigns make good points and offer useful info, but teens are stupid, and as Forrest Gump says, stupid is as stupid does. So how do we prevent teen pregnancies? Skip the games, give them birth control and condoms.

Do you think teen pregnancy prevention efforts make a difference?


Image via YouTube

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