I bet the whole conversation about teen pregnancy would be totally different if boys could get pregnant, too. So imagine if that really happened -- if boys could get knocked up for having unprotected sex. That's exactly what an anti-teen-pregnancy ad campaign in Chicago imagines. It's plastered Photoshopped images of pregnant teenage boys all over bus shelters, buses, and trains in neighborhoods where teen pregnancy rates are high. I'm sure they're getting a lot of double-takes, especially from the boys who usually ignore anti-teen-pregnancy messages.
The Chicago Department of Public Health says the ads are trying to "spark conversations" and to "make the case that teen parenthood is more than just a girl’s responsibility." Oh my God, thank you! It takes two to plant that seed. Every other ad campaign you ever see is all about shaming girls or scaring girls about the poverty and ruin that follow teen pregnancy. And it's true that girls do bear the larger burden. Girls are the ones who carry the baby, for starters. But boys don't always get away scot-free. That's what spokesman Brian Richardson wants guys to realize.
We wanted to create an ad campaign that would cut through the clutter and get people thinking about teen pregnancy and teen births, and how it can affect more than just teen girls.
Think it'll work? I hope so -- I hope at least it gets some light bulbs flickering in more kids' heads. And I hope boys don't see these ads and go, "WTF?!? Oh, haha, glad that'll never happen." Because haha, boys, just because it's not your belly that gets big and round doesn't mean you get to avoid all the burden. Imagine if boys felt as responsible for avoiding pregnancies as girls do. With twice the effort, unplanned pregnancy rates would go way, way down.
Do you think these ads will get boys to take more responsibility for avoiding unplanned pregnancies?
Image via BeYouBeHealthy.org