Does 'Juno' Show Strength or Glorify Teen Pregnancy?

Kids of Teens Face Challenges

Research on teen mothers shows that their children often are raised in poverty because teenage mothers are less educated and likely to have fewer job skills.

Studies also suggest that children of teenage mothers have lower math, reading and vocabulary test scores than children of older mothers, and that when children of teen mothers become adolescents themselves, they have lower odds of completing high school.

But young people don't look at the long-term picture, says psychologist David Walsh, founder of the National Institute on Media and the Family, a non-profit research group based in Minneapolis. "They don't think of all the realistic implications that are coming down the road. They focus on how wonderful this is going to be to have this wonderful baby who I can love and who will love me."

Pop culture professor Gary Hoppenstand of Michigan State University disagrees with those who suggest Juno makes teen pregnancy seem cool.

"Moral issues aside, you have a younger person who got into a situation and, in a sense, is taking responsibility for it and resisting tremendous social pressure," says Hoppenstand, 53. "It's showing a kind of strength and empowerment for the young that older, traditional people will not understand or comprehend.

"In very traditional values, there are absolutes and no gray areas. It's either right or wrong. What's being represented here in the popular culture is that there are gray areas and no absolutes. Young people recognize and understand that."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...