16 and Pregnant: Relationships and Regrets
May 11, 2011
Enter Danielle: a young teen following in the footsteps of her mother (a former teen mom). She did not know she was pregnant until she went to the clinic to get birth control for the first time. It is great that Danielle went to the clinic for birth control, but she should have been thinking about that before ever having sex for the first time. Her mom had told her about the importance of safe sexual behavior time and time again, to no avail.
Shortly after the birth of her baby, Danielle realizes her mother was probably right--raising a baby as a teen mom is not an easy feat, especially when you are still trying to finish high school and find a job.
By the end of the episode, Danielle is by herself talking to the camera and reflecting on her life since having Jamie Jr. She very honestly admits to the fact that she thought her relationship with boyfriend Jamie would change after the baby was born. She thought a baby would make their relationship happier--one with less fighting and more support for one another. As one might imagine, that was not the case. Nothing changed at all, causing Danielle to come to the realization that, if not for her pregnancy, she would have never stayed in a relationship with Jamie for that long. Does that mean if she were to do it all over again she would think twice about having sex with Jamie so soon? If that is the case, Danielle is not alone. A majority of teens (65% of girls and 57% of boys) who have had sex say they wish they had waited (PDF). That is a pretty high percentage.
Let's help the teens in our lives by being that trusted, trusting person they can talk to about relationships--because 80% of teens say if they were able to have open and honest conversations with their parents, it would be must easier to delay sexual activity, and thus avoid teen pregnancy.
Sarah Wilson is an intern for The National Campaign's Entertainment Media and Audience Strategy and Digital Media departments. She recently graduated from the University of South Carolina, where she studied public health. Sarah has a golden retriever named Brady, named after none other than the Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady.