Falling WHAT? – Teen pregnancy

Falling WHAT? Let’s be grown-up about teen pregnancy………………………………………………………………….

I am reading an article (with that heading) by Deborah Hewing – (A writer, researcher, and facilitator).
She quotes a preacher who apparently stated; “It is impossible for a girl to fall pregnant unless she stumbles onto an erect penis.” …………I also smiled reading that.

It implies (suggests) that “Girls and women are to blame for falling pregnant – which then translates to girls and women are to blame for all the violence done to them.” Becoming pregnant has a common cause – but the categories vary.

Pregnancies are not only the result of promiscuity (loose morals) and overactive teenage hormones. There is a huge difference between two young people madly in love and statutory rape. Some young girls are married off to old men where they are “legally” violated. Some girls are date raped or sexually exploited, trafficked, or abducted.

I quote Deborah;
Very little is heard about the role or responsibility of men, beyond sensationalism around ‘sugar daddies’, or lately ‘blessers’. Both these terms imply charity on the part of an older man, providing sweet things or blessings to a girl in a consensual sexual relationship.

The correct term, whatever the arrangement, if the girl is under 16, is statutory rape (meaning you are under the protection of the law). If the man is a teacher, a relative, a community leader or other person in authority, he is an abuser of power as well as children/teens. If this is revealed through the pregnancy of a child/teen, it is he, not the child/teen, who should be called to account. Those who are offered money for sex by adults who regard food and school fees as luxuries which children should pay for with their childhood is unacceptable.

1) Girls are expected to stay virgins until marriage. Since they are not supposed to be having sex, the twisted logic goes, they do not need contraceptives. If a teen becomes pregnant, it may be considered punishment for her “bad behaviour”. If a girl seeks an abortion, whatever the reason, she should do it secretly, in shame, at the risk of her life – unless the abortion is required to save the reputation of a parent or a community leader.

When a young girl gives birth, she can expect judgement; in South Africa, this will include the assumption that she deliberately “fell” pregnant in order to benefit from the R380 child support grant (which is often misused.)

2) If the father is a teen, a student or an unemployed youth, then the adults in his life need to teach him responsibility by assisting the teen mother to raise his baby.

3) To some young girls, the prospect of having a child doesn’t seem as terrible as the other prospects they face. For a teenager in a loveless home, neglected or exposed to violence or alcoholism, and with little promise of employment, an unplanned pregnancy with a caring partner is not necessarily a crisis. It becomes a crisis when the father does not acknowledge the child (as very many young boys do) leaving the girl worse off than she was before.THIS IS THE CASE SO OFTEN WHERE PUPPY-LOVE IS NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO BUILD ON.

We should then say,”‘pregnancy fell on her” it is more accurate.

Yes, men and boys will try and exploit us and it is up to us to take a stand. We need to be responsible for the moral codes by which we live. If we don’t, it can give us more than an untimely baby. It can also give us diseases that will ruin our self-esteem and may even claim our lives prematurely. Pregnancy, diseases, and drugs will steal all your beautiful dreams for sure.

On the subject of date rape – do not take a sip from someone’s drink or a drink you did not see opened or poured. If you are at a party, never leave your drink unattended.

Grown-ups should be teaching us the right way to go, not be the cause of our downfalls. If I can advise you, I would ask that you wait until you find a man who thinks like the man in the picture I posted with this article. Because that is a real man.

Faithfully your friend,
Thandi