Monday, May 9, 2011


That was the "slug" (short name or identifier for a news story) for my very first story at BYU Daily News. Yikes that was a tough one... Anyway.

I just stumbled across this today. A teen Latina faked her own pregnancy for her senior year as a sociology project/experiment. Only her boyfriend, parents and principal were in on it (not the boyfriend's parents mind you). The article is of course very flattering and she's portrayed as a hero. And she certainly is very brave, but my question is... well, why? She says she wanted to study people's reactions, gossip and all that sort of thing, but it seems like she didn't learn anything very new... wait, you mean teens gossip about girls that get pregnant? She could just as easily have surveyed pregnant teens around her. I mean, why not, but it seems pretty damaging to the rest of her family and her boyfriend's family. The biggest attraction about this is its shock value if you ask me: She did WHAT?! Anyway, regardless of the value of her experiment, I though the following comment brought up an interesting point:

"I would never have dared to get pregnant in high school because the social stigma was so great and I knew how completely crushed my parents would be. (Instead I went to Planned Parenthood.) Unfortunately, the social stigma has now loosened to the point where three of my nieces (children of white, middle-class, educated, still-married parents) had children too young and without being married....and they and their children are suffering the economic consequences. 

Gossip and stigma are used to enforce social rules - for good and for bad. In the case of unwed pregnancies, the pendulum has swung too far in terms of acceptance because the acceptance is a big part of what keeps teens from being careful about pregnancy in the first place."

What do you think? In being more accepting of practices we consider wrong, do we end up condoning those practices? Is there actually value to gossip?

EDIT: I think what I meant was more along the lines of "In being sensitive to the feelings of those who have made choices we condemn, do we end up condoning those practices?" 

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