Tuesday, May 8, 2007

New Youth Trend

Once a week or so, I catch up on Dear Abby:
My daughter later told me that several of her other friends were considering trying to get pregnant near prom time so they, too, wouldn't have to deal with the pressures of going to college. Apparently, parents are less strict about their children's whereabouts on prom night and let their teens spend the night in a hotel or at mixed-gender sleepovers.

I thought this sad trend might be local to our area, but during a class reunion in California I learned the trend may be nationwide. One of my oldest friends, "Dana," confided during the reunion that she had become a grandmother at 43 due to her daughter having a prom baby.

Shit. I couldn't get a prom DATE, much less one that wanted to have sex with me. *sniff*

OK, personal bitterness aside, there's some good stuff here. First, all the people in the story, including the Californians, are raising the babies they made. No one's advocating killing the babies so they can go to school unencumbered--this is a huge cultural shift from when I was in high school. Girls with good grades had abortions; average girls had babies; Heather had a computer. Second, Abby sticks up for potential victims of these bizarre schemes:
The individuals who should be warned are the young men who will be escorting those young women on prom night. One foolish mistake could lead to a 20-year commitment to support a child before they are emotionally or financially ready for that responsibility. And all because their prom date was afraid to tell her parents she wasn't ready for college? I'm appalled.

Yup...fathers have equal responsibility--and they can avoid it by making responsible decisions about sex and birth control, in case their dates "pull the goalie" (yes, I listened to Rush today).

Lastly...well, it's not the end of the world. It might even be a good thing. Young mothers can always go to school and have a career when their children are older; most of us who wasted our child-bearing years on school and career won't be having children later, no matter how much we want.


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