Now that Juno sports a crown-boasting 4 Oscar noms while its close kinfolk, and box office behemoth Knocked Up has nary an Oscar mention, I see it as a worthwhile endeavor to take a minute and look at this insidious piece of social engineering and what it actually propagandizes for our young folks... albeit packaged in "whip-smart" and "bitingly funny" dialogue.
Just the Facts:
Juno gross box office to date: $87,000,000
Knocked Up gross box office to date: $219,000,000 (worldwide)
A quick glance at a few websites, referenced below, and also Wikipedia, yielded the following information, compiled here:
Data Snapshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation
The poverty rate for children born to teenage mothers who have never married and who did not graduate from high school is 78 percent. This compares to 9 percent of children born to women over age 20 who are currently married and did graduate from high school.
Background on Teenage ChildbearingGiven their lower educational attainment, young mothers often find themselves at a distinct disadvantage in the labor market.
- Teen parenthood greatly increases the risk of educational failure. Nearly one in three girls cited pregnancy as the reason they dropped out of school in 2004. Even after controlling for race, economic status, and other characteristics, having a child before the age of 20 reduces academic attainment by almost 3 years.
- Children born to young adolescent mothers are at higher risk of being born low birthweight and dying within their first year of life. They are also more likely to miss out on emotional and cognitive stimulation crucial to healthy child development.
UK poverty figures show that 47% of single parent families are below the Governmentdefined poverty line (after housing costs).
According to a Swedish study, those living with a sole parent were about three times more likely to either kill themselves or end up in the hospital after an attempted suicide by the age of 26 than children living with two parents.
Meanwhile, The Institute for the Study of Civil Society reports that children of single parents, after controlling for other variables like family income, are more likely to have problems
In the United Kingdom, there are 1.9 million single parents as of 2005, with 3.1 million children. About 1 out of 4 families with dependent children are single-parent families. According to a survey done by the United Kingdom, 9% of single parents in the UK are fathers, and 86% of single parents are white
"Teenage Father" is Misnomer
"Teenage father" may be a misnomer in many cases. Studies by the Population Reference Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics found that about 66% of births to teenage girls in the United States are fathered by adult men age 20 or older.
The Guttmacher Institute reports that over 40 percent of mothers aged 15-17 had sexual partners three to five years older and almost one in five had partners six or more years older. A 1990 study of births to California teens reported that the younger the mother, the greater the age gap with her male partner. In the UK 72% of jointly registered births to women under the age of 20, the father is over the age of 20, with almost 1 in 4 being over 25
Age of Consent in the United States
Many states including California: 18 yrs. old
Majority it is 16
Tennessee is singularly 13
According to Gracie Hsu of the Family Research Council, "contrary to the common perception that teenage sex and pregnancy typically stem from two teenagers getting caught up in the heat of the moment, new research reveals that many teenage girls are being sexually exploited and impregnated by adult men." She also highlights family breakdown, fatherless families, lack of parental supervision, cultural influences, and erosion of legal protections such as statutory rape laws.
Contraceptive use: In a 1996 Kaiser Family Foundation study, 46% of adolescents surveyed said that they believed teenage pregnancy resulted from the failure to keep contraception at the ready. 23% of sexually active young women the 1996 Seventeen magazine poll admitted to having had unprotected sex with a partner who eschewed the use of a condom. 70% of girls in a 1997 PARADE poll claimed it was embarrassing to buy birth control or request information from a doctor.
Knocked Up features a conversation about birth control. Juno does not, presumably because we are to assume the girl involved is a "virgin?" And that is supposed to be excusable?
A study of 100 teenaged mothers in the United Kingdom found that only 11% received a salary while the remaining 89% were unemployed. Most British teenage mothers live in poverty, with nearly half in the bottom fifth of the income distribution
One study found that, in 1988, 60% of teenage mothers were impoverished at the time of giving birth. Additional research found that nearly 50% of all adolescent mothers sought social assistance within the first five years of their child's life.
'Nationally, the teenage birth rate fell 30 percent from 1991 to 2002, the most recent year for which such statistics are available."
If the rate had not dropped during the decade, 1.2 million more children would have been born to teenage mothers in the United States. Of those, 460,000 would have been living in poverty and 700,000 would have grown up in a single-parent household, according to the analysis. The federal poverty level in 2002 was a $14,494 gross annual income for a parent and two children.
Lets see if "whip-smart and bitingly funny teen" Juno starts a new trend.
*Information compiled from referenced websites, supplemented with Wikipedia stats.