On other threads I have discussed Saint Paul’s admonitiions against giving charity to those who can work, or who have families to care for them – and the negative impact on those who receive such charity. This has spawned several otehr threads. This thread looks at how welfare has become an economic strategy, a way of life, perpetuating itself generation after generation.
To begin the discussion, I offer this from Cornell Science News
Most teens get pregnant on purpose because other life goals
seem out of reach, says Cornell researcher
Expert Andrea Parrot calls for new multi-dimensional approach
FOR RELEASE: June 4, 1997
Contact: Susan Lang
Office: (607) 255-3613
ITHACA, N.Y. – “Many teenage pregnancies aren’t accidental but intentional because of girls who see no life goals other than being a mother as realistically within their reach,” says Andrea Parrot, Ph.D., a Cornell University women’s health and human sexuality expert.
That’s a major reason why most current sex and pregnancy prevention education efforts “are ineffective at preventing teenage pregnancy and the U.S. has an outrageous teen pregnancy rate – the highest in the industrialized world,” said Parrot, associate professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology.
In the recent Cornell Cooperative Extension teleconference Women’s Health Across the Generations, which was downlinked to 15 sites across New York state in February, Parrot advocated wider use of long-term, multi-dimensional, community-based programs that have proven successful because they offer hope for a brighter future and the means to achieve life goals other than motherhood.
“Such programs are undoubtedly expensive. However, providing the program for a girl for several years will cost less than the social welfare, medical and lost income costs for a teen mother in the first year she has the baby,” Parrot pointed out.
Effectively preventing teen pregnancies would save the billions of dollars society pays to support a teen mother, her children and even her grandchildren, often for a lifetime. It also would break the cycle related to psychopathologies in our culture, including drug and alcohol abuse, fetal alcohol syndrome, drug-induced birth defects, dropping out of school, crime, domestic violence and poverty.
“As a society, we keep on paying and paying when our teens become mothers,” said Parrot, who has been working in the area of teen sexuality for 20 years and is the co-author of the 1979 manual Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention: A Team Approach.
“Too many teenage girls see themselves as having nothing to strive for – they can’t see graduating from high school because they have few role models to follow, their teachers give them little encouragement about their abilities, their families are chaotic and their friends are on drugs. Parenting looks like the best thing going, many girls think, because babies provide an immediate source of unconditional love,” Parrot said.