Pop Culture
Jun 23, 2008, 05:42AM

Leggo My Prego

A group of high school girls recently made a pact to get pregnant together. It's possible that they haven't yet grasped the seriousness of childbearing and parenthood yet, and that's what Tamagotchis are for.

Baby.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Photo by Arwen Abendstern

I can’t tell you how many times I sat in 9th grade Biology class and thought, “Gosh, I would love to be a dad right now [cradling an imaginary baby in my arms].” Apparently, this sentiment was shared at Gloucester High School in Massachusetts, where pregnant teens are popping up like pregnant hotcakes. Here’s how it started: some misguided 15-year-old texted her friend, “hey, bff, i tots wanna get pregos!” and her friend replied “samesies, obvi ;-)” and it all went downhill from there.

I didn’t think that at age 24 I would already be scratching my head and thinking “Kids these days” like a crotchety old man (and not just because I have Progeria), but if being pregnant is cool, then high school has changed slightly since I was there. Don’t get me wrong, girls got pregnant when I went to high school, but the typical reaction was to say “I’m sorry” with downcast eyes, not “That’s awesome!” with a leaping high five.

I guess some of the girls entered into a secret pact (or as I like to call it, “The Baby-havers Club”) to get pregnant, give birth, and thus bring a swift end to their adult lives at the same time. It’s even being reported that one of the girls had sex with a 24-year-old homeless guy just to participate in this fertility fest. Mark it down; June 2008—the first, and I hope the last, time anyone felt that they had no choice but to sleep with a homeless person in order to “fit in.”

Whatever happened to sharing a limo at prom as the ultimate sign of friendship? Sure, my friends and I made a pact in high school to lose our virginity. Okay, so maybe it was less of a pact and more of a wish, but still it appears that sex by itself is not taboo enough for today’s 15-year-old. According to BBC News, a pediatric psychiatrist named Elizabeth Guthrie said that “some girls might be viewing pregnancy as a fast-track to adulthood and independence” and that “[i]t may give you an opportunity for unconditional love and attention from the baby.” First of all, I think we’re playing fast and loose with the term “fast-track.” Nine prolonged months of getting larger and more hormone-crazed doesn’t exactly seem like a “short-cut” to anything. Secondly, independence? No, DE-pendence. As in, you will now have a human life that is dependant on you for survival. Unless the kids were looking for independence from fun things with friends. Third, when I was in high school, if you really wanted unconditional love and attention, you didn’t go out and get knocked up—you got yourself a Tamagotchi. Just think; this whole ordeal could have been prevented with a handful of Tamagotchis and maybe some Pogs. The Pogs don’t have anything to do with pregnancy; I’ve just got all of these sweet slammers in my closet, and I don’t know what to do with them.

I don’t want to sound like Andy Rooney (again, not just because I have Progeria), but what the hell happened to sexual education in our schools? It’s not that sex ed teachers scared me from having sex in high school, although they tried. Rather, it’s that the classes made me feel so damn uncomfortable and awkward about sex (at least, that’s how I rationalize not getting laid in high school). For example, to this day I vividly remember watching a video of a woman giving birth from the doctor’s-eye view. Do you think these girls would have wanted to get pregnant after seeing footage of someone’s lady-business being wrecked by the emergence of a slimy purple creature? One hopes not. Side note: I also vividly remember a video of a man checking his testicles for lumps. Despite the full frontal nudity, you never saw the penis. This guy either had a really small member, or he had had sleight-of-hand abilities worthy of Houdini.

Obviously, there’s no single solution to this problem. It takes a village to raise a child and all of that shit. Still, I suspect that this is the inevitable result of generational one-upsmanship: high schoolers today get pregnant to be cool; high schoolers in the 80s and 90s did hardcore drugs to be cool; high schoolers in the 1950s held hands to be cool; high schoolers in the 1890s sat around a light bulb to be cool. We shouldn’t just roll over and let it happen, but the first thing to do is stop acting like this is a Gloucester and “not my kid” problem and start recognizing it as an American disillusioned youth problem.  Step Two is, of course, making Tamagotchis mandatory in schools. Who’s with me?

  • Oh, okay, Dan, let's pass a law that makes it illegal for high schoolers to reproduce. That'd be a one-up on China.

    Responses to this comment
  • No, Dan, I can't tell when you're serious or not. Sorry, Charlie. I agree that the welfare system is abused, although one of Bill Clinton's major accomplishments (even if it was to cut Bob Dole off at the legs in '96) was reforming welfare. As for the "teen mommies," it's a free country and although I agree that it's a strange (and passing) phenomenon that Phil Medley writes about, maybe you should just worry about yourself and your own seed.

    Responses to this comment
  • I agree with both of you guys: Chinese pregnancy should not be allowed in American schools.

    Responses to this comment
  • Dan and Timothy sound like they should be on one of those table-talk debate shows you see on public access with the all black background. Before you go on, though, a couple things; it's not a "free country." That's something that third graders say. Next, teen pregnancy isn't "a strange and passing phenomenon."...wait a second...Timothy, are you actually Bill O'Reilly...Bill you little trickster!

    Responses to this comment
  • I guess Barack Obama and John McCain were the recipients of just third-grade educations, for both of those candidates talk about this "free" country. And it's a lot more free than when FDR put Japanese-Americans into camps during World War II.

    Responses to this comment
  • this kind of thing is so not going on in manhattan. a baby at 15? not in my middle school, thank you very much!

    Responses to this comment
  • Timothy-1 Me-0

    Responses to this comment
  • cute chuck all stars. anyway, I think it's strange how so many girls made a pact to do this, but I guess in this day and age of undereducation in our public schools, anything is possible.

    Responses to this comment
  • Imagine that, Dan: you've known two girls who were pregnant at the age of 16. I guess that's never happened before 2008. Are you really a moron or just pretending to be one?

    Responses to this comment
  • Just by going to the grocery store you end up reading about all the celebrities who are pregnant, right? Britney Spears apparently has a little sister who's having a baby. Kids have always gotten pregnant, but this pact thing has to have something to do with the cult of celebrity worshipping at the feet of all these pregnancies. Let the tomagachis reign, I say. Or maybe if those callous parents had just given in and gotten these girls a pony when they asked for it, all that unconditional love crap would have been taken care of.

    Responses to this comment

Register or Login to leave a comment