Letter to the Editor
Allison Ziche, student
I'm writing this because while reading an article in the March 2012 edition of the magazine "Seventeen", I came across a thought-provoking statement. It made me question a stereotype that I've essentially grown up believing as fact. "When people constantly tell you that your life is ruined, you start to feel like it's true." Gaby Rodriguez said this in her article "I faked my pregnancy."
She clearly saw how pregnant teenagers are stereotyped. Once pregnant, their lives are "ruined," meaning that they won't complete schooling and will live a life of poverty; constantly being told this leads girls to believe this as reality and to fall into that exact situation. This is called the "self-fulfilling prophecy."
Pregnant teenagers should be supported, not discouraged. These girls are still able to contribute to society, so why steal that ability from them by harmfully stereotyping how the rest of their lives will unfold? We should all want these girls to succeed despite stereotypes (that we can fight), so that they can support themselves and their future family. This avoids the need for others, including you someday after graduation with your taxes, to support them.
You can fight this stereotype and its consequences by treating any pregnant teenage girl you know personally, or even one you simply see while walking on campus, as she should be treated. Treat her like any other girl. If she's a stranger, don't stare at her stomach in disgust. Knowing the girl personally as her friend, family member, or associate, allows you to do more. For example, you can encourage her to continue her schooling as normal. If you're unsure of how to act or what to say, just follow the Golden Rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
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