Q: Are you encouraging teenage pregnancy?

A: No. However, before starting this site, Googling “teen mom” would result in about 1/2 pages about preventing teen pregnancies and 1/2 news stories speaking about how pitiable pregnant teens are or the “fact” that they’re an epidemic. That doesn’t help actual pregnant teens. Shame and pity don’t keep girls from getting pregnant or having a hard time parenting. Knowledge does.

Q: Isn’t it true that teen pregnancy is on the rise because it’s been glamorized in the media by Jamie Lynn Spears, Juno, Bristol Palin, and so on?

A: Though teen pregnancy in the United States rose during the Bush administration, I don’t believe celebrities have much to do with that. This idea relies on the notion that the sort of girls who follow the lead of pop culture figures are enthusiastic about the idea of giving up their youthful freedom and irresponsibility in order to follow a particular trend. This may be the case for a few girls, but I don’t believe it’s a cultural phenomenon.

I think the rise in teen pregnancy has much more to do with the significant funding allocated to abstinence-only education.

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