Friday, June 20, 2008

Teen Pregnancy at Gloucester High

At Gloucester High School, a school in Massachusetts, a rather large group of young, unmarried teens have become pregnant. This story shows what happens when teenagers are not reared and educated in a spiritual environment in which they can grow to understand, from a spiritual perspective, personhood, virtuous living, womanhood, marriage, sexuality, and motherhood.

Read the article from and watch an interview from CNN. The interview reveals how some leaders in our culture don't understand the problem or how to deal with it. You can also listen to the NPR report.

QUESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION AND DISCUSSION: What is wrong with the teen pregnancy pact? What are some of the positive Christian values taught at the school these girls attend(ed)? What are some of the problems that may exist at a school like this? What is the positive spiritual role of shame in how teenagers encounter sexuality, how a pregnant teenager might deal with her own pregnancy, and how those around her might deal with it (parents, friends, teachers, etc.)? Why would more education about and use of birth control not solve the problem? Could encouragement to use birth control contribute to the underlying problems that led the girls to want to be pregnant? What is shame, and what is the difference between shame (good) and bad guilt? If you were in charge of teaching values related to sexuality and pregnancy to High School students, what would you teach them? How is the role of importance of marriage relevant to this story? How are the Theotokos and St. Mary of Egypt examples that we can offer young women to emulate? Give examples of other positive role models to whom girls can look to see a vision of true womanhood with the beauty of both virginity and chastity. Why are these women you have chosen positive role models?