Has teen pregnancy recently been glorified?

Jamie Lynn, at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in simpler times. (Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)Jamie Lynn, at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in simpler times. (Frank Micelotta/Getty …
Like you, I've been following the story of the 17 Gloucester teens and their disturbing "pregnancy pact," with sorrow and concern for both the families of these children and the misguided young girls involved, (all of whom are 16 and younger). But I couldn't help but think about all the somewhat "glamorous" portrayals of teen pregnancy in the media and especially Hollywood lately. Are films like Juno and celebs like Jamie Lynn Spears partly to blame?

Now, Juno was a great film. I loved it. Ellen Page (who is actually 21 years old, which may help explain her character's wise-beyond-her years demeanor) was fabulous, and certainly the movie made no mistake when it came to addressing the idea that Juno was too young for the responsibility--a decision the unusually mature teen came to on her own when she decided to put her baby up for adoption. Still, the plucky teen didn't seem to have many more complications. She shrugged off her classmates' stares, had very open, supportive parents, and was content with her decision to pass the kid off to a loving new home. In fact, the whole situation was light, funny, a comedy, even. The movie was wonderful, from an adult standpoint. But I can just see a young teenager thinking, "Gee, look at all the attention she got! Plus, get pregnant and hilarity ensues!" (Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but still...)

Then there's Jamie Lynn. Obviously, you've got to respect the fact that even an underage woman must make her own decision when it comes to carrying a child to term, but this Disney star hardly set a shining example to all her tween fans. I mean, jeez, should she even be having sex yet, much less having a kid?

As a sex and relationship blogger, I try to be open minded when it comes to matters of the heart, sex and especially a woman's right to negotiate her own sexual health. But it makes me so sad to hear about these young girls (the father of one of these so-called "pact" babies happens to be a 24-year old homeless man). Are they so yearning for unconditional love and attention that they feel conceiving a child is the best way to achieve this? Interestingly, the high school they attend goes out of its way to accommodate teen mothers by offering on-site childcare, yet they do not offer contraceptives, a decision their school board is now reconsidering, you know, in light of the rather embarrassing circumstances.

What do you think?