pregnant_boys_1The Chicago Department of Health ran an ad campaign directed towards preventing teen pregnancy that has been getting a lot of attention. The ads, which will be featured on buses and train platforms, features young males sporting a pregnant belly with the words “Unexpected? Most teen pregnancies are. Avoid unplanned pregnancies and STIs. Use condoms. Or wait.” The response for the ads have been mixed. One comment on the ad by Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health said that the images are insensitive and poke fun at transgender males. While I completely understand where the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health is coming from and to a degree agree with them, I still think the ads are a great idea and a fantastic way to get people’s attention. According to The National Campaign, teen pregnancies have decreased 42% since 1990 and the CDC has said that the decline in pregnancies is due to education about contraceptives. However, a majority of teen pregnancy prevention campaigns always feature a young female and a statistic about how 3 in 10 teen girls will get pregnant. The Chicago Department of Health’s decision to depict a pregnant young man instead of a female makes the campaign stand out more and shows that unwanted pregnancy isn’t just a female problem. The message most preventive campaigns get across is that the baby will mess up a young girl’s life and that the father won’t help her. Young girls are shamed for getting pregnant. It takes two people to get pregnant, especially if neither are being careful. A young man should feel just as responsible for a child as the young girl carrying it. I think that continuing to use thought provoking campaigns along with education about prevention and protection is a successful way to encourage young people to make better decisions. Yahoo!