Psychology in Action

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neglect, fear, and hunger, the Thomas children were driven to the streets in search of their father. The police found the children wandering the streets almost 2 miles from the Thomas home and in the process of returning the children to their father the whole story came out. "I don't see that what I did was so terrible," Carl told an obviously upset spouse. WOULD YOU AGREE THAT MR. THOMAS IS A POOR PARENT? (CIRCLE ONE) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree (Adapted from E. Doughtie) Active Learning Activity 10.4 - Abortion, Adoption or Keeping the Child? Instructor's Resource Guide                               Chapter 10                                          Page  64        
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In view of the increasing number of teen pregnancies in America, it becomes ever more important to fully understand and appreciate the questions and conflicts a pregnant teenager must face. Should she have an abortion, give the baby up for adoption, or keep her child? Should her boyfriend or parents have a say in what she decides? This exercise is designed to improve your students’ abilities to empathize. Begin by reading the following scenario. Anne is an average American high school student. She is a 17-year-old senior who gets top grades and has an excellent chance of obtaining several academic scholarships. In addition to school, Anne works 15 hours a week and is saving for college, which she hopes to attend the following fall. She is also pregnant. Anne's father, who is morally opposed to abortion, warned her about premarital sex. He was very upset when he found out about her pregnancy, and would never accept an abortion. He would like to see Anne keep the baby and try to get her boyfriend to marry her. Anne's mother, on the other hand, does not want anything to prevent Anne from getting a college degree, and wants her to give the baby up for adoption. Anne's boyfriend does not want to marry her or be financially responsible. He plans to enter college in the fall and wants Anne to have an abortion. Anne knows that, realistically, her pregnancy would prevent her from attending college in the fall, and that this delay would seriously jeopardize her scholarship opportunities. Without the aid of a substantial scholarship, she would need to work full-time. Anne's parents cannot afford to help her with college expenses and are unable to offer significant help with child care. Anne does not want to marry her boyfriend, nor does she assume that he will provide much support should she decide to keep the child. Anne must make a decision on her own. (Adapted from Bernards, 1988.) Either alone or in small groups, ask students to make lists of several possible arguments from each character's perspective: Anne, her father, her mother, and her boyfriend. Discuss which of these arguments are the most compelling for keeping the child, putting it up for adoption, and for having an abortion.
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