Found that the effects on high school completion

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found that the effects on high school completion because of teen pregnancy declined in the 1980s and 1990s because young women completed high school or earned GEDs regardless of the timing of their first births. However, the gap between early and late childbearers in postsecondary school atten- dance widened nearly 20 percentage points between the early 1960s and the early 1990s. Given the increasing importance of college education, teen mothers today are at least as disadvantaged as those of past generations. Elaine Bell Kaplan’s (1997) ethnography of Black teenage motherhood challenges many stereotypes, especially the assumption that the African American community condones teen pregnancy. Using her experience as an African American teenage mother, Kaplan developed close relations with her informants and offered important proposals for rethinking and reassessing the class factors, gender relations, and racism that influence Black teenagers to become mothers. What do we know about the lives of children of teen mothers? We have frequently discovered in our exploration of childhood in this book that many things are assumed about children’s lives, even though the detailed study and research required to really understand them or to do something about them is lacking. We see this pattern again when it comes to teenage pregnancy. As Furstenberg and colleagues noted, “it is commonly presumed that early child- bearing adversely affects children, although only a limited amount of evi- dence has been marshaled to demonstrate this seemingly obvious proposition” (1989, p. 316). One wonders how much more we might know about the everyday lives of teen mothers and their offspring if we had invested as much research funding and time in direct studies of them as we have in trying to find a relationship between welfare spending and teenage pregnancy. One study by Wendy Luttrell focusing on fifty girls enrolled in a model public school program for pregnant teens helps (Luttrell, 2003). Luttrell’s insightful ethnography explores how pregnant girls experience society’s view of them and also considers how these girls view themselves and the choices they’ve made. Finally, a recent study by Mary Patrice Erdmans and Timothy Black (2015) provides insight on the lives of pregnant teens before they became pregnant and give birth to their children. In their book, which shatters many myths about teen mothers, the authors tell the life stories of 108 Brown, White, and Black teen mothers, exposing the problems in their lives often overlooked in pregnancy prevention campaigns. Some stories are tragic, as the young women reflect on sexual abuse, partner violence, and school Copyright ©2018 by SAGE Publications, Inc. This work may not be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without express written permission of the publisher.
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