Teenage mums knuckle down

// 28 May 2006

Teenage mums: scurge of Daily Mail readers, they are generally characterised as feckless, working class and irresponsible, the encapsulation of social disintegration. But according to a new study, getting pregnant in your teens can urge girls on to take their education more seriously and make something of themselves.

The Observer reports:

Raising Expectations, by the government’s Basic Skills Agency, highlights the fact that pregnancy can be the ultimate wake-up call. ‘Finding out you are pregnant at 14 is a complete eye-opener,’ said Carol Taylor, executive director for national development at the agency. ‘It is a wake-up call – I am responsible for a person and I have got to learn a whole new world about being an adult.’

Taylor said many girls who fell pregnant initially had low expectations, but quickly became highly aspirational. The report praises projects that help to fulfil their ambitions by offering classes on parenting and basic skills.

Interestingly, girls who go back to school after giving birth do not do as well as those that attend special classes. Good news for teenage mums, anyway, although I suppose it is too much to hope that this new evidence will make the tablods think twice. More info here.

Meanwhile, Britons Google “porn” more than anyone else in the world, and one in four adults has downloaded some over the last year, as you will already know if you’ve seen the Independent’s front page today. And women are the industry’s fastest-growing customer base. I’m not going to open up that can of words by speculating over whether this is good, bad or indifferent, but interesting none-the-less.

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