For a number of years, I worked with teens in the Bronx. One of these was a girl named Gina. When I met Gina, she was a very pregnant high school junior. By the time I left the job she was the mother to two children. She was also missing a front tooth, thanks to Rich, father of the second. This guy, like the majority of men who father teens’ babies, was a whole lot older than Gina.
When Gina told me that she was pregnant again, I asked what she wanted to do. “Well,” she said. “I was thinking I’d get an abortion. But Rich said he’d kill me if I did.” When I tried to prod in true teacher fashion (How did this happen? Why didn’t you use a condom or take EC?), it slowly came out that the pregnancy wasn’t an accident. Gina’s boyfriend had forbidden birth control. He wanted her to get pregnant.
Disturbingly, this isn’t an isolated incident. A recent issue of the journal Ambulatory Pediatrics, published a study of teen girls involved in abusive relationships. It found that a quarter of them said their partners were actively trying to get them pregnant.
So why would a guy do this? Here are a few reasons:
- For power and control.
- To prove his masculinity.
- To create a bond with a girl that will be hard for her to break.
This is a pretty disturbing situation, and one that definitely needs a lot more attention. Girls like Gina have enough on their plates without adding motherhood to the mix. Don’t you agree?
If you are the victim of domestic violence you can check out the National Teen Dating Abuse website. You can also check out our Relationships Resource list or read our spotlight on a Teen Crisis Counselor.