Monday, July 28, 2008

Teen Pregnancy Glamorous?

Filed under: "Things that Make You go Hmmmm...."
Al Mohler has some thoughts about the recent OK! cover story of now 17 year old Jamie Lynn Spears journey into motherhood with the cover quote, "Being a mom is the best feeling in the world."

Mohler opines, "The OK! magazine cover makes teen motherhood look positively glamorous." Read the rest.

Do you think this sort of thing reflects the culture, shapes the culture, or both?

Granted Mohler's perspective, what else needs to be said?


Joshua said...

There are several things that may be said.

1) The culture has had an "itch" for motherhood ever since the working women of first and second wave feminism found out that having a career isn't as fulfilling and empowering as they imagined it to be.

2) Teenage pregnancy isn't new, but what is more recent is the removal of any moral stigma associated with it. In a world where fathers are believed to be effeminate and incompetent, where women are strong and empowered, where homosexuality is popular, and children are believed to be wiser than their parents, how can we deny the teenage girl her right to reproduce?

3) The culture's fascination with youth has been rampant for years. Marketing targets the youngest of the young, and the superstars of our era are pre-teens and teens that have cult status among kids three-to-five years younger and men twenty to thirty years older. With the sexualization of girls occurring at such an increasingly younger age, the portrayal of them as mothers simply reflects our belief (born from an underlying desire) to have our (apparent) youth and our (sexual) maturity at the same time.

I'm sure more than this could be added, but these three come to mind immediately for me. Irrationality must have its logical extensions as well, and the culture is simply reflecting each further implication that comes from removing Christianity from having any culturally relevant influence.

How bad is it? Two-Kingdom theology (which divorces Christianity and culture) is even being taught at a Reformed Presbyterian Seminary (Westminster West). I haven't yet read D.A. Carson's book revisiting Niehbur's theology of culture, but I am curious as to how he treats the issue.

Kyle said...

The point that resonates most with me is the importance and the nature of the marriage commitment. After all, isn't true that for the majority of human history, teenage mothers were not that unusual. What is strange is that motherhood would be divorced from marriage and family life.

I'm curious, John, how you will parent your daughter in light of things like this.

John said...

Joshua--thanks for stopping by and leaving some thoughts. I thought it was interesting what you said about our culture beliefs arising from a desire to have apparent youth and sexual maturity at the same time.

John said...

Kyle--I think you are right about the importance and nature of the marriage commitment. It seems like our culture wants to say, more and more, that marriage is a peripheral issue at best and is not necessary for a healthy culture. Interesting stuff.

John said...

Kyle--regarding your question about parenting my daughter in light of this, my first inclination is to not let her date until she is like 28 or 32 or something. That should do it!

Interesting side note, yesterday, we were packing up my office listening to an 80's playlist (!) and the song by the Georgia Satellites (Keep Your Hands to Yourself) came on. Interestingly, Miranda loves it. We (me and the boys) told her she needed to memorize it and sing it to any boy who gets too close. But then we talked about all of us being intensely interested in any potential suitors.

My plan is simply to walk with her (and the boys) through this barrage of our culture highlighting its folly and explaining the ways we seek to live differently in order to honor King Jesus.

nancypants said...

I agree with Kyle. While I certainly don't think many teens are ready for motherhood I have seen plenty of instances where teenagers have gotten married, stayed that way and raised wonderful families. I think it really depends on how people are raised and whether or not they respect themselves/their own bodies and how much the importance and sacredness of marriage and choosing the right person is impressed upon them, both in word and deed.

I think a contributing problem is really that youth, in our culture, is elongated much further than biology suggests it should be.

All of that aside, I think parenting -- at any age -- is glamorized in the media. We should be just as perturbed by the Brangelina phenomena and the flippancy with which people create nd freeze and discard embryos as we should with anything else. I think the thing that is most disturbing is the inequity of emotions that Christians feel towards certain things while turning blind eyes to other less "in your face" things.

That's my $2! LOL