Go to contents

[Opinion] Teenage Mom

Posted February. 16, 2005 22:55,   


My 15-year-old daughter is pregnant! Might be a stroke to adults, but they call it “love.” The upcoming film “Jenny, Juno” is already making a fuss both in the media and with families. This is because the plot of the two teenagers’ raising a child—against their parents’ will—is displayed only in cute and pretty ways. The love of the teen couple, who said they had no idea of what would happen next, is represented by the copy phrase, “Touching Project to Save a Baby,” and the single dialogue, “We did that.” No specific term was used since the film was rated for viewers 15 years or older.

“I just wanted to show how a boy and a girl can assume the responsibility of love,” the director explained his intention. This is quite opposite to the response of many adults who are very upset and worrying that their children might “copycat” the film. However, in the film, the one who takes the “responsibility” is the mother of the young girl, Jenny. Kim Ja-ok, who plays Jenny’s mother, takes care of the baby, while Jenny and Juno, now high school students, are studying. This, I guess, might upset all the girl’s mothers nationwide and cause them to rise in protest. They might be holding a picket saying, “Why the girl’s mother?”

The U.S., unlike our assumption, has emphasized abstinence-only sex education in every school, and this is not only because of morality but also because of the statistic in the U.S. in which one out of every three newborns, two of three black newborns, and three out of four teen births are out of wedlock. When a female student is pregnant, it is often the case that the father is also young. Therefore, the girl is likely to be an unmarried mother, and it will be hard for her to finish school and also difficult to get a good job to afford her baby. Poverty will be passed onto the child this way.

As the heroic tone of the copy phrase of the film says, a “life” must be respected. However, if the tragedy of a young mother increases the poverty class of society, it is very important to ask how we can say that a teen couple making “love” and having a baby are responsible behavior and respect for life. Abortion is not something that could be recommended, but to beautify the teens’ pregnancy and childbirth is also as immoral as Internet sex trafficking of teens. Now, we have to talk about the teens’ love, virginity, and contraception openly.

Kim Sun-deok, Editorial Writer, yuri@donga.com