Teen pregnancy prevention ads with pregnant boys
Provocative ads and bold initiatives mark the latest teen pregnancy prevention ad campaign in Chicago.
The Chicago Department of Public Health’s Office of Adolescent and School Health (CDPH) in their latest teen pregnancy prevention campaign for 2013 has been successful in provoking conversation.
An underlying message
We have heard of unique approaches to create awareness about teen pregnancy prevention either through videos or posters in the past. But this ad campaign puts it up a notch as it features images of ‘pregnant boys’ alongside the word ‘Unexpected?’, challenging gender roles in these situations.
They are sending the message loud and clear that teen parenthood is more than just a girl’s responsibility. The ads are rolled out on public transit buses, trains, platforms and bus shelters in Chicago and have been placed close to local high schools where the teen pregnancy rate has recently increased.
According to a recent CDPH report, “Births in Chicago,” Chicago’s teen birth rate decreased 33 percent. But it is still one and a half times higher than the national average and one of the highest in the nation, indicating that there is still more outreach and education work to be done.
Read on for other ad campaigns for teen pregnancy prevention.
“Improving the health and well-being of our youth is a key component in our comprehensive effort to make Chicago the healthiest city in the nation, these ads should work to increase education and awareness which will in turn help teen pregnancy prevention in Chicago,” said a spokesman for the CDPH.
To strengthen this ad campaign and to improve overall adolescent health in Chicago, the Office of Adolescent and School Health has also launched a series of bold initiatives. These include an online resource to provide information for the teens, a blog written for and by adolescents, condom availability program in public schools and distribution of brochures covering choice of contraception and other information.
Shock factor in ads
A similar campaign that ran in Milwaukee last year has been credited to reduce teen pregnancy rates there. However, not all ads have created a positive buzz.
Earlier this year a teen pregnancy prevention ad from New York’s Human Resources Administration came under attack for using insults to deter unwanted pregnancy. The posters displayed pictures of toddlers next to messages that read: ‘Honestly, Mom… Chances are he won’t stay with you’ and ‘I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen.’
The ads, which aim to ‘promote the difficulties of teen pregnancy,’ shockingly use threats and ridicule instead of offering assistance and education to address teen pregnancy. This could result in emotional anxiety and stress, rather than creating awareness.
Is it shocking ads or education that will lead to teen pregnancy prevention? Tell us your views below.