Blog Post by Corinne Heather Copnick - Jun.22.2008 - 9:05 am
No one has mentioned the influence of the film, Juno, on impressionable teenagers in the press reports of the 17 Gloucester, Massachusetts high school alleged "pact" pregnancies that have captured recent headlines ("Teen 'pregancy pact'suspected," www.latimes.com, June 20, 2008; ABC News, etc.). It certainly was the first thing that came to my mind! Although the film's script won an Oscar, I found both the concept and dialogue crass and wondered if it would influence teens adversely. Anti-abortion advocates may have thought the film supported their aims, but I thought the underage protagonist's decision to have a baby and give it away to a birth mother (who also ends up a single mother) was idealized and romanticized. At any rate, it is neither romantic nor ideal for teens under 16 years of age who haven't completed their education (neither societal nor academic) to have babies as part of a "fun" group venture. Not cool at all. And the unfortunate boys who participated in creating the pregnancies will wind up with more on their paternal plate than they bargained for, maybe even charges of statutory rape, even though the sexual relations involved were obviously consensual. It may or may not be true that violent films increase incidences of violence. Similarly, it may or may not be true that Juno influenced the Massachusetts teen pregnancies (birth statistics for teens aged 15 to 17 have apparently been rising, maybe because schools like the ones in Gloucester won't make condoms available), but I would bet on it. When I was a teenager in Canada a million years ago, nobody gave us condoms, but we certainly knew that we were too young to risk getting pregnant, and, for the most part, we really believed what our mothers taught us -- that sexual intimacy was better saved for marriage. Despite the "new morality" that later ensued in the 1960s with the advent of "the pill," I still think it was better that way. What do you think?
Born in Montreal, Canada, and now living in Los Angeles near her children and grandchildren, Corinne Heather Copnick, C.M., M.A., is a multi-talented writer and performer. Her career in the arts has spanned radio, television, film, and stage. For several...
Corinne’s Favorite Books
Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage. Ray Kurzweil, Spiritual Machines; Singularity is Near.