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Juno blamed for US pregnancy pact

Juno.jpgI was just watching the BBC news - a station that I once believed fought for non-sensationalised news but of late has been heading further and further towards the tabloid news style - and I heard the upcoming news bullet point where they ask if Juno is to blame for the seventeen teenage girls in a single Massachusetts school who became pregnant at the same time.

The statement was made in about the same number of words and a rather accusing style while running footage of Juno in the background. No mention was made of parents, living conditions, or anything about these girls lives, just the film Juno. Is a film really to blame for the actions of these teenagers?

I find it pathetic when so called news stations begin an underhanded attack on some form of entertainment without having any real factual basis for it. Even the BBC news website doesn't carry any mention of it (as yet) in their story of the seventeen teenagers.

Here's the important information from the BBC site:

When students at Gloucester High School broke up for the summer, officials, parents and the whole community had to face up to a shocking statistic.

Seventeen teenage pupils had walked out of the school gates pregnant.

More disturbing is that some of the school's own staff believe that this was no accident.

Local officials say that nearly half of the girls had entered into a bizarre pact to have their babies together.

The school principal says that several students returned multiple times to take pregnancy tests and some appeared upset when they found out they were not pregnant.

The school - which has 1,200 students - carried out 150 pregnancy tests in the past year alone.

So the BBC "news" channel just showed the presenters tearing through the upcoming headlines, something they do every twenty seconds, and over shots from Juno of the main character checking a pregnancy kit and telling her parents, asked if Juno was to blame for it all.

Well is it? Did the children watch the film and then decide all just to have children together?

Interestingly if we head to the Reuters news article we find the following information:

David Landry, a researcher at the Guttmacher Institute, a New York-based nonprofit group focusing on reproductive issues...cautioned against attributing the trend to Hollywood following the recent hit movie "Juno," in which a teenager gets pregnant and decides to have the baby, and "Knocked Up," a comedy about a one-night stand.

"The trend emerged before those movies," he said.

Oh look at that, before the films came out. You mean that the films were actually influenced by what's happening in real life and not the other way around? Oh lord, burn him at the stake quickly!

The statistics in the Reuters news article show:

Birth rates for teenagers aged 15 to 17 rose by 3 percent in 2006, the first increase since 1991, according to preliminary data released in December by the National Center for Health Statistics.

So is Juno really influencing teenagers to have children? Is that really to blame? It's the same argument we've heard for videogames, films, television, even going way back to while Kojak was running on television and I can remember it being blamed by some murderer for his actions.

When will we stop blaming the causes and reflections of society and start addressing the real issues as adults? However it seems to be the way we behave, ignore the truth and facts, find other things to blame, and address the symptoms.

Film isn't to blame, it just reflects society and this proves it. Juno didn't make these children pregnant, they wanted to be, and they made it happen.





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Comments

The report just came on the BBC channel and they did something very clever and something media does all the time to ensure that they don't get blamed for anything.

They said that some suggest Hollywood was to blame for glamourising teenage pregnancy as in Juno, and then turn and say that others believe there are other factors to blame.

Very clever, but like all the claims before about entertainment, it's made, comes from a trusted source and it's now in people's minds. Isn't that the danger?

Heard this story on the news here in New Zealand today but no mention was made of Juno or anything other than a bynch of girls made a pact to get pregnant and 17 of them succeeded. There was also an article in the newspaper earlier this week about an Ameican research team had shown that violent video games dont actually affect kids the way everyone thinks they do by turning them into psychotic killers. Granted its not necessarily going to be doing them much good but in the end theres so much more to it than simply blaming these sort of actions on entertainment. And as for Juno influencing girls to get pregnant, well the movie hardly glamourises pregnancy. If movies really influence people as much as they say then maybe we should make it compulsory vewing of such movies as Enchanted, Its A Wonderful Life or The Wizard Of Oz or any other number of happy family movies where everyone is good and anyone bad gets what they deserve, maybe then the world would be a better place!

I once dropped an anvil on someone's head from a roof. Is it OK if I blame Bugs Bunny?

*rolls eyes*

Yeah, I heard that last night. Give me a break ... I think parents need to get more involved with what their kids are doing.

Glad all you guys are sensible, and all sound like you'd make superb parents - if you aren't already.

The blame is not with films, television, books, comics, etc that come after events have happened in the real world and are merely mirroring and reflecting on them.

Good point Firebug - if we played nicey-nicey films all the time would crime stop, violence diminish and everything be sweetness and light? No, bollocks it would.

17 girls get pregnant after watching Juno? Not film's fault. Kids' fault for being stupid.

As for film/games affecting kids: no they're not going to grow up and be psycho killers or whatever, but presenting a thug's life as glamorous to a nine year old kid is going to affect who he is as a person and how he views the world at large and certainly how he behaves toward authority, dresses, what (s)he spends his money on, how he speaks, etc...

You can't tell me that a kid who sits and watches gangsta rap videos all day isn't going to look up to those guys and think it's cool to look and act that way.

Juno sucked.

Okay, any critical discussion there, or is that it?

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