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The author's exploration of the causes and effects of the ever-lowering age of teenage parents among poor black youths finds that the growing trend toward early motherhood is a result of a deliberate choice, rather than a lack of birth control and inadequate sex education.
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Leon Dash is Swanlund Endowed Chair and professor of journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.From Publishers Weekly:
When Washington Post reporter Dash moved into the ghetto community of Washington Highlands, his behind-the-scenes viewpoint resulted in an award-winning report on adolescent childbearing, a problem of shocking dimensions. As he talked to teenage parents, many of his preconceptions about the high incidence of pregnancy among poor, black urban youth were proved wrong. What became depressingly clear is that for these youngsters, "a baby is a tangible achievement in an otherwise dreary and empty future," a rite of passage with historical antecedents. In exploring why so many black teenagers are caught up in the syndrome and its devastating consequences, Dash became more than a working reporter. At times confidant and friend, he has written a sociological report that reaches to the roots of early childbearing patterns.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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