It is hard to believe that teenage boys would sabotage their girlfriends’ birth control in order to get them pregnant, but according to a new study, that is exactly what they are doing.
Researchers at UC Davis surveyed 1,300 young women, ranging in age from 16 to 29, at five reproductive health clinics in Northern California. The young women were asked questions about birth control sabotage, partner violence and pregnancy coercion. The results of the study concluded that one in five women had experienced pregnancy coercion and 15 percent had experienced birth control sabotage. Sadly, more than half had undergone physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. Unsurprisingly, the researchers reached the conclusion that the rate of unintended pregnancy was double among women who had undergone partner violence, or pregnancy coercion.
Elizabeth Miller, a co-author of the study, said the following, “This study highlights an under-recognized phenomenon where male partners actively attempt to promote pregnancy against the will of their female partners.”
Another co-author of the study, Jay Silverman, said that reproductive coercion explains why unintended pregnancies are much more common among abused women and teens.
Shari Roan, the author of the news release, said that maybe everyone has been too concentrated on contraceptives and that the rates of unintended pregnancy might go down if “…more young women learned to recognize, avoid or leave abusive relationships or were given the skills and support do so.”
I totally agree with that, but believe that the burden lies with the boys.
I have known about teenage boyfriends abusing their girlfriends. What shocked me is the fact that by one coercive means or another some of them are determined to make their girlfriends pregnant. In other words, they are going against the will of their girlfriends, thereby denying them their right to reproductive choice.
Is getting the girlfriend pregnant some sort of badge of honor?
Are they cognizant of the fact that they are bringing a human being into the world?