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The Rejected (Not) Pregnant Teen

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If you thought because we are in a more accepting and modern age that teen pregnancy would have less of a stigma surrounding it then you’re wrong. Thats okay though because I too thought that people the days would be more accepting, but I was proven very very wrong.

For my Syracuse University Psychology class I had to conduct an experiment of my choice. Myself and my four other group members decided to explore the stigma surrounding teen pregnancy.

By testing both generation x (40-60 year olds) and the I-gen (younger than 18), we wanted to see which generation was more accepting and if teen pregnancy was accepted at all.

It would be naive of me to think that teenage pregnancy was magically accepted by everyone, but what I experienced shocked me.

As I entered a Wegmans with my fake baby bump on I was immediately greeted with the dirtiest looks imaginable. Everyone was starring at me and giving me pitiful looks.

Their silent judgements were so hurtful that I began to genuinely feel uncomfortable and upset. It was so hurtful to have people view me in such a negative light even though I was not even pregnant. As I was shopping for my groceries I had to zip up my jacket to hide my baby bump because I was so hurt by the world around me.

When I went to check out both generations avoided eye contact, gave me disapproving looks, and just started at my baby bump. The faster they got me out of the line the better. Most of the cashiers were so unaccepting of me that they wouldn’t even greet me.

One cashier was as bubbly as can be, sparking up conversation with the women in front of me, but the second it was my turn I was greeted with cold eyes and silence.

No one knew I was not pregnant, but the fact that I could be treated so poorly based off of one physical attribute is ridiculous. It appears that times have not changed because I was treated so poorly because I am 17 and fake pregnant.

I understand that getting pregnant is costly and a life long commitment and that maybe getting pregnant at a young age is not desirable, but to be treated that horrifically is ridiculous. I should not have been so uncomfortable that I could cry in a supposed safe environment.

That is no way to treat any person, pregnant or not. Everyone should be treated with kindness and respect no matter the stereotype and stigma that the person may or may not fall into. The issue is not with pregnant teens, it is with the people that feel the need to be rude and judgmental to those whim don’t fit into their beliefs.

Everyone deserves to be treated nicely and with respect.

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