Virtual babies don’t discourage teenagers from wanting real ones
Here’s one way not to prevent a young girl from getting pregnant: Ask her to care for a virtual baby. New research finds that teenagers given lifelike baby dolls (pictured) as part of a program to dissuade them from wanting a real baby became pregnant at a higher rate than peers in a control group. The study followed 3000 Australian girls who enrolled when they were between 13 and 15 years old and were followed until they turned 20. Only half the group received the intervention, which encourages girls to think twice about becoming pregnant because babies have intensive, constant needs that can compromise a teenager’s lifestyle and goals.