How to prevent teenagers’ pregnancy


 A Theological Analysis Project

By  Setsuko Inoue

 Fall, 2001


This paper consists of the following sections:

I. A case, my neighbor Ann

II. The latest information on teen sexuality/pregnancy

III. Academic community’s concept of cognitive abilities

IV. Socio-cultural influence:  What to learn from the past?

V. Bowen’s family systems theory with differentiation

VI. Minuchin’s structural theory for family therapy

VII. Revisit Ann’s case to prevent teens’ unexpected pregnancy

VIII. Theological analysis/perspective


Attachment I: A case, my neighbor Ann



I. A case, my neighbor Ann

Please refer to Attachment 1.  Resource and roadblock of Ann’s case are below:

Resource: White girl aged 19.

Roadblock: Education: special education child.  Family: parents and sisters still treat Ann as a child, but Ann is becoming a parent, without figuring out who would be the baby’s father.  Communication between Ann and her parents/sisters rarely occurs.  Community support: None, Ann never joins any group, nor does she attend any church.  Work:  Ann’s part-time job of assembly-line work, manual labor requires no communication with other human beings.  Friend:  No girl friend right now, because Tina left one year ago.  Three men came to see her, but no one right now.  Marital status:  Single.  Religion: Non-active Irish Catholic.  Character: Emotionally very active, showing anger quickly, not friendly at all.  Envious of her sisters’ lives/education.  Self-esteem:  very low.  She never says to me “lonely,” however, considering the above mentioned conditions, I think she must be very lonely at present as well as in the past. 

Ann’s news of her becoming pregnant triggered me to think about what kind of teenage girls want to get pregnant.  Why do they hasten to become “young mother-to-be”?  What kind of causes coming from American culture can I find to make teenage girls get pregnant?  I also wonder If a foreign student or teenager who begins to learn American English happens to know the facts of “teenage pregnancy in the U.S.,” how might that American news influence the foreign student’s feelings and impressions of American culture?  


II. The latest information on teen sexuality/pregnancy

In order to obtain up-to-date information on teenage pregnancy, I used the Internet search and found the following data.  And also I have tried to listen to the radio more often to get the latest news.

1. Special education programs-based adolescent pregnancy has increased:  Based on an article in Pediatrics, Feb. 2001, “Care of Adolescent Parents and Their Children,” low intellectual ability or functioning creates a serious risk for pregnancy and dropping out of school at earlier ages than adolescents in regular schools.  It is suggested that school-based care for special education adolescents is needed, including sexuality education, discussions on safety for the adolescent mother, and her child along with task-oriented skills to improve the adolescent’s self-esteem.

2. Abused boys have potential of becoming “adolescent fathers”:  Based on Pediatrics, Feb. 2001, with the title of “Abused Boys, Battered Mothers, and Male Involvement in Teen Pregnancy,” sexual abuse experience as a boy under ten years old (a) increased the risk of impregnating a teenage girl by 80%, and (b) increased the risk of sexual abuse with violence by 110%. 

3. Necessary to teach teens that pregnancy/parenthood is not in their best interest!:  The Newsletter of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, summer 2001, reported one intensive program combining sex education, comprehensive health care, and activities, particularly in tutoring, showed an impact on sexual and contraceptive behavior, pregnancy, and births among girls for three years.  Accordingly, family planning clinics could prevent teen pregnancies.

4. No talk of sex between parents and children in American families:  According to Conrad and Milburn, even in American families (compared to Japanese families where no talk is exchanged between parents and children) “they do not talk about sex” (2001: 17).  Therefore, they “distinguish between culturally normal and what feels right to us as individuals” (2001: 38).  Children tend to acquire “a haphazard education from their peers and from the media” (2001: 70).  In order to become a sexually intelligent person, they recommend that we have the ability to replace media’s information with scientific knowledge about sexuality.  An excellent example was introduced with a very honest mother who wanted to talk openly about sexuality with her children.  As a result, her son said, “My mother knew that I would make the right decision” (2001: 70).  The authors of the book called Sexual Intelligence consider that popular culture offers a skewed view of sexuality effecting negatively on ordinary people’s judgment of their own bodies and of their family’s/friends’ sexuality. 

5. Adult’s discrepancy influences teenagers’ sexuality:  A Christian radio program called “Focus on the Family,” under Dr. James Dobson, the founder and president of the organization, which has been campaigning “Real love can wait!” to prevent teenagers’ pregnancy, announced the sudden resignation of his assistant because of his double life disclosed by the media.  

6. Sexually sensitive books chosen as high school textbook:  According to a radio talk show of WRKO, one of the teachers in Newton selected a sexually sensitive book as reading materials during summer vacation for his high school students who are expected to prepare for MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) test.  The hosts of the talk show said, “Should that teacher be put in jail?  Or it is o.k. to let high school students understand what sex is all about.  Because we need to let students know sexuality.”

7.  More than 60% of Latino girls are pregnant by age 20:  Based on a report in Advertising Age, April 16, 2001, parents are advised to talk openly with their children to prevent teen pregnancies.

8. Campaign of “Sex has consequences”:  Based on a report in Advertising Age, Oct. 23, 2000, sexually active teens need some shock with provocative words, i.e., useless, reject, and dirty.

9. Need to get kids attention:  Based on the Washington Post, Oct. 16, 2000, traditional sex education which uses esteem-building phrases, i.e., “Respect yourself” or “Protect your dreams,” should be changed to make kids think “What could happen to them” through creating “Feel-Bad Ads,” because “Feel-good” ads do not work for contemporary teenagers.  Current teenagers want to know “What is the truth,” and “What is fair or not fair.”  It is stated that, in order to change some teens’ behavior, “Timing is critical in terms of creating a new social norm, and we may be at that tipping point.”

10. Stopping kids from having kids:  Based on U.S. News & World Report, May 5, 1997, four of every ten American women are pregnant by age 20, the highest ratio of any industrialized country.  The private National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, in April 2001, sets its target to cut teen pregnancy by a third over the next eight years.  As a good example, in the state of Oregon, teen pregnancy lowered about 75% between 1990 and 1994 by churches’ preaching abstinence and clinics’ distributing contraceptives.  A new poll shows the majority of Americans favoring teenagers’ celibacy.

11. “Don’t mention sex at all” worked well:  Based on Time, June 11, 2001, contrary to the concern of parents, sex education does not hasten the onset of sexual activity, because of the following programs: tutoring for youths, volunteer activities, and not to mention sex at all. 

I wonder what might be the hidden agenda to make people separately treat girls from boys.  Now, let’s move on to how to define cognitive abilities of gender influencing  teenagers under various social settings, particularly at school.


III. Academic community’s concept of cognitive abilities

What are cognitive abilities?  Human beings have a long history of trying to demonstrate male intellectual superiority.  But, what is intelligence?

1. According to Dina Anselmi and Anne Law, intelligence is multi-dimensional cognitive abilities with the following elements: (1) how to measure cognitive abilities:  to study sex differences has been controversial.  Because in American culture, sex differences favoring males are exaggerated, whereas, female’s favoring differences are ignored.   For example, verbal ability favoring females is not reported in comparison to male’s poor ability in public speaking.  However, other research claims no difference at all between male and female, by looking at other aspects of verbal ability.  If sex differences in cognitive ability are discovered, these findings might be used to discriminate against women; (2) How much does Society relate to teenagers?  Who decides sex differences?  Or why are sex differences translated into deficiency?  A hidden power in society  manipulates how to value sex differences.  As we cannot create a new society overnight, the history of how society determined sex differences in the past cannot be ignored, i.e., patriarchy and power asymmetry between male and female were facts; (3) Biological Account:  Sex hormones trigger physical and sexual dimorphism.  Throughout an individual life, particularly how environmental factors (prenatal and postnatal stress) might influence hormone production and cognition performance; and (4) Essentialists view ability as a quality in individuals expressed as an aptitude, whereas social constructionists see ability as individual’s achievement through experiences.       

2. How brain relates to sex differences?  Kimura’s theory of sex-dimorphic brain organization (1992) means that men and women go through the different evolutionary pressures when they experience sex selection.

 3. Buss, an evolutionary psychologist, sex differences are mainly the result of sexual selection (1995).

    We should not over-interpret many theories, due to too much conflicting evidence.  The crucial question is: How does cognitive functioning relate to sex differences?  The answer might relate to history: how human beings have taken for granted the traditional difference of male/female.    


IV. Socio-cultural influence:  What to learn from the past?

What should we learn from the mistakes in the past?   In order to really measure cognitive ability, we need to develop both theoretical and real-life validity.  The lesson we should learn from the examples listed below is the lack of full investigation, or of “what we should have done in the past.”

1. Asian American women as an oppressed history:  Based on E. Disch, exotic stereotypes toward Asian American women still remain as an example of dehumanized history in the U.S.  They have been the target of “hate rape” and this was not fully investigated by the government authorities.  For example, in 1984, Ms. Cheung, a nineteen-year-old Chinese woman seven months pregnancy, was pushed in front of a subway train in New York, or in 1985, an eight-year-old Chinese girl was raped in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at the time when Penthouse published Asian women’s pictures.  

2. Some classroom teachers trying to practice equity and also to teach it:  Based on research done by Peggy Orenstein, some fascinating teachers try to change both boys’ and girls’ perspectives on the female self, or challenge to revise the curriculum to provide students with both a window and a mirror: to look into others’ worlds as well as to scrutinize their own race and gender.

3. Who are the invisible members of classroom?:  Based on Myra and David Sadker, female students are invisible compared with the lion’s share of boys, because teachers focus on more male students with their helpful feedback.  As a result, girls are second-class educational citizens, but education is not a spectator sport.  Under hidden sexist lessons, girls’ gifts are lost to society, increasing their depression, and lowering their self-esteem. 

4. Individualism accelerates psychological intimacy:  Karen and Kenneth Dion, in comparison between individualistic and collectivistic perspectives on gender and the cultural context of love and intimacy, state, “If some aspects of traditionally collectivistic societies change in the direction of greater individualism, the importance of psychological intimacy in marriage for marital satisfaction and personal well-being will increase” (1999: 529).

5. More than media-based cognitive gender differences:  Diane Halpern states that media headlines on cognitive gender difference are not enough, because “other variables, i.e., ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, native language, educational level, life experiences, nutrition, and the biology of femaleness/maleness” (1999: 444).

6. Equal recognition of both boys and girls:  Susan Bailey states, “Gender equitable education is more than equal access for girls to the opportunities boys enjoy.  Achieving gender equity in education means equally recognizing and rewarding the achievements of both boys and girls” (1999: 461).  The reason for her saying this is that the majority of research on classroom interaction show the patterns of middle-class White students.  Gender-equity issues on various forms of assessment have not often been investigated so far.

7. Gender is manipulated by society and culture:  Ansalmi and Law believe that gender is rooted in society, culture, and social stereotypes, and created from and/or developed by “gendered institutions such as school” (1999: 433).  They offer to restructure our gender schemas by applying Bem’s idea of “individual differences” in 1993.

8. Gendered personality is both process and product:  Sandra Bem states that people grow up in a limited culture and by the time they reach adulthood, they become ready to look at themselves through the androcentric and gender-polarizing lenses expecting everything consistent with those lenses as normal and natural, if not, or something inconsistent with those lenses, people consider it as alien or foreign or a problem to understand.  Therefore, gendered personality is both process and product based on conventional women and men with limited themselves to have only half of their potential by “nonconsciously imposing a gender-based classification on social reality” (1993: 154).  She further claims that gender depolarization would require not only a social revolution (rearranging social institutions and reframing cultural discourses), but also a psychological revolution in individuals’ inner self of who we are and what we are.  Psychological revolution would ask us to see the biological fact either male or female in “much the same way that we now view the biological fact of being human” (1993: 196).  Finally, Bem states that “Biological sex would no longer be at the core of individual identity and sexuality” (1993: 196).

9. Bem’s lecture to her own children on sexuality:  At the earliest possible age, Bem tried to teach her children that “being a boy means having a penis and testicles; being a girl means having a vagina, a clitoris, and a uterus; and whether you’re a boy or a girl, a man or a woman, doesn’t need to matter unless and until you want to make a baby” (1993: 149).  I am very much impressed by her lecture.  Having learned contemporary and historical aspects on sexuality, I would like to take the next step to compare between Bowen’s theory and Minuchin’s strategies on how to help solve family problems.    


V. Bowen’s family systems theory with differentiation

The scale of differentiation of the family systems theory which measures emotional separation from one’s family of origin, has the following four classifications: 0 to 25, 25 to 50, 50 to 75, and 75 and 100.

Regarding the relationship between the above scale and one’s behavior, Bowen’s family theory written by Kerr and Bowen (1988) stated that:

The higher the basic level, the more a person can maintain high functioning and not focus on others even in a highly stressful situation.  He can tolerate anxiety within himself and is not easily “infected” by the anxiety of others (1988: 99).

Then “courage” is required for someone wishing to differentiate, as stated below:

A person who has the courage to stand firm and not simply oppose others can have an amazingly constructive effect on an anxious group.  The person who stands firm does not have to be “right” to be of benefit to the group.  His direction simply has to be self-determined rather than influenced by anxious prodding from others.  He is not attempting to influence or change others, but simply stating, “This is who I am; this is what I believe” (1988: 105). (The emphasis is mine.)

Regarding individuality vs. freedom,

With individuality better developed, people have more freedom to move back and forth between intimate emotional closeness and goal-directed activity (1988: 106).

How can someone with differentiation influence others? 

The togetherness pressure to be popular, accepted, “a member of the club” is not likely to override a self-determined stance that is anchored in emotional neutrality.  Such a stance in a family, while it creates a transient period of disharmony, can result in other family members’ beginning to function on the basis of a more thoughtful and self-determined direction of their own.  People can then move toward calmly disagreeing rather than anxiously pressuring for agreement or to have their way.  In this way, differentiation can permit a solution to difficult problems that does not impinge on anyone; everyone gains (1988: 111).   (The emphasis is mine.)

I value the concept of differentiation, however, how to apply it in our real world is a bit problematic, because the point is how to go about one’s different attitude against others’ common ideas.  If an individual only says, “This is who I am; this is what I believe,” without further succinctly explaining his/her hidden or deep seated thought, that would create problems of communication between that person and other members of the family, just like making “half-baked egg,” or “lukewarm discussion” leaves only confusion.  Let’s put Bowen aside, and then allow me to incorporate another idea, Minuchin’s structural theory.


VI. Minuchin’s structural theory for family therapy

Regarding how to solve family problems, Salvador Minuchin, who studied Bowen theory more than 30 years ago and has been advocating structural and process-oriented experiential system including all the members of the family, stressed the importance of strategies on relationship, distance, proximity, coalitions, and alliances.  Minuchin considers the family organism as a structure which is needed to clarify, for example, affiliation of X and Y excluding Z, and coalition of X and Y against Z.  All examples in his latest book show us how important it is to physically sit down in a room where all members of the family get together, and they discuss their problems “face-to-face,” whenever one/some of them feels distance or is isolated from other members of the family.  I can understand how much highly he values the process of such an interaction to seek for mutually acceptable goals as the outcome.

In order to bridge between family-focused theories and their application in our real life, I wish to revisit Ann’s situation.


VII.  Revisit Ann’s case to prevent teens’ unexpected pregnancy

Regarding Ann’s case, I believe that education and replacement are the key to prevent teens’ unexpected pregnancy.  Education means at school and at home.  Replacement refers to giving girls/boys alternatives from which they can spend their time in constructive ways, along with making them openly extend to wider perspectives toward their life.

Before acting out her pregnancy, Ann needed a tutor and/or counselor to help her develop various kinds of coping skills, right after she learned of her sister’s pregnancy.  At this point, Bowen’s differentiation would be of a good help to develop her self-esteem.  To avoid an Ann-like copy in the near future, I would like to suggest the following chart to let teenagers reflectively look at themselves, and then to succinctly express/write their own feelings and concerns, which would help them see their own personal or inner problems and eventually help them solve problems and/or develop self-esteem. 

Self-evaluation sheet   When and who filled out the sheet:  ____ AM/PM.   Name: ______

Anger:  Why should I get angry?

Envy:  Why should I feel envy toward X?

Suffering:  What do I suffer?  And Why?

Loneliness:  What makes me lonely?

Self-esteem:  Where has my own self-esteem gone?

Serenity:  When did I feel serene?

God:  Can I have a hot line with God to receive His wisdom?

Education:  How do I evaluate my own education?

Work:  How far have I done as an independent worker?

My unfinished business:  What are my broken dreams?

My future life:  How can I create my own niche for my future life?

Relationship with my parents:  How much have I told them my deep seated struggles?  How much do they understand my present problems?

Relationship with my brothers/sisters:  Why cannot I tell my honest feelings?


The above sheet should also be filled out by her parents and brothers/sisters.

Evaluation sheet for Ann    When and who filled out the sheet:  __ AM/PM.  Name: _____


                                                    Comparison of different persons’ views


                                                 Her parents’ view      Her brothers’/sisters’ view


Ann’s Education:

Her work: 

Her unfinished business: 

Her anger: 

Her Envy: 

Her Suffering:

Her Loneliness: 

Her self-esteem:

Her serenity: 

Her God image: 

Her future life: 

Her relationship with her parents: 

Her relationship with her brothers/sisters: 


     Ideally, prior to the first meeting between the family and a counselor/therapist, these filled-out forms are expected to be read by a counselor/therapist as reference or preparation for that meeting.  Or, if possible, all the members of the family could get together and exchange the written form in order to figure out their gaps of understanding toward Ann.  A complete form of evaluation of all people involved would be like the one listed below: 

Evaluation sheet for Ann   When and who filled out the sheet:  __ AM/PM.  Name: _____

                                              Comparison of different persons’ views

                                      Ann’s view    Her parents’ view   Her brothers’/sisters’ view

Ann’s Education:

Her work: 

Her unfinished business: 

Her anger: 

Her Envy: 

Her Suffering:

Her Loneliness: 

Her self-esteem:

Her serenity: 

Her God image: 

Her future life: 

Her relationship with her parents: 

Her relationship with her brothers/sisters: 


A counselor/therapist would have a meeting individually with Ann to help her develop self-esteem and differentiation; with her parents to help reevaluate Ann who is no longer a “Child!”; and/or with her brothers/sisters to help brainstorm how to deal with Ann’s problem.  

For mutually acceptable future benefit, a meeting with all family members as an application of Minuchin’s theory would be recommended for exchanging ideas honestly to solve Ann’s problems after learning her pregnancy, and/or to think about how to prevent Ann’s wishing to become a pregnant teen, just before her acting out actual pregnancy.  Since family-related problems are complicated, there would be no end to them as long as we live with other people.  Our creative approach to family problems would be to make us be ready for the test of our capacity/ability meaning whether or not we have the courage of using problems as the opportunities to develop much better human relationship from today to tomorrow.”  I believe that flexibility of the relationship balance is the key to maintain good and long-term relationship among people. 


VIII. Theological analysis/perspective

Who feels the pain?  Who suffers?  Who experiences suffering?  Ann and other teenagers who relate to pregnancy might appear to be the victims of contemporary skewed value systems.   They experience suffering and pain.  Accordingly, theological approach would be helpful to make them become aware of What God says, particularly on suffering and freedom in order to reduce their suffering by applying choice on their own.    

1. Suffering

Suchocki, with reference to the women who had been burned at the stake for witchcraft, claimed that “God coexperienced her childhood, her teen years, and every moment of her adult life.  God coexperienced her fright just as she felt it when she heard the frenzy in the voices of her neighbors discussing witchcraft” (1989: 210).  Therefore, Suchocki stated that “The woman must feel herself in God through God’s own consciousness” (1989: 210).  Suchocki continued saying that,

A distinction must be made between the totality of her life experience in the unity of her personality, and the myriad actual occasions that successively formed her person, each of which was felt by and therefore resurrected by God into the divine life.  The “mutual sensitivity of subjective form” would first relate each particular moment of the woman’s resurrected self with all previous moments; there would be a “regathering” of her selfhood in God.  Consequently, she would experience not only the momentary judgment of a particular instant, but also a composite judgment concerning her total being, all through the comparative feelings of God whereby her many moments, or occasions, are unified in God (1989: 211). (The emphasis is mine)

Suchocki focused on the importance of prayer to receive God’s guidance as stated below:

Through prayer we participate in each other’s work, thus actualizing the unity that belongs to the church through identity with Christ.  In addition to the mode of prayer that centers us inward in order to focus upon God’s guidance in the initial aim, there is also intercessory prayer, through which we participate in God’s aims for others in a direct way (1989: 219).

Suchocki urged the importance of taking care of disadvantaged/poor persons as stated below:

It had a particular view to disadvantaged persons, or what is often called “a preferential option for the poor,” so that their welfare was the litmus test of whether or not the society was just” (1989: 199) with the reference to orphans and widows who were left out from the society.

Regarding Rahner, his description of Jesus stated below could help ponder the extended application of Jesus’ act toward human beings’ suffering to be healed:

All that he accepted is redeemed because thereby it has itself become the love of God and the fate of God.  He has accepted death.  Therefore, this must be more than merely a descent into empty meaninglessness. He has accepted the state of being forsaken.  Therefore, the overpowering sense of loneliness must still contain hidden within itself the promise of God’s blessed nearness.  He has accepted total failure.  Therefore, defeat can be a victory.  He has accepted abandonment by God.  Therefore, God is near even when we believe ourselves to have been abandoned by him. He has accepted all things.  Therefore, all things are redeemed (1993: 300). (The emphasis is mine)

Rahner stated below that a real Christian’s faith would relate to grace:

The awareness of the professed Christian, his faith as able to be formulated in propositions, as “in conformity with the creed,” is something that empowers him and actually obliges him as a matter of duty to incorporate himself as a member in the visible society of the church.  And this faith of his is a part of Christianity in its fullness, and is a grace which once more facilitates and renders more secure precisely that which is already present in the depths of human existence and human awareness, so that it is this that he is actually acknowledging by his faith (1993: 393).  (The emphasis is mine)

Pertaining to Tillich, his explanation of suffering and loneliness is that:

Suffering and loneliness.  The former concerns man in himself; the latter, man in relation to others.  These two cannot be separated from each other; they are interdependent, though distinguishable.  Suffering, like death, is an element of finitude.  It is not removed but is transformed into blessedness in the state of dreaming innocence.  Under the conditions of existence, man is cut off from this blessedness, and suffering lays hold of him in a destructive way.  Suffering becomes a structure of destruction --- an evil (1967: 70 of volume two). (The emphasis is mine)

Tillich also focused on subjective and objective sides of suffering below:

Suffering is meaningful to the extent that it calls for protection and healing in the being which is attacked by pain.  It can show the limits and the potentialities of a living being.  Whether it does so or not is dependent both on the objective character of suffering and on the way in which it is taken by the suffering subject (1967: 71 of volume two).

Suchocki focused on the unity in God, whereas Rahner emphasized on faith/grace, and Tillich emphasized on transformation into blessedness.

2. Freedom

According to Suchocki,”We dare to say that God is the great redeemer, forgiving and restoring us in order that we might achieve a destiny beyond our failure” (1989: 5).  And there is freedom as stated below:

In the process model there is always a wedge of novelty that entails a degree of freedom and responsibility.  The degree may be great or small (1989: 17).

Based on Rahner, “Freedom has still not become something that can be taken for granted, something no longer capable of stimulating any movement” (1993:175), because of freedom’s being considered as a relative concept to the sum, total.   He added that contemporary human beings enjoy a particular freedom without recognizing their current situation as the result of freedom and creativity of those who overcame economic and cultural chaos.  Then Rahner stated below:

Today, many especially younger persons, are reacting against the contemporary social situation by aggressively demanding more freedom.  But I believe that we should view this in the way that we have indicated above (1993: 176).

Rahner concluded below freedom as finalizing self-mastery of the subject:

The concrete freedom of the individual, by which he decides about himself as a whole by effecting his own finality before God, is the unity in difference of the formal fundamental option and the free individual acts of the person no longer attainable by reflection, a unity which is the concrete being of the subject of freedom having-achieved-itself (1993: 103).

Paul Tillich, through treating experience as the medium, not the source for the contents of systematic theology, stated “God is infinite freedom, man is finite freedom.  It is finite freedom which makes possible the transition from essence to existence” (1967: 31 of volume two).  Tillich continued on freedom below:

Freedom is the openness for norms of unconditional, or essential, validity. They express the essence of being, and the moral side of the function of self-integration is the totality of acts in which the commands coming from the essence of the encountered world are obeyed or disobeyed.  One can also say that man is able to respond to these commands and that this ability is what makes him responsible (1967: 39 of volume three).

Tillich concluded the concept of freedom as stated below:

The eternal act of creation is driven by a love which finds fulfilment only through the other one who has the freedom to reject and to accept love. God, so to speak, drives toward the actualization and essentialization of everything that has being.  For the eternal dimension of what happens in the universe is the Divine Life itself.  It is the content of the divine blessedness (1967: 422 of volume three).  (The emphasis is mine)

Suchocki accepted freedom depending on a person.  Rahner suggested people to value today’s freedom as the contribution of people in the past.  Tillich mentioned divine blessedness along with freedom/responsibility.

3. Suggestions from the three theologians to Ann

Suchocki might suggest that God is the great redeemer.  Ann has choices from which she could choose, but she did not have ability to choose the best one, so she became pregnant.  Rahner might say that God did not help her go into such a terrible unexpected pregnancy, however, because of her poor education and social situation which makes her lonely, she became pregnant.  Tillich might state, “Please accept the fact that you are accepted, even though you face an unexpected pregnancy.  Remember we are all children of God who unconditionally loves every one of us, regardless of all our warts and imperfections, in order to bring hope and the strength to change our situation.”



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Buss, D. 1995. “Psychological sex differences: Origins through sexual selection." American Psychologist. 50: 164-168.

Conrad, S. and Milburn, M. 2001. Sexual Intelligence. Crown Publishers. New York.

Dion, K. and Dion, K. 1999. “Individualistic and Collectivistic Perspectives on Gender and the Cultural Context of Love and Intimacy.” In Anselmi, D. and Law, A. (Eds). 1999. Questions of Gender: perspectives and paradoxes.  McGraw Hill. Boston.

Disch, E. 2000 Reconstructing Gender.

Halpern. D. 1999. “Cognitive Gender Differences: Why Diversity Is a Critical Research Issue.” In Anselmi, D. and Law. A. (Eds.) 1999. Questions of Gender: Perspectives & Paradoxes. McGraw Hill. Boston.

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Kimura, D. 1992. “sex differences in the brain.” Scientific American. Pp. 119-125.

Minuchin. S. 1994. Family Healing: Strategies for Hope and Understanding. A Touchstone Book, published by Simon & Schuster. New York.

Orenstein, P. 1999. “Anita Hill Is a Boy: Tales from a Gender-Fair Classroom.” In Anselmi, D. and Law. A. (Eds.) 1999. Questions of Gender: Perspectives & Paradoxes. McGraw Hill. Boston.

Rahner, K. 1993. Content of Faith. Crossroad.

Sadker, M. and David Sadker. 1994. Failing at Fairness. Charles Scribner’s Sons. New York.

Suchocki, M. 1989. God, Christ, Church. Crossroad.

Tillich, P. 1967. Systematic Theology. Volume, 1, 2, and 3.  Chicago University Press.


Journals and newspapers:

Advertising Age. Oct. 23, 2000. v71 p4. “BREAKING: Making a point to teens.”

Advertising Age. April 16, 2001. v72 p42. “Latino girls.”

Campaign Update:  Newsletter of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Summer 2001.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. April. 2001.

Pediatrics. Feb. 2001. v107 i2 p429. “Care of Adolescent Parents and Their Children.”

Pediatrics. Feb. 2001. v107 i2 p394. “Abused Boys, Battered Mothers, and Male Involvement in Teen Pregnancy.”

Time. June 11, 2001. v157 i23 p118. “Preventing teen pregnancies.”

The U.S. News & World Report. May 5, 1997. v122 n17 p30(1). “Stopping kids from having kids.”

The Washington Post. Oct. 16, 2000. pC04. “Truth and Consequences; Ads Use Shock To Discourage Teen Pregnancy.”

Attachment 1.  A case, my neighbor Ann

It was almost two years ago that two girls, Tina and Ann, moved into the apartment where I live.  We were under the same roof so that we came to share the same common places of the apartment such as the kitchen, dining room, and another room with sofas and a table.  They were on the second floor, whereas, I am on the first floor.  Tina is very friendly and introduced herself and told me a lot about her relationship with Ann, i.e., Ann and Tina were roommates of Lesley College-based Special Education Program.  Ann is different because she is neither friendly nor open-minded.  Both Ann and Tina have Irish background.

I have recognized that Ann never says, “Hi!” to other members of the apartment.  However, whenever Ann had overwhelmingly shocking news, she seemed to look for someone who would listen to her story.  As Tina left the apartment one year ago, Ann has come to me when I was cooking in the kitchen.  Her way of coping is, with no prior greeting, to tell her angry feelings, concerns, just like the “non-stop bullet train.”  Then she tended to look at me just like someone waiting for a response and/or comment from the interlocutor.  I tried to be a good listener, while putting myself into her shoes, even though I often wondered why she would tell me such personal problems.  

The following explanations were uttered by Ann during our interaction.  My note/observation beginning with “It seems …,” is followed after her words.

1. Ann’s parents:  She said, ”My parents are old now.”  Her parents still consider Ann as a child, because when they come once almost in every four months from Connecticut, they always call her “Annie.”

2. Ann’s sisters:  She said, “My sisters went to regular schools, graduated from college and were married.  But I am not, I’m different, I’m Special Ed.”  It seems that she has had an inferiority complex since her childhood.  No sisters have come to the apartment to see her to talk about her feelings and concerns.

3. Ann’s situation in the family:  She said, “I’m the youngest daughter.”

4. Ann’s education:  She said, “I was born in Connecticut, but I came to Lesley for the Special Education Program.  Lesley taught us skills for daily life, where to go for shopping, how to cook.  I did not want to go to college, like my sisters.”  It seems she wants to justify herself for not attending college.

5. Influence of her sister’s pregnant:  Right after receiving the news of her sister’s pregnancy, Ann said, “I’ll be an aunt again!  How can I get pregnant?  How can I find my future husband?  I was a Special Ed. student.  So there is no way to find a good one, you know?  I may never get married!”  It seems she really wanted to get married and then become pregnant like her sisters, but nobody in her family has paid attention to how Ann might feel about her sister’s getting pregnant.

6. How to become pregnant?  She said, “I don’t remember what Lesley taught us about pregnancy.  My parents never told me about pregnancy.” 

7. No girl/boy friend:  Ann has not invited any girl friend to the apartment.  That makes me wonder how much she has experienced “loneliness” due to lack of socializing with others. 

8. Ann’s work:  She said, “I work for assembling parts in a factory from 9 to 5.  No need to talk with anyone.  The manager controls us.”  Having heard this explanation, I guess there would be no opportunity for her to develop social communication skill with others in her working environment.  About one year ago, her company was closed so that she became un-employed.  She tried to find work as a secretary, even though she has no experience.

9. Becoming pregnant:  Last April she said, “I’m pregnant!  The father of the baby, I have no idea!”  I saw three men come to the apartment to see her meaning Ann simultaneously might have them as friends during her unemployed period, or her trying to find a new job. 

10. Her family’s decision on her pregnancy:  She said, “My parents are Catholic, so they never want me to get abortion.  I will have to find a family for my baby, because I have to work, you know.”



Ps.  Thank you for reading!