The Washington Post asked two experts on teen-age pregnancy to comment on the issues raised in this series of reports. Their responses will appear each day. HARRIETTE PIPES McADOO
McAdoo, 45, is professor of research at Howard University's School of Social Work, studying teen-age pregnancy in Washington. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan and has written or co-authored several books on black family life, including "Black Family" and "Black Children." She lives in Northwest Washington with her husband and four children.
On pregnancy and poverty: "Teen-age pregnancy levels are higher at poverty levels. [In the middle class] the parents make it clear that you can't have a baby because you're going to go to college. Having a baby out of wedlock is not an option [for the middle class], period."
On motivations: McAdoo said her research shows that girls do not have babies because they want "someone to love" but develop that rationale after they realize they are pregnant. JOYCE LADNER
Ladner, 42, is professor of sociology at Howard University's School of Social Work, researching teen-age pregnancy in Washington. She chaired Mayor Barry's Blue Ribbon Panel on Teenage Pregnancy Prevention. She has a Ph.D. in sociology from Washington University in St. Louis and has written or edited several books on blacks living in poverty, including "Tomorrow's Tomorrow" and "Death of White Sociology." She lives in Northwest Washington with her 11-year-old son.
On choices: "Roughly 90 percent of black girls who have children keep the children [rather than put them up for adoption]. Very few middle-class girls who become pregnant end up being single parents" because abortion is more acceptable among the middle class."
On teen-age boys and their motivations: "If all other avenues are closed to you [because you are poor], the validation of manhood certainly does come with being able to say you're a father. If a young man has other ways to define his masculinity and to raise his self-esteem, he is not at all likely to have a child to prove he is a man."