The Washington Post asked two experts on teen-age pregnancy to comment on the issues raised in this series of reports. 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.
On the deterioration of the extended black family: "The extended family has been the anchor for black people. It's been the glue that has held not only individual families together, but communities together. It's been the social worker, it's been the doctor, it's been the employer, it's been the nursemaid. It's served to protect people, individual family members, against a lot of harsh realities.
"It still exists, without a doubt, but the nature of urban living is weakening it today. There is less income, a scarcity of resources. Less to spread around. Less to give. Today, we don't know who is to enforce the [community's] norms. The extended family served that function." HARRIETTE PIPES McADOO
McAdoo, 45, is professor of research at Howard University's School of Social Work, studying teen-age pregnancy in Washington.
On skin color: "Skin color is a valuable commodity in the black community. That's [American] society. White over black is always valued more. As blacks, we've internalized that [attitude], too. We have perpetuated it and made it even more severe within our own group.
"You'll find some [dark skinned] women who are exploited [by light skinned men] and some [dark skinned] men who are [by light skinned women]. People use it and get what they can out of it. You see it here at Howard [University] with the light skinned girls coming here to get a doctor [to marry]."