The Washington Post asked two experts on teen-age pregnancy to comment on the issues raised in this series of reports. HARRIETTE PIPES McADOO
McAdoo, 45, is professor of research at Howard University's School of Social Work, studying teen-age pregnancy in Washington.
On Eva Hill's refusal to believe that her husband, Isiah Hill, was sexually abusing her 11-year-old daughter: "That is so typical. Because to threaten the man would undermine the whole family, (the mother's) economic security and all the other children. This is not just (among) poor families. Middle-class families, too. The women will deny the child. Accuse the child of being the person who initiated (sexual relations) because this is something (the mothers) just can't accept."
A woman is even less likely to confront her boyfriend "because he has no legal connection, so he can get up and walk out. (The mother) knows there are not a lot of men out there. If she jeopardizes this relationship, she may be (left) totally alone. And emotionally, sexually, economically, she does not want to be alone."
On turning to religion: "That's just a natural way when you just become overwhelmed and one thing after another keeps piling on. Then you just give up and become 'saved' (a born-again Christian). They have no choice. You just pray that things are going to take care of themselves. Other than that they go crazy." 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 racism: "Blacks still experience a tremendous amount of racism. I feel very strongly that we can look at the high rates of unemployment as being one of the manisfestations of (long-term and current) racism. It is not an accident that we have upwards of 50 percent of black youth unemployment. That's not accidental."
On the link between racism and opportunity: "Racial discrimination . . . is so deeply entrenched into the fabric of society that at the moment of birth a black child's life chances can be predictably less than (those) of a typical white child (even if the two are) born in a nursery alongside each other. That black child is much more likely to be born into poverty and increasingly so these days, race determines class."
On Lillian Williams' 13-year common-law marriage: "Some common-law marriages (are) sustained over a very long time. (Common-law marriage) may well have been an outgrowth of slavery when blacks were not permitted to marry."