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 giving birth outside of marriage: "Being unmarried and having a child is not sinful to the girl. Sixty percent of teen-age mothers have a second child within two years. I don't quite understand it except the fact is that the first year their (first child is) still fun to deal with. They have (the second child) before they really realize what it means to be a parent."
On sexual gamesmanship: "(A girl's need to conquer brings her) pleasure out of manipulating. Not so much from the sex, but just from the manipulation of the people. She may not have any other arena which she can have any power in. Where else could she actually feel power? . . . Most women are socialized not to, at least, show the power as blatantly as (some do). It's still not acceptable for a woman to be too macho."
On black male unemployment: "(Black men) are not educated for the jobs that are available and they're dropping out of school. Structurally, they are almost defined out of the economy and, therefore, out of the family's lives because they are not able to assume traditional roles of being provider. And they are caught in a no-win situation where they are not going to move up. Hard work, the things that (past) generations of immigrants were able to use, they aren't going to be able to use" because general laborers are not in high demand today.
"So until they either go to jail or go to (military) service, they're stuck. And they're not going to the service because they can't pass the test." 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 fragile nature of teen-age relationships: "After all, we are dealing with adolescents who are not in permanent relationships, pregnant or not pregnant. Sometimes the child does bind the couple together for longer periods of time. But for all the reasons that nonpregnant adolescents break up, these kids break up. Form relationships with another boyfriend."
On how parents teach their children about sex: "(Both poor and middle-class parents) have all these hang-ups about sex. If they have hang-ups about sexuality, then how (can) we expect the kids to have some clear, clear messages? The messages are very contradictory. Emphasis on human sexuality in the media, while (the) approach at home may be not to discuss sexuality at all. The kids don't have any clear-cut message on what is right and what is wrong in this area."