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March 19, 1997

Dubious Conceptions: The Politics of Teenage Pregnancy

Author Affiliations

Albert Einstein College of Medicine Montefiore Medical Center Bronx, NY

JAMA. 1997;277(11):935-936. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540350085042

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The United States has the highest rate of adolescent pregnancy in the industrialized world. Despite numerous social service and medical programs set up by the federal government, states, and private agencies, there has been no solution to this problem, which has multiple etiologies. In fact, few social issues have fostered so great a debate as has teenage pregnancy in America. However, according to Kristen Luker in Dubious Conceptions: The Politics of Teenage Pregnancy, those who are most outspoken often do not discuss the facts and are erroneous in their speculation. Luker tries to dispel the myths of why teenagers in the United States become pregnant and offers her own cogent ideas.

Dubious Conceptions begins with a humanization of the problem of adolescent pregnancy by illustration, via an actual human story, of an adolescent with a child in day care. Luker frames the subsequent discussion by stating that the problem