So there is one thing that I have noticed since being in Louisiana.
There are A LOT of teen parents down here. Babies are everywhere.
Now, please keep in mind, I lived in Rural Alaska before moving here. Rural Alaska everyone was pregnant, but it was understandable. It was cold, there was nothing to do, and everyone needed some way to keep warm. I totally understood it. Hence why most babies in Alaska were born in the summer: the colder it got, the more pregnancies happened. Nearly all of my Alaskan friends are born in the summer.
Honestly, I don’t understand why there are so many pregnancies down here. With as hot as it is, I don’t even liked to shake hands with people, much less do anything else. I’m far too sweaty to want to be near anyone, myself included.
None the less, there is an insane amount of teen pregnancy, and many families are large families. Such as more than four kids large families. Two of my coworkers have over five kids. All but one of them has kids. Everyone keeps asking me why I don’t have kids yet, which is strange to me considering I’m only 23 years old. I thought most people waited until their late 20s to have kids.
Finally, curiosity was killing me. I asked my coworker who was at least ten years older than me, and had five kids, why teen pregnancy was so prevalent here in the south.
“Oh, teenagers make a sport of it here.”
Not the answer I was expecting. When he said this, all I could think was “Who wants to get knocked up the fastest? Ready! Set! GO!”
He saw my confusion and decided to elaborate. “Girls have a boyfriend they like and think, ‘I need this man, so I’m going to get pregnant so he can’t leave me,’ so then the girls get pregnant, to which the guy still leaves because he didn’t want a baby in the first place.”
This still blows my mind away.
Never, in a million years, would I get knocked up in order to keep a man. For me, I just had to get into a car crash and nearly die to keep my husband.*
This did bring back one memory of when my mother and I were house hunting in Louisiana a month before we were stationed here. We were having breakfast at an awesome diner that is no longer in business, when a waitress saw my Alaskan ID and asked me why I went to Alaska.
“Oh, it’s ten men to one woman up there so I thought I’d try my luck. Got married pretty quickly.”
She laughed and said “I need to get myself a man soon, maybe I’ll try Alaska.”
My mom shook her head, and for my mom, this is quite a bit out of her mouth. A quiet woman who is very opinionated with her children. When my mother shakes her head, my brother and I usually know what she’s thinking. At this instance, she was screaming at the girl in her head, No woman needs a damn man. I raised two kids by myself and I didn’t need a damn man to help me do it. Seriously kid, grow up and realize that men are not needed.
I imagine it more along the lines of this.
“HOW STUPID ARE YOU?! NO WOMAN NEEDS A FUCKING MAN! I RAISED TWO KIDS WITHOUT A MAN AND IF MY DAUGHTER EVER SAID SHE NEEDED A MAN I’D SLAP HER UNTIL SHE WAS DEAD!”
This, by the way, is the voice of my mother in my head. I’m pretty sure she’d never say the “f” word though, being a good catholic and all.
While my mom did tell me in the car that the girl didn’t need a man, and went on a rampage for the rest of the day on why girls are stupid to the fact that men are useless, I feel myself getting off topic.
I asked a former teacher of mine, and all he said was “Never underestimate how socioeconomic classes affect the general populous.” Poverty is much higher down here than it is up north, so I figure being broke has a big part of it.
But I thought condoms were cheaper.
What are your thoughts, oh internets? Do you see a similar trend in your area?
*When I was dating my husband, about two months in, I got in a pretty horrific car accident that should have killed me, but left me with a bruise from my seatbelt and lower back problems that are mostly cured now. My husband and I were engaged two days after the accident. We were talking marriage jokingly, but after the accident we realized that we loved each other a whole bunch and got married.