Study: ‘Baby Simulator’ Programs in Schools are Increasing Teen Pregnancies, Ironically

"Pediatric dummy" by Ano Lobb licensed under CC BY 2.0
Pediatric dummy” by Ano Lobb licensed under CC BY 2.0

Source: ABC News

A new study in Australia found that ‘baby simulator’ programs in public schools are not dissuading teen girls from getting pregnant, and are rather accomplishing the opposite.

The study followed 2,800 13 to 15 year-olds in the program until the age of 20 from 57 schools in Australia. Researchers discovered that regardless of their educational or economic background, teens were 36 percent more likely to get pregnant and keep the baby.

The program is designed to simulate having, and caring for, a baby doll that cries, burps and requires diaper changes.

“A set of lessons — including education sessions, workbooks and a video documentary of teenage mothers talking about their own lives — supplement the experience by exploring “the physical, emotional, social, and financial consequences of becoming pregnant and dealing with parenthood,” according to the doll manufacturer Reality Works,” ABC reported.

These programs are publicly funded and are currently used in 89 countries. Educators note that this is an important opportunity to reevaluate the program and perhaps make changes.

“Seems like a very silly waste of public funding,” says Sally Brinkman, lead author of the study that was published in journal The Lancet.

Read full story: ABC News

Children & Families, News
Children & Families, News