Skip to Content

"Adolescence," Pregnancy and Abortion

Constructing a Threat of Degeneration

By Catriona I. Macleod

Routledge Academic – 2011 – 184 pages

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartPaperback: $50.95
    978-0-415-55338-4
    June 29th 2010
  • Add to CartHardback: $165.00
    978-0-415-55339-1
    June 29th 2010

Description

Why, despite evidence to the contrary, does the narrative of the negative consequences of teenage pregnancy, abortion and childbearing persist? This book outlines a critical view of "teenage pregnancy" and abortion, arguing that the negativity surrounding early reproduction is underpinned by a particular understanding of adolescence. The book traces the invention of "adolescence" and the imaginary wall that the notion of "adolescence" constructs between young people and adults. It examines the entrenched status of "adolescence" within a colonialist discourse that equates development of the individual with the development of civilisation, and the consequent threat of degeneration that is implied in the very notion of "adolescence".

Many important issues are explored, such as the ideologies and contradictions contained within the notion of "adolescence"; the invention of teenage pregnancy as a social problem; the construction of abortion as the new social problem; issues of race, culture and tradition in relation to teenage pregnancy; and health service provider practices, specifically in relation to managing risk. In the final chapter, an argument is made for a shift from the signifier "teenage pregnancy" to "unwanted pregnancy".

Using data gathered from studies from four continents, this book highlights central issues in the global debate concerning teenage pregnancy. It is suitable for academics, postgraduate and undergraduate students of health psychology, women’s studies, nursing and sociology, as well as practitioners in the fields of youth and social work, medicine and counselling.

Reviews

"Macleod does not deny that pregnancy may be a problem for very young women but encourages us not only to rethink the taken for granted relationship between ‘teenage’ and problem pregnancy but to confront the social anxieties which surround it. The analysis is rigorous and thought provoking with important implications for theory, research, health practice and social policy" Mary Boyle, Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology, University of East London, UK

"The book is a timely contribution to debates around the ‘problems’ of adolescents in our society and teenage pregnancy in particular, and adds to a small but growing set of voices from other areas of concern about youth which question the category of adolescence itself and point to the damaging effects of its use. The style is clear and accessible; the content is scholarly, yet very readable" Christine Stephens, Professor of Psychology, Massey University, New Zealand

Contents

1. Setting the Scene 2. Adolescence as Transition? 3. Conundrums: Sex Education, "Teenage Pregnancy", and Decision-Making in the Context of Abortion 4. The Invention of the "Social Problem" of Teenage Pregnancy 5. Young Women and Abortion: The New Social Problem 6. Othering: Race, Culture and "Teenage Pregnancy"/Abortion 7. Managing the Threat of Degeneration 8. Summary and Conclusions: Where to From Here?

Author Bio

Catriona Macleod is Professor of Psychology at Rhodes University, South Africa. She has written extensively in national and international journals in the areas of teenage pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, methodological issues, feminist theory, and postcolonialism and Psychology.

Name: "Adolescence," Pregnancy and Abortion: Constructing a Threat of Degeneration (eBook)Routledge Academic 
Description: By Catriona I. Macleod. Why, despite evidence to the contrary, does the narrative of the negative consequences of teenage pregnancy, abortion and childbearing persist? This book outlines a critical view of "teenage pregnancy" and abortion, arguing that the negativity...
Categories: Adolescent Development, Gender Identity & Sex Roles, Gender Studies