Teen pregnancy and a lesson in media literacy

The Gloucester 18, The Realities of Teen Pregnancy

Media Education Foundation has just released on DVD this film examining a spike in pregnancies in 2008 at the Gloucester High School in Massachusetts, and the accompanying media hype. The filmmaker’s description:

In 2008, eighteen high school girls from Gloucester, Massachusetts were accused of making a pact to become pregnant. The mainstream media perpetuated and sensationalized the story, with reporters flying in from as far away as Australia, the UK, and Brazil. The Gloucester 18 looks behind all the headlines and hype to tell the real stories of these girls, and in the process puts a human face on a startling statistic: that the United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the developed world. The filmmakers draw on interviews with the girls, their families, high school counselors, physicians, and media personalities to unpack what really happened, and explore the complicated emotional and practical challenges faced by teens on the brink of motherhood. An excellent resource for high school health classes, teen pregnancy prevention programs, and courses in psychology, adolescent development, public health, and education.

Yvonne Abraham, a Boston Globe columnist, says this film “should be mandatory viewing for every teen in the country.”

The Media Education Foundation produces documentaries that examine the role of media in our culture, including enlightening works on sexualization and violence, excessive marketing and commercialization, and other important works that promote media literacy. Another MEF film I highly recommended for all parents and for high schools is Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood. I have this film and I would be delighted to show it or lend it to any organization or group in the Boston area (loosely defined). Just get in touch: emcn17 (at) gmail.com


  1. I'd love to see "Consuming Kids" (and the Gloucester movie)! Will you lend to a group of one?

  2. Absolutely, Carol. I'm so glad you are interested!

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