Jane, you and I have the same thoughts...
Studies have shown that teen moms do no better or no worse than their socioeonomic counter parts. That is, teen mothers who are middle class finish high school and go to college at the same rates as their classmates who have, for one reason or another (mostly probably luck!) delayed child rearing.
The problem really is poverty. Most teen age moms (not all, of course) are poor. BUT, they have no worse outcomes (in terms of graduation, job outlook, lifetime income, and their children's long term behaviour -- whether they themselves will become teenage parents, or serve prison time) than poor teens who delay their childbearing.
The Brain, Child article was really fantastic. Some of the references (for those of you who have time for light, summer reading
: I'm jealous):
"Dubious Conceptions" by Kristin Luker
"The Culture of Fear: Why Americans are Afraid of the Wrong Things" by Barry Glassner
And to be published in 2004: "You Don't Look Olde Enough to Be a Mother: Teen Moms on Love, Learning and Success" an anthology put out by Perigee/Penguin Putnam.
Really, this was the article (combined with an article several issues ago about a woman's daughter becoming infatuated with a woman in a missing poster after the world trade center collapse) that made me shell out the $150 to become a lifetime subscriber to the magazine. It is just too high quality of writing (though, like everything, I don't agree with it all) for me to pass up. This is one of the best articles I have ever read. Well written, well researched, new perspective, refreshing, as well as critical and introspective.
So, there is my plug for the magazine, as well as some thoughts on the issue!