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MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Tue 17th August 2004

Boys are parents, too

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 11:33 am

Nobody is even certain how many teen fathers are out there. The meagre statistics available (commissioned by the former Ministry of Youth Affairs and dating back to 1997) indicate that just over half the babies born to teenaged girls are fathered by teenaged boys.

Given New Zealand has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the developed world, the lack of solid information is bizarre, says Father and Child Trust co-ordinator Harald Breiding-Buss.

Victoria University associate professor of psychology Jan Pryor … interviewed 15 teen fathers in 1995. Her findings have never been published, but she describes it as one of the most extraordinary studies she has done. “I had no idea it [fatherhood] would be so important to them … These were ordinary young men, but they had been through the birth and had been extraordinarily moved by it … That was a turning point for them.
More than one of them was in tears describing the birth of their child.”

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