#8

  1. What, if any, are the similarities between the sex tourism from the US/UK to the Caribbean and the fertility tourism from other nations to the US?
  2. Are pregnant teens deviant bodies?
  3. How does the advice to obstetricians of adolescents match that of pediatricians?  Is this because of audience (they both deal with young women) or practice (they both have certain specialties)?
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4 thoughts on “#8

  1. Are pregnant teens deviant bodies?

    Teen pregnancies hold a stigma to this day, and when something holds stigma, there are deviances associated with such. The way society is structured does not make an ideal environment for teenagers to support a child of their own due to financial, emotional, and relationship factors. The main stigma associated with teen pregnancies sit on the very premise that they cannot possibly be ready to care for another human being at a high school level of education, and people automatically assume the mother’s life is over. In “Are Pregnant Adolescents stigmatized by pregnancy?”, they studied several factors regarding relationship status and feelings/reasons for stigmatization, and they determined “isolation from peers and not being legally or common-law married or engaged to the fathers of their babies, caucasian race, aspirations to complete college, experiencing family criticism, and both verbal abuse and fearful of being hurt by other teenagers” (Berenson & Rickert & Volk & Wiemann 352.e4) were the most common factors. Although 3/5 participants in the study did not feel stigmatized, there was still widespread consideration of abortions rather than adoption along with at least some consideration of the factors associated with stigmatization. Outside opinions of family and friends effected how pregnant adolescents saw themselves, along with abandonment they might face from society. Their bodies are seen as deviant because of the perceived difficulties they might face during and after because the responsibility is heavily placed on these the mothers, not the fathers. Also, 80% of the mothers in the study were enrolled in WIC, nutritional assistance for mother and baby, which also alludes to the fact that they might not be able to support themselves efficiently enough, which only helps validate what society hold over their heads. Even if teens themselves might not feel stigmatized, society stills places these expectations on them and people will judge them, the way adolescents handle it might be a different story, but deviance still applies.

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  2. Being deviant means to differ from what’s normal, and is a condition of abnormality or atypical behavior. Deviance involves behaviors that is deemed as being weird, odd, and strange. Sometimes, deviance could include illegal behavior. Since people don’t agree on what’s normal, they don’t agree on what counts as deviance either. Teen pregnancy has become one of the culture topics of discussion in deviancy. Teen pregnancy today face different circumstances than their historical issues thirty-five years ago; this can be attributed to increased awareness about teen pregnancy and enhanced methods of protection against teen pregnancy for young girls. In result, of the cumulative means of avoiding teen pregnancy have made those teens that become pregnant be prominent in our society, but does not necessarily define teen pregnant bodies as something that is deviant. Studies in investigating the responses towards early motherhood say that many young women who experience an unplanned pregnancy say it is a traumatic event for them. Getting rid of an unborn child may not be an option if it is unacceptable to her, her family, or her subculture. In addition to being pregnant, many pregnant adolescents do not marry before delivery because they have concerns about the stability of marriage rather than a desire to become single mothers. After a teen finds out she is pregnant most adolescents continue to terminate their schooling soon after the diagnosis of pregnancy is confirmed. Besides being a teen who is pregnant and being socially stigmatized, can lead to negative outcomes including depression, social isolation, lowered self-esteem, and poorer academic performance towards a young mother to be. Thus, information from pregnant teens about their feelings of stigma during pregnancy might aid these young women to continue to stay in school so they can achieve their economic potential in life. Nevertheless, the findings in “Are pregnant adolescents stigmatized by pregnancy” article, demonstrate that a significant proportion of adolescent mothers who carry their pregnancies to term feel badly about what others think while they are pregnant. Young mothers who are pregnant don’t see their pregnant bodies as deviant or being abnormal in today’s generation because teen pregnancies and their bodies have become more open in acceptance or not strange to see in today’s generation, especially in schools, where young girls could be pregnant and still go to school and get an education. However, the main issue is with the individual itself and what they feel others think about them. The issue comes to part where pregnant teens are stigmatized where they are likely to have considered abortion, or being afraid to tell parents about pregnancy, feeling that parents/teachers thought pregnancy a mistake, and feeling abandoned by the fathers of their babies. The following correlates independently associated with feeling stigmatized by their; ethnicity, not being legally married or engaged to the baby’s father, feelings of social isolation, aspirations to complete college, experiencing verbal abuse or being fearful of being hurt by other teenagers, and experiencing family criticism because of the “mistake” they have made. Young pregnant teens face the pressure of others judging them because of their pregnant body and in result, in having the teen to give up the baby so they won’t feel socially stigmatized by society because of the circumstanced decision she had made.

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  3. Society has frequently linked sex tourism from other nations and within the United States to associating it with fertility tourism as well as surrogacy. It continues to be speculated whether this comparison is of some truth or really just a futile claim. This topic is clearly spoken about. There is always people considering the fact that sex tourism is similar to fertility tourism in some regards. Though there are similarities there are also differences with this topic in particular. Sex tourism in the Caribbean’s refer to usually the women selling their bodies for sex which in return the person purchasing a product. This can similarly be considered to fertility tourism as well. The couple goes out and look for specific traits or a specific type of women they want to their baby Implanted into. This in return is a like a transaction similarly to sex tourism. They are paying the women to carry the baby or to a clinic which they are paying them to find the couple the specific set of traits they are looking. In return this transaction is similar to a women selling their body for sex. The purchaser can be looking for a specific type of women to spend the night with which goes hand in hand with fertility tourism whether it be in the states or in other nations. In essence it can be considered worse by very conservative people where they may portray it as selling if they are adopting or buying a child. The “Perils of Surrogacy” by Rachel Lu states that “Parenthood is also a primary means by which we pass on our culture, beliefs, and tradition” (Summer 2014/41). Rachel makes a clever point because even though this may come off as sex tourism this is a great way for couples to achieve their goal of becoming parents if they are not able to conceive. Many couples want to be able to have their children but fertility tourism allows them to gain access to their dreams and complete them even with it looking like sex tourism. In all this topic will always remain to be discussed and will not be decided for a very long time.

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  4. Sex tourism and fertility tourism both cater to the needs of the privileged. In the instance of sex tourism it is fueled by wealthy white women who can afford to take vacations. Klein describes them as, “middle-aged single travellers from a variety of social backgrounds, yet they are always in a privileged economic position compared to the impoverished local men they use or abuse for their sexual pleasure in an exotic land” (Klein, 156). In terms of fertility tourism it is only a method for wealthy infertile couples. Lu states that the IVF process starts at $60,000 but can cost way more than that when it is all said and done (Lu, 37). Middle or working class couples cannot afford to dish out that amount of money for a child, which is a continuous expense in itself. Both forms of tourism provide a wealthy or privileged class to fulfill their desires (sexual or otherwise) using their economic means. This is problematic for those who are not wealthy enough to fill sexual or emotional voids.
    Another similarity between sex tourism and fertility tourism is placing a monetary value on sexual acts which bring the question of legality and ethics. For example, women paying men for sex and a “boyfriend experience” in the Caribbean is a form of prostitution which is illegal, but it is glorified or seen as non-threatening and even called “romance tourism” because it is wealthy white women participating in the act. Also, the question of ethics is important; these women are in a way exploiting the men in the Caribbean. They know the men cannot afford to not “cater” to their needs. In one scene of a play called Sugar Mummies the relationship between a sex tourist and worker is depicted. In this scene the disparity between the sex tourist and worker is emphasized and it shows how the white woman sex tourist is taking advantage of the black male sex worker. Klein states, “like most of the impoverished sex workers – who live in shacks with no electricity or water – Sly dreams about leaving the island to look for a better life elsewhere, he tells Kitty that he has never left the island but ‘[i]n his head – yes’ (74), this statement “points to the inequalities of social mobility” (Aston 2008:186), which is a privilege of the tourists who come to the exotic island the black men are eager to leave” (Klein, 161). In other words, the women AND the sex workers are well aware of the power and privilege that sex tourists have over the workers. Fertility tourism brings rise to the question of legality because the law varies from state to state and even in states where surrogacy is legal, the laws vary. In terms of ethics, paying someone to have a baby turns pregnancy and giving birth into services instead of natural acts. It also turns children into packaged products with traits that can be designed and discarded at one’s discretion. Although both acts of tourism are taking place in different places and providing different outcomes they are very similar.

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