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Placing blame on the Internet for teen pregnancies


The Internet is a perfect scapegoat, if you stop to think about it. You can blame the Internet for numerous things, including murder techniques, enabling addictions (Internet and gambling), and youth crime. To be fair, if we didn't have the Internet, people wouldn't have ready access to tons of information that could be used for harm and malice. Sure, they could still get the information from somewhere else, like the library or a mail order catalog, but it would take them longer and more effort, which might deter some people from following through with their plans. For example, in the heat of the moment, it's quick and easy to Google plans for destruction, but in four to six weeks (the average time for a catalog to arrive to your mailing address) you may have forgotten what you were so upset about in the first place.

Still, we live in a society that likes to point fingers and place blame, and the Internet will continue to be a prime target. Most recently, China is blaming the Internet for the rise in teen pregnancies (News.com).

Nearly half of the pregnant teens in China's financial hub, Shanghai, met their partners on the Internet, state media said on Tuesday. Zhang Zhengrong, a doctor who oversees the city's first-aid hotline for pregnant teens, said 46 percent of the more than 20,000 teenage girls who called the hotline over the past two years said they had had sex with boys they met on the Internet.

Personally, I think that the parents of these pregnant girls are the ones who are responsible (or should I say irresponsible). Do you blame the Internet?

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

18 comments
NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I'm willing to accept the blame (or credit) for my own actions (or inactions). :0 My God! I'm not human!! :0

Tig2
Tig2

Hmm, let's see. Chinese kids use the Internet, Chinese kids end up pregnant. MUST be a causal relationship. Of course, this requires that one not consider that the same thing hasn't happened in other places when the Internet came to town. Obviously, a rare reaction that only strikes Chinese end users... and only in China. How about lack of sexual education? Could that play a part? Nah. Must be the Internet. Possibly lack of personal responsibility? Nah. Every one knows that the Internet is evil and must be destroyed. Sheesh! Edited to include a more meaningful title.

unhappyuser
unhappyuser

Remember this: When pointing a finger of blame at someone or something don't forget that there are three pointing back at yourself. Parents are first in line, then the community, then the schools and finally the government so why is the government expected to be the first to step in? Where does the entertainment industry and big business come in? They have a BIG influence. EMD

TechExec2
TechExec2

. Pregnant teenagers are not the real threat to the Chinese government's control over the people. The Internet is.

K7AAY
K7AAY

#$%^@%&! Or, maybe the guy who didn't make sure contraception was in place, maybe could have been more responsible? Ya think?

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

:) Seriously, I think people said the same about TV when I was a kid.

j33p1234
j33p1234

I agree that we live in time where no one is willing to execpt blame or stand up for what is right, or should I say that something really terrible must happen before action occurs. People must be responible for what people do and the true is the internet helps but, its people who actual comment the bad deeds.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

China blames the Internet for the rise in teen pregnancies. Do you blame the Internet for this and other misfortunes/crimes/grievous acts?

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