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A pregnant teenage boy? Anti-pregnancy ad features one

A surprising ad campaign shows a

A surprising ad campaign shows a "pregnant" boy. Photo Credit: Chicago Department of Public Health

I can’t wait to go home and show this ad campaign to my 16-year-old. What will be his reaction when he sees boys his age – pregnant? Effective? Or silly? Will it make him think about teen pregnancy? Or just laugh?

A new ad in Chicago shows shirtless 15- and 16-year-old boys whose bellies have obviously been altered in the photos to make them appear to be expecting their own little bundles of joy.

Joy? Hmmm. Not every teen boy would see pregnancy that way. And that’s the point of the Chicago Department of Health’s pregnancy prevention campaign – to get teens and adults talking about how teen pregnancy doesn’t only affect the girls.

The ads are on public buses, trains and platforms, especially in communities where teen birth rates are highest, says Brian Richardson of the Chicago Department of Public Health. Along with the photos of the boys, the ads say, “Unexpected? Most teen pregnancies are” and urge teens to use condoms or wait to have sex, and to visit for more information.

“We wanted to have a marketing component that would grab people’s attention and drive them to our website,” Richardson says. “We’ve seen huge traffic to our website as well as a number of conversations on Twitter, Facebook and across social media.”

The pregnant boys campaign originated in Milwaukee. Chicago adopted it in May after focus groups with teens showed that they overwhelmingly favored the ad over other teen-pregnancy prevention campaign options.

What do you think? Will the ads actually cause boys to think more about pregnancy prevention? Or are they just a gimmick?


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