Pregnant teenage boys in ad campaign: A conversation starter? - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Pregnant teenage boys in ad campaign: A conversation starter?

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The images have a certain shock factor - of teenage boys standing or lying down, shirtless and pregnant.

That's right - pregnant.

"These are unexpectedly shocking images," said Will Gray, a father of two who also works in advertising. "And it's not shocking in the sense of 'Oh, no, that's terrible,' it's, 'Oh, no, that can't be right.'"

The images may make one uncomfortable - but in Illinois and Wisconsin, billboards and featuring pregnant teenage boys are plastered everywhere, driving home the point on an unexpected and sometimes uneasy subject.

"It just reinforces the notion that we have to discuss gender roles in pregnancy," said Dr. Melisa Holmes, co-founder of Girlology and Guyology, organizations that center around teaching sex education and bringing families into the conversation. "It's not just the girl's problem, and this shows it as a boy's problem, and I don't think boys often see it that way."

Holmes sees the ads as reinforcing the fact that kids can become parents very early, and that parents need to realize that.

Holmes said by the time parents try to educate their children on sex, it's already too late.

"It's all about prevention, prevention, prevention and pretty rainbows and butterflies, and come high school, it's all about damage control," she said.

"Seeing a guy in that kind of imagery really wakes you up to - as a guy in that situation - to the risk that you're at as well," said Gray.

Many we spoke with said the same thing - talking about sex with your kid is awkward. But they also said if they passed the billboards featuring a pregnant teenage boy along the road, on a billboard or at a bus stop, it could be the ultimate ice-breaker.

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