How Do We Solve the Problems of Poor Families: Turn Drifters Into Planners?
Tanya Telfair LeBlanc reviewed Generation Unbound: Drifting Into Sex and Parenthood Without Marriage by Isabel V. Sawhill. Sawhill and LeBlanc describe the myriad problems (physical health, mental health, etc.) of poor families and trace the problem back to the breakdown of the married two parent family structure. LeBlanc notes,
Sawhill makes an important distinction between the Planners (p. 3), those who plan for having children, and the Drifters (p. 3), young women who simply become sexually active, with no plan to use contraceptives, no plan to care for a potential pregnancy and no plan to take care of herself and raise a child. (para. 7)
Later LeBlanc states,
Sawhill’s remedy for this social problem appears straightforward: Turn the Drifters into Planners (pp. 105-128). One step toward turning Drifters into Planners is to help young girls take control over results of their introduction to sex and expanding the utility of long-term birth control methods.” (para. 10)
This in turn would improve educational attainment, income, and health outcomes.
Could this suggestion be a major solution for which many have craved to help eliminate unplanned pregnancies and consequently poverty, poorer physical health, lower education, etc.? LeBlanc notes that long-term birth control methods such as Depo-Provera are controversial. But even if this particular method is not acceptable, are there other methods and programs that could accomplish the same outcome?
By Tanya Telfair LeBlanc
PsycCRITIQUES, 2015 Vol. 60(24)