"Children having Children": Race, Innocence, and Sexuality Education.
Young girls who are viewed as "innocents who need guidance and could not be held responsible for their missteps," are put under the rhetoric of "children having children." Jessica Fields explores how the oratory of "children having children," or "babies making babies," has exploited the idea of low-income and African American women are sexually imprudent. This specified notion of "children having children," also fails to include concern for young male sexual activity. Fields writes that African American boys become criminals, inmates, or members of an "endangered species." Young African American females are especially effected by this rhetoric. Dorothy Roberts, author of "Killing the Black Body," said "The powerful western image of childhood innocence does not seem to benefit Black children. Black children are born guilty." The idea of sexual irredeemable innocence in the youth has a local-racialized history in the United States. Purity and innocence is routinely linked to whiteness, African Americans are "generally excluded from the privileging and protective invocation of innocence." Consequently for all young girls living in North Carolina, strict laws support the argument of "children having children." North Carolina does not allow insurance carriers to cover the cost of contraceptives and the abortion laws are more restrictive. They deny funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman's life is in danger. The rhetoric of "children having children," is racialized and gendered, this is seen through abstinence-plus advocates, who promote abstinence only programs to be embedded into the education system. This rhetoric also highlights the sexual injustices of girls and women, and especially young African American women. In conclusion, Fields challenges this rhetoric by stating, "My efforts to problematize the rhetoric of "children having children" also have roots in symbolic interactionism, I approach the social problems of teen pregnancies and sexual activity as 'concerns, rather than conditions'."