... human dignity is fragile ... respect for your dignity should inform the actions of all health professionals, and should be at the centre of health and human development.
-- Sir Michael Marmot, 2004, Lancet
Dignity or dirt? The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Scarlet Letter adsThe scene of the story is the Puritan New England of the 17th century. An aged English scholar has sent his young wife, Hester Prynne, to Boston, intending to follow her, but has been captured by the Indians and delayed for two years. He arrives to find her in the pillory, with a baby in her arms. She has refused to name her lover, and has been sentenced to this ordeal and to wear for the remainder of her life the red letter A, adulteress, upon her bosom. ... (from The Oxford Companion to English Literature: The Scarlet Letter, a novel by N. Hawthorne, published 1850)
1. Download Promoting Healthy Adolescent Sexual Behavior: A Youth Development Perspective (pdf file). This is an orienting presentation about the ads, from the perspective of the normal issues of adolescent development and adolescent sexuality. Includes comments on the ads by a variety of youth serving professionals, and positive counterexamples of ads from the US and several European countries.
2. Download Reframing America's Youth (pdf file), an excellent article authored by Franklin Gilliamm and Susan Nall Bales and published by the Society for Research on Child Development. The authors explain the importance of positive portrayals of youth, and the pernicious effects of negative media stereotypes.
3. See the Sexuality is a Gift ads, a creative positive alternative to the Sex Has Consequences (a.k.a. Scarlet Letter) series, by the teen peer educators of Planned Parenthood of the Columbia-Willamette. Also includes the full set of the Scarlet Letter ads.
4. Read Dirty Campaign, a letter to the editor about the NCPTP's Sex Has Consequences ad campaign by Norm Constantine and Bonnie Benard, published in Youth Today.
5. Advocates for Youth believes young people are the solution, not the problem, in teen pregnancy prevention. Read AFY's Youth Advocates Question Scarlet Letter Strategy.