Cover for DASH: When Children Want Children: The Urban Crisis of Teenage Childbearing. Click for larger image

When Children Want Children

The Urban Crisis of Teenage Childbearing

When Washington Post reporter Leon Dash set out to investigate the ever-lowering age of teenage parents, what he discovered shocked him: these pregnancies were almost always intentional.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former Washington Post reporter Leon Dash spent a year living in one of the poorest ghettos in Washington, D.C., and a total of seventeen months conducting interviews examining the causes and effects of the ever-lowering age of teenage parents among poor black youths.

Dash had expected to find inadequate sex education and lack of birth control to be the root cause of the growing trend toward early motherhood, but his conversations with the mothers themselves revealed the truth to be more complex.

A riveting account of the human stories behind the statistics, When Children Want Children allows readers to hear the voices of young adults struggling with poverty and parenthood and gets to the heart of teenage parents’ cultural values and motivations.

“This groundbreaking book by an extraordinary journalist made me understand why children have children in a way that I never have before. Dash makes it clear that no issue is more important to the future of the black community at large than this one.”--Paula Giddings, author of When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America

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