It is being said that baby simulator programs may backfire. Female teenagers are more likely to become pregnant thanks to these programs.
Although baby simulator programs have a deterrent function as far as teenage pregnancy is concerned, they may in fact cause just the opposite effect.
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Girls in schools that used dolls as well as educational material to simulate what having a baby may feel like tended to become pregnant more often. In fact, the percentage may rise by 36%.
A birth or abortion was likely by the time the girls reached the age of 20. This was in stark contrast to schools that merely employed the standard run-of-the-mill course as far as sex education went.
It sure came as a big surprise. On the one hand, there were statistics that showed that these programs worked. Yet here was data that pointed out the fact that on the contrary the results may vary.
"We were very surprised" Sally Brinkman, lead author and associate professor at Telethon Kids Institute at University of Western Australia told ABC News. "It’s one thing to get results to say it doesn't work, it’s another to get results that does the opposite."
The study got published in the journal The Lancet.
Over 2800 teenage girls were included in the study. They ranged in age from 13 to 15 years of age. These young females were spread out among 57 educational institutes in Australia. They were monitored till they reached the age of 20.
This is the first such study of its kind. Simulator dolls and the marks they leave on feminine minds not to mention the practical results were chosen as the field of analysis.
The small dolls are actually the same in their behavior as little baby infants. Not only do they weep and burp, they can also have their diapers changed. When you care for these simulator dolls, the result is an almost surreal feeling of caring for a real baby.
The simulation is completed via a set of rules and formulas. These include: education, workbooks and a documentary that shows teenage pregnancies and their after-effects.
Thus the full consequences of pregnancy are explored via this methodology. Some say that the program that was a part of the study was very different from the real thing.
They say it was an adaptation made by the researchers to suit their findings. Over 89 countries use these simulator programs on a worldwide basis.
The problem seems to be the maternal instinct (which in its proper context is a laudable thing). Many of the young females in fact get quite attached to the simulator dolls.
The strange thing is that besides this attachment, the females were more likely to prefer to take care of their babies after undergoing this program.