“Virtual Infant Programs” Actually Increase Teen Pregnancies

In some communities, teens participate in “virtual infant parenting,” where they must care for robotic dolls that look and act like real babies. Participants spend a few days feeding, changing diapers, and supporting the dolls to experience the challenges of life as a teen parent. However, a new study of Australian girls has found these programs are not effective. Seventeen percent of girls who cared for virtual babies ended up becoming pregnant during their teen years, compared to 11 percent of those outside of the program. Teen pregnancies are at an all-time low in the United States. Experts believe the reason is education and use of contraception.

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