Dmitriy T.M., Jody, and Emily F. sent in a new public service announcement aimed at preventing teen pregnancy. It features Sarah Palin’s daughter, and teen mom, Bristol Palin.


What if I didn’t come from a famous family?
What if I didn’t have all their support?
What if I couldn’t finish my education?
What if I didn’t have all these opportunities?

Believe me, it wouldn’t be pretty.
Pause… before you play.

The ad is fantastic in its raw truth. But not, perhaps, in the way it is intended to be. While the ad is, I think, trying to tell all teenagers (not just non-rich ones) to “pause,” it also clearly lays out who pays the highest price for early motherhood.  Privileged teenagers (who are, by the way, more likely to abort than disadvantaged ones) will often be provided resources that mediate the negative consequences of keeping their child.  In contrast, when disadvantaged teenagers become mothers, it tends to entrench their disadvantage.

So thanks, Palins, for reminding us how nice it is to be rich.

Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.