Henrietta Lacks Stereotyping Essay

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Sarah Bart
November 30, 2010
Comp 1
Stereotyping: Teen Pregnancy
Judging people is a concept that children learn at a very young age. They constantly hear their parents talking about other families they know and their reputations. It’s just one of those facts of life that you were conditioned to know. Consequently, conclusions about different types of races and different types of classes are jumped to all the time. Is there a reason so many people have different standards for different races, especially in poverty stricken areas? Teen pregnancy is a growing problem in the U.S and sadly there is a correlation among races and socioeconomic standing. Lack of educational classes regarding sex, censorship in the media, and unobtainable contraceptives are among many factors that prevent the reduction the percentage of teen pregnancies among varied races. As much as we would like to say that we do not stereotype humans, that is a false statement. In most cases stereotypes can be proven wrong, even the stereotype that most teenage pregnancies are amongst teenagers of color and families with low incomes can be proven wrong in some ways. On the other hand, the highest percentage of teen pregnancies occurs in these types of situations. Take Henrietta Lacks for example. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, written by Rebecca Skloot, is tragic story that starts out with introducing an underprivileged family. Henrietta was only 14 years of age when she first conceived a child with one of her cousins. Whether or not the pregnancies at young ages were a direct result to her cancer, it was a factor none the less. Later on in the story after Henrietta was deceased, Deborah, one of Henrietta’s children was living with her older brother Lawrence, his girlfriend Bobbette, and the rest of her siblings plus her father. When Deborah was 12, Bobbette insisted that she not have sex with any of her cousins due to the unfortunate event that happened to her sister Elsie. Bobbette...
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