Chicago puts pregnant teen boys on billboard

CHICAGO (FOX19) - The images have a certain shock factor. The photos are of teenage boys standing or lying down, shirtless and pregnant.

That's right, pregnant.

The Chicago Department of Public Health's Office of Adolescent and School Health has launched its 2013 teen pregnancy prevention campaign that features a series of ads that challenge gender roles related to teen pregnancy and parenthood.

The campaign features attention-grabbing images of teenage boys depicted as pregnant to spark conversations among adolescents and adults on the issue of teen pregnancy and to make the case that teen parenthood is more than just a girl's responsibility.

"These are unexpectedly shocking images," said Will Gray, a father of two who also works in advertising. "And it's not shocking in the sense of 'Oh, no, that's terrible,' it's, 'Oh, no, that can't be right.'"

The images may make one uncomfortable - but in Illinois and Wisconsin, billboards and featuring pregnant teenage boys are plastered everywhere, driving home the point on an unexpected and sometimes uneasy subject.

According to a recent CDPH report, "Births in Chicago," Chicago's teen birth rate decreased 33 percent.

Despite the significant decline, the teen birth rate in Chicago remains one of the highest in the nation. According to the same report, the teen birth rate in Chicago is still one and a half times higher than the national average – indicating there is still more outreach and education work to do.