Brene Brown, a professor at the University of Houston and renowned shame researcher, recently created this blog post about shame
Specifically, she discusses a new campaign in New York City intended to discourage teen pregnancy. The ads feature a series of crying children accusing their mothers of ruining their lives by giving birth to them as teenagers. Brown explains why shame does not change behavior – and why guilt is a different and better motivator than shame.
In some ways, Brown’s argument might be a degree or two off-center: the mayor’s office is trying to affect the behavior of people who might become teen parents in the future, not to change the behavior of women who already have become teen parents. However, the argument seems spot-on as a valid criticism of another campaign she cites – Georgia’s campaign to reduce childhood obesity.