Teen Birth Rates Higher in Highly Religious States


This article tends to point the finger directly at contraception, but I’d have to completely disagree. I’d say it has more to do with the discouragement of abortion. In fact, I think it would only make sense that there would be a higher teen birth rate in a more “religiously conservative” area.

That was my first thought as well.

I think age of marraige should also be considered with information like that. I know that coming from a small town in the south, by the time I was 19, I was one of the only umarried people I knew my own age. Most of my peers had already been married at least a year or two and had had their first child. I also know that when I visited a less religious area I saw way less young married couples. I think part of it is the fact that in these more religious areas people tend to get married at younger ages than those in a purely secular area who would normally wait until after college and starting a career. There was a lot of pressure where I grew up at least to get married and start your family young, I think this could be part of what contributes to this

Fair enough.

I think we also have to consider the fact the “religiously conservative” is not an approach that will necessarily work in this culture. The ‘sexual revolution’ got so much traction partially because American christians didn’t teach wholistic chastity to their kids before that time. There WAS a vague notion of sex being a slightly dirty thing, best not discussed or admitted to.

To this day, still, too many religiously conservative people (catholics too) are uncomfortable with the topic of sex and truncate the message to: Keep your clothes on until marriage because God and I say so.

Chastity is so much more than that and those who don’t do the hard work of explaining the gift of sexuality - the WHOLE divinely designed nature of it- to their kids do them a disservice.

It’s not enough to preach abstinance. We also need to explain WHY it makes so much difference for one’s chances for lifelong marriage.

From the Article:
*For instance, the results showed more abortions among teenagers in the less religious states, which would skew the findings since fewer teens in these states would have births. But even after accounting for the abortions, the study team still found a state’s level of religiosity could predict their teen birth rate. The higher the religiosity, the higher was the teen birth rate on average. *

Im not sure what you mean by abortion accounting for it if they said they accounted for it and the difference remained.

Personally I think it has everything to do with education. I was educated in New York, and I teach in louisiana. I had the full sex/health education class in grade school, where they tell you everything in graphic detail. Louisiana does not believe in this form of education…I sometimes wonder if they believe in education. :stuck_out_tongue: Anyways, I have female college student who do not know what menses is nor why they even have one, and some students do not even know which sex produces the egg or sperm. In anatomy and physiology one of the labs I’m required to teach is dedicated just for sex ed, and they know so little it is scary, especially since I know they are having sex. Why people are affraid to tell a young adult about the natural biology of the body is above me. It just biology, its not magic. You give them all the facts and let them decide, not let them exsist in a void of knowledge and then become suddenly suprised when the explore the mystery and end up pregnant.

Not so sure if I’m following you on this one. It is what it is, frame it into whichever cultural context you want it to. I think you’re off. Especially in a much broader hisotrical context. There’s nothing new under the sun, the reasons people have against the christian concept of human sexuality are the same today as they were 40 years ago as they were 100 years ago as they were 1000 years ago. Personal “squimishness” that a particular generation may or may not have had is pretty irrelevent in the grand scope of things.

Then perhaps I was unclear. 100 years ago, it may have sufficed to tell young people “Keep your pants on until you’re married” and trust to moral peer pressure and limited opportunity (no cars, few latch key kids) to do the rest.

Today kids are bombarded with propganda tempting them to ‘go for it.’ The only way they are going to choose chastity is if they understand and value the MERITS of chastity. They can’t do that unless they know the whole story.

I sure never got it from MY parents (I’m 38), and I suspect a lot of other kids of ‘religious conservatives’ never got more than a stern and poorly explained warning either.

It’s probably related to poorer education and general lack of sophistication of certain portions of the country.

Those whole “chastity Rings” don’t seem to be doing very much. :shrug:

I wouldnt say that it has changed so much, my grandmother is more than frank. She was telling me about what her mother told her, as she laughed, at the idea of what they use to do to protect “chastity”. One golden idea was when the boyfriend came and visited they would you usually spend the night at the girls house because it was not easy to get around, and they would actually sleep in the same bed as the girlfriend, but the boy was sewn in tight. I still remember her laugh when she said, “like the sheet would stop anything, and if it did, its not like us girls didnt know how to sew”. Time really doesnt change that much especially when you think that every girl knew the rhubarb with spinach trick and another plant I forgot about. :eek: ( I just want to say she was good catholic though, but her honesty was complete in all things. We talked about the church now making you wait a year to marry, her response “Honey I dont know about you but I would definately not be wearing white to that wedding.” :stuck_out_tongue: She is a card, but you got to love the irish.:smiley: )

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