Teen pregnancy rate up after 10-year decline

I found this article on Yahoo this morning:

news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100126/hl_nm/us_pregnancy_teens_usa

I'm interested in what people here have to say about this. Any thoughts?

Is the link the article attempts to make between the increased teen pregnancy rate and abstinence only sexual education valid, or are there other factors that could explain the upward trend that the article fails to mention?

If, in fact, there is a link between abstinence only sex education and an increased teen pregnancy rate, how do you think this will affect the attitudes of American Catholics toward sex education?

I am not sure about these stats but I would like to think that maybe our youth are waking up to the evils of abortion. Maybe, (and maybe i am only thinking wishfully) teens well see that killing ones own child so that they can live as they wish is not an option.

I as a Catholic I am still against sex education in the sense that our government and schools force it onto our children as if there is no other option and as if they were only animals with no control of their bodies.

I am going to echo St. Lucy concerning the sex ed programs. I remember we had to sit through one in the 10th grade. The instructor gave us excellent information concerning contraception and a brief nod to abstinence.

The purveying thought amongst secular educators is that teens are not willing nor able to control themselves so why focus on something that is not possible. Going into any situation with a defeatist mentality is never going to elicit positive results.

Also, one reason that abstinence-only sex ed may fail in some places is the lack of support (reiterating my point above) and the lack of a moral base in our current society.

If everything is accepted why deny yourself? Instant self gratification is the name of today's game.

Abstinence-only sex education has been shown to be ineffective in avoiding teen pregnancies. There has to be more education and counseling.

With all of the sexual images and words that permeate society today, it's no wonder that teen pregnancies and abortions are increasing. Instead of blaming it on abstinence programs, they need to confront the real problem which is the instant gratification mentality that someone else mentioned. Sexual promiscuity leads to more teen pregnancies which leads to more abortions. If anything, the abstinence programs should be commended for helping to keep the numbers lower than what they would be otherwise. But too many people don't want any legal or moral restrictions on their behavior, even when it would be to their benefit.

What many forget to realize is that pregnancy is NOT a disease and not the worst thing in the world. Yes it's a concern, but they really should be putting in more effort to change the culture towards abstinence because of the alarming rate of STDs among the youth!!! Jeepers, don't they have a clue? Then again we'd probably have to bail out the ABC industry with tax dollars. :rolleyes:

I hate to be graphic, but the fear of pregnancy is leading many young people to engage in "unnatural acts", instead of normal sexual intercourse. That, and a general rise in promiscuity, is what is leading to the skyrocketing STD levels.

I know "nice college girls" that are in their early 20s and have lost count of how many guys they've had sex with, and what their first names were. There is absolutely no shame attached to this. In fact, they are celebrated and popular for this behavior.

But the real reason for the rise in unwed pregnancy (which is the real problem, not the fact that they're teenagers) is fatherlessness. It's far and away the biggest predictor of unmarried pregnancies. Not only are those girls more likely to have premarital sex, they also are more likely to: drop out of school, grow up in poverty, watch their own mothers (their role models) practice serial monogamy, never marry, abuse drugs and alcohol, start having sex earlier, have more partners, and begin menstruating earlier (and are therefore more fertile).

But you won't hear that on the news. Illegitimacy is related to marriage and nobody wants to touch that with a 10-foot pole in the dark.

Now, I'm not a big fan of the guy who originally posted this graph, but the data he used are completely correct and valid. Take a look at this and then decide if more information would have stopped these unmarried girls from having babies. These girls know more about sex and reproduction than most married women with children. You could take lessons from them. They are not pregnant out of ignorance; that's just propaganda.

Illegitimacy rates went from 5.3% of births in 1960 to almost 40% in 2009. That's an increase of over 700%, and that is after sex education began to be taught in public schools. The debate about the kind of sex education taught is a red herring. The bigger question should be: why is it necessary to teach children about sex at all.

I think the economic situation of the last few years may be related. I used to teach in an inner-city high school where the teen pregnancy rate was high (as was the poverty rate and all that goes with that), and I found that most of the students had very little stability in their lives; they had never met their fathers, mom sent them to live with auntie when she went into drug rehab, auntie sent them to live with a cousin when she went to jail, cousin couldn't afford to feed them, so they went to live with another cousin,etc. These kids were desperate for someone to love them and stick with them, and they had babies --often on purpose-- thinking this child would love them forever and not ignore them like the rest of the world does. I think they probably were hoping for the same thing from the people they had sex with. Anyway, as the economy gets worse, and more and more people have unstable lives because of poverty related issues, this becomes more of a problem. I had a pregnant student once write a poem about how she would love her child the way her mother never loved her, and she would never abandon her like her own mother had. It is heartbreaking. Interestingly, the fathers were usually older boys-- not in high school--, and rarely stuck around. These kids were taught all about artificial birth control, the problem was that they wanted to get pregnant. Part of it is cultural, too -- their mothers had them young, as did their grandmothers, and all the kids at school have kids, but that wouldn't explain the recent increase. I think it's the economy.

[quote="Brigid32, post:8, topic:184503"]
I think the economic situation of the last few years may be related. I used to teach in an inner-city high school where the teen pregnancy rate was high (as was the poverty rate and all that goes with that), and I found that most of the students had very little stability in their lives; they had never met their fathers, mom sent them to live with auntie when she went into drug rehab, auntie sent them to live with a cousin when she went to jail, cousin couldn't afford to feed them, so they went to live with another cousin,etc. These kids were desperate for someone to love them and stick with them, and they had babies --often on purpose-- thinking this child would love them forever and not ignore them like the rest of the world does. I think they probably were hoping for the same thing from the people they had sex with. Anyway, as the economy gets worse, and more and more people have unstable lives because of poverty related issues, this becomes more of a problem. I had a pregnant student once write a poem about how she would love her child the way her mother never loved her, and she would never abandon her like her own mother had. It is heartbreaking. Interestingly, the fathers were usually older boys-- not in high school--, and rarely stuck around. These kids were taught all about artificial birth control, the problem was that they wanted to get pregnant. Part of it is cultural, too -- their mothers had them young, as did their grandmothers, and all the kids at school have kids, but that wouldn't explain the recent increase. I think it's the economy.

[/quote]

That's the same experience I had when I taught in the inner city. There is a lack of love in many households, and I think that it spreads beyond the inner city. Neglect is very common in suburbs too.

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