Misinterpreting the Decline in Teen Birth Rates

As usual, conservatives don’t understand how to analyze data outside of their ideological frame.  Take the decline in teen birth rates, for instance.

Some voices on the right unconvincingly assign credit for the latest change to abstinence-only sex education, even though the percentage of sexually active teenagers has remained fairly constant. Besides, some of the states with the highest teenage birth rates — like Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas — have policies that emphasize teaching abstinence over comprehensive sex education.

While factors like shifting cultural attitudes and demographics play a role, the most recent birth rate decline is the result “almost exclusively” of an increase in contraceptive useaccording to the Guttmacher Institute. Analyzing data from an earlier C.D.C. survey, the institute found hormonal contraceptives were used by 47 percent of sexually active adolescents from 2008 to 2010, compared with 37 percent from 2006 to 2008. Teenagers’ use of dual contraceptive methods, generally condoms together with hormonal contraception, rose to 23 percent from 16 percent.

Educating young people on the hows and whys of sex and birth control is the most effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancy.  Imagine that…  Education, absent the phony morality of “abstinence only,” works.

Unfortunately (and as usual), Scott Walker and the GOP are dragging Wisconsin in the wrong direction on this (and so many other) critical social issues.

1 comment to Misinterpreting the Decline in Teen Birth Rates

  • Cat Kin

    Mass advertising about the dangers of random sex, HIV, herpes and other diseases has also played an important part in the decrease, as it has so effectively on the issue of smoking. Mass advertising produces revenue for media opinion articles which add to the results. This is how Republicans get away with such ridiculous opinions on most partisan issues.

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