With no apologies to Bill Maher for borrowing his term, “religulous”, there seems to be a direct correlation between religion and teenage pregnancy rates and not in the way that you might expect. The states with the highest level of teenage pregnancy are also those that are the most religious according to a new research study reviewed by MSNBC. You can go to the article and sort the list of states by teenage pregnancy (data from the CDC) and by degree of religiosity (data from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life). As the article, written by Jeanna Brynner, states “U.S. states whose residents have more conservative religious beliefs on average tend to have higher rates of teenagers giving birth.” The study did find more abortion in less religious states which would naturally reduce the pregnancy rate.
The number one state with conservative religious beliefs and teenage pregnancy going hand in hand was Mississippi. WI rated 41 in birth rate and 40th in religiosity. Another state I enjoy following, the sorry state of SC, was 13th in birth rate and 3rd in religiosity.
Not too surprising, the researchers postulate that more religious states are better at discouraging contraception (abstinence training anyone?) then they are at impacting teenage sexual practices. Alabama, rated 12th in teenage pregnancy and 2nd in religiousness, should really re-consider their ban on the public sale of sex toys.
h/t to AmericaBlog