Sex

The Kids: Still Alright

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According to a new CDC study, teen pregnancy and abortion rates are both at historic lows.

The pregnancy rate for teenagers fell 40 percent during the 1990–2005 period, to 70.6 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15–19 years. This rate was the lowest reported since 1976.

The overall decline for teenagers is reflected in significant declines in rates for live births and induced abortions, with much steeper declines for abortions (down 53 percent) compared with live births (down 32 percent). The pregnancy rate declined much more rapidly from 1990 to 2005 for younger teenagers 15–17 years (48 percent) than for older teenagers 18–19 years (30 percent). Pregnancy rates declined by 47–49 percent each for black and white non-Hispanic teenagers and by 23 percent for Hispanic teenagers.

These declines occurred over the same period social conservatives have been warning us about the consequences of a sexualized culture, the mainstreaming and widespread availability of pornography, the licentious nature of the Internet, and so on. But like most major social indicators over the last 20 years (last week, the FBI reported that reported rapes are also at a 20-year low), teen pregnancy and abortion rates are moving in the right direction. And pretty swiftly.

Save, I guess, for obesity. Maybe the next panic will be that our teenagers are too fat to have sex.

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  1. Kids these days just don’t try any more.

    1. I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines. It’s time I personally get involved in the lives and fortunes of our nation’s teenagers, and I pledge to do my part to solve this appalling lack of teenage pregnancy.

    2. That 6-year-old in Colorado seems to have made a splash. I like him already.

  2. You got sloppy stage hands….

  3. I bet there’s a strong correlation between the rise in fat kids and the decline in teen pregnancy.

  4. This is obviously proof that abstinence-only education works!

  5. It’s the mainstreaming of oral and anal sex I tell ya, that’s what’s going on. And the gay sex! Yes, that too!

    As for the last point: Chubby-chasing-chubbies…

    1. To lend anecdotal evidence to your claim, I was queering out in my little garden last spring when, over the wall, I heard the most outspoken of the teenager troupe next door saying matter-of-factly to her 15-year old friends “Well you know anal is the new oral.”

      I thought about that for a moment, and realized that being a teenager isn’t what I remembered it to be.

      Either that or I was running with the wrong teenagers back then.

      1. I guess you weren’t associating with Catholic school girls, then.

        1. I guess you weren’t associating with Catholic school girls, then

          The “Boston Virgin” if you will

          1. Anecdote: In grad school a French classmate exclaimed his frustration that American women would not do anal. He said that all French women to as that is how they maintained their virginity and their boyfriends and so was no big deal.

        2. Yeah, that and a donut. That’s what the Central Scrutinizer said. Next thing you know it will tell me to see L. Ron Hoover, at the first church of Appliantology.

  6. MP, we’d better continue subsidizing flour producers then. Those wet spots are not going to find themselves.

    1. I don’t need subsidized flour. The real problem here is finding a piece of baking parchment paper big enough to roll her around on.

  7. Q: What’s the same about a fat chick and a moped?

    A: Both are fun to ride until your friends see you on one.

    This joke explains the decline in pregnancy. You may thank me later.

    1. Thanks for the joke that is so 1987.

    2. Both are fun to ride until your friends see you on one.

      Hmm. I generally don’t invite my friends in to watch, but I’m behind the times.

    1. Unless you’re a baller and move to Japan… your pick of the crop.

      1. I’m 72 inches of vanilla gorilla goodness. Those women would probably eat me alive. Maybe I should go there and be a gigolo. I’d probably rake in the yen.

  8. Roe v. Wade, the Pill or a combination of both (most likely) is most likely responsible for these positive trends.

    It sure ain’t church attendance.

  9. The trends might also be at least partly the result of increased condom use due to fear of contracting HIV.

    1. I’m not so sure it’s a fear of HIV, just the easier access to condoms. When I was a teenager in the early 1970s, some drug stores didn’t even carry condoms. The ones that did kept them behind the counter and usually refused to sell them to teenagers. (Many pharmacists would only sell to married men.)

      After AIDS became a concern in the late 1980s (and the proliferation of chain drugstores), this changed. Now condoms are stocked out in the open and are sold to anyone, no questions asked.

  10. The trends might also be at least partly the result of increased condom use due to fear of contracting HIV.

    No argument from this quarter.

  11. but…… but….. but……. one abortion is one baby being killed.

    Ah, heck I can’t defend it, why try?

  12. On further investigation, I blame corn syrup.

  13. These declines occurred over the same period social conservatives have been warning us about the consequences of a sexualized culture, the mainstreaming and widespread availability of pornography, the licentious nature of the Internet, and so on.

    Luckily, those same social conservatives have been able to counter the effect of these social ills with abstinence education.

    Thank you, social conservatives! Now my daughter’s not a stripper, she just watches them on youtube.

  14. Now my daughter’s not a stripper, she just watches them on youtube.

    That’s hot.

    So, according to J sub’s link, church attendance and teen pregnancy are positively correlated. Makes me wish I’d gone to church more as a wee tad.

  15. So, according to J sub’s link, church attendance and teen pregnancy are positively correlated. Makes me wish I’d gone to church more as a wee tad.

    That’s teen pregnancy, not to be confused with sexual activity.

    If you wanted a shotgun wedding or to be on the hook for child support payments for decades …

  16. But…but…sexting!

  17. Along with the other reason suggested, I also credit the increased availability of porn with reduced teenage pregnancy (and probably sexual assaults as well). Now days adolescents have access to almost unlimited free porn. It’s just too much work to have to actually get dressed, find a date, find a place (back seats aren’t what they used to be ya know) and even then you run the risk of ending up worse off when the girl refuses to put out. Why go to all that trouble only to get shot down when you can see way crazier things than any high school girl will let you do anyway without ever leaving your room?

  18. Another factor might be estrogen-mimicking chemicals in the environment reducing (teen) male fertility.

  19. I’m attempting to do my part. For some completely unkown reason a hot 19 year old gave me her number three weeks ago. I’m 41 chubby and balding. I am still batting 0, but am giving it my best.

    1. A hot twenty-something gave me a wink and a nod the other day. Since I’m also a chubby and balding forty-something, I’m thinking of referring her to my optometrist…

      1. Haha, I love being in my twenties and in shape.

        1. Youth is wasted on the young, sonny.

      2. I’ve gone down the list on this one. I figured that she was just drunk. Nope have been out with her since. I thought she might be a hooker. Nope to that one. Though she wanted something. Nope hasn’t asked.

        She did spend six months in Jaan modeling. Perhaps the frustration of the Japanese women mentioned in a link above rubbed off on her.

    2. I’m 50+, thinning gray hair, and a few extra pounds to boot. The other night I had two hot eighteen yearold girls beating on my door. They were making so much noise, I finally had to let them out.

  20. Save, I guess, for obesity. Maybe the next panic will be that our teenagers are too fat to have sex.

    Not that I’m routing for teens to be sexually active, but a beer gut in males produces estrogen which lowers the libido, so there could be a connection.

  21. ‘These declines occurred over the same period social conservatives have been warning us about the consequences of a sexualized culture, the mainstreaming and widespread availability of pornography, the licentious nature of the Internet, and so on.’

    Good call to use 1990 as the base year, rather than, say, 1960 – or some year *prior to* the mainstreaming of pornography – and prior to the decriminalization and subsidization of abortion, the mainstreaming of artificial contraception, unilateral divorce on demand, etc.

    Of these trends, one could certainly argue that pornography got worse (or, in H&R terms, better) thanks to the Internet. As for the other trends, which of them got worse since 1990?

    Correlation is not causation, but I note that there were some other kinds of changes since 1990, such as the passage of new anti-abortion laws in the states (and even on the federal level). I mention this because the abortion supporters sure have – fretting about the limitation on ‘choice’ caused by new repressive laws.

    I don’t know about abstinence education (I doubt the efficacy of an hour’s lecture in the middle of a school week filled with temptations in the other direction), but I *do* know that critics of this form of education were saying that it would lead to increased teenage pregnancy and STDs. The chain of causation, if I recall correctly, was that teenagers have sex anyway, and the abstinence courses won’t change that, but the courses *would* persuade them not to use condoms. If that were true, then we would expect an increase in teen pregnancy and STDs in areas where abstinence is emphasized in school curriculums. How did that work out?

  22. Mad max –

    Jesus H. McChrist are innumerate? What ages of people commit the most violent crime? Does 16-30 sound about right to you?

    Add those nubers to the advent of the Pill and Roe v. Wade and what dates do you come up with?

    Sheesh!

  23. Mad max –

    Jesus H. McChrist are innumerate? What ages of people commit the most violent crime? Does 16-30 sound about right to you?

    Add those nubers to the advent of the Pill and Roe v. Wade and what dates do you come up with?

    Sheesh!

  24. Mad max –

    Jesus H. McChrist are innumerate? What ages of people commit the most violent crime? Does 16-30 sound about right to you?

    Add those nubers to the advent of the Pill and Roe v. Wade and what dates do you come up with?

    Sheesh!

  25. What about our national epidemic of balloon endangerment?
    Something must be done to prevent people from building homemade helium balloons! No normal 6-year-old can resist their lure!

  26. So this explains my lack of recent dates.

  27. Add those nubers to the advent of the Pill and Roe v. Wade and what dates do you come up with?

    Sheesh!

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