Sunday, April 15, 2012

Teen Pregnancy Rates

By Hos
And the gold goes to...Mississippi. It is not the only place where Mississippi is number one: it happens to be the most religious state in the nation, as well. Of note, out of the ten states with highest rates of teen pregnancy, seven are pious southern states, whereas out of the 5 states with lowest teen pregnancy rates, four are in the relatively secular New England.
Minnesota, the state where I once lived, it rather low on the list, even though that is where the movie Juno, dealing with the issue of teen pregnancy, was set. The movie was partially set in St Cloud, the devout catholic city where I lived, and according to the Wikipedia entry of the city, is referred to in the movie as "East Jesus Nowhere". Based on my experience I thought I was an appropriate location for the movie.
Once again, we learn that abstinence only sex education doesn't seem to be the panacea it is often trumpeted to be; in fact, the one thing states with high rates of teen pregnancy may have in common could be lack of a comprehensive sex education plan.
Speaking of abstinence only, if it is so useful that millions of tax-payer money have already been spent on it, why can't we use it for some other vexing problems like smoking and obesity?

1 comment:

Explicit Atheist said...

Maybe more religious states have more teenage pregnancy like your article asserts, but the newspaper article that you cite asserts that Mississippi has the highest percentage of teenage births. The reported rate of teenage abortions per pregnancy varies substantially by state and Mississippi's rate is among the lowest (1.1%). The percentage of aborted pregnancies in New York is reported to be over 5%. The rate of teenage pregnancy for those two states is about the same (both are high).