Is 'Teen Mom' Working? Teen Pregnancy Rates at a Record Low (POLL)
Maybe Teens Are Paying Attention to Just How Tough It Is to Be a Mom Before You're an Adult
We've always thought shows like 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom were a good deterrent to teens who may underestimate just how difficult life as a teen mom could be. And there's no evidence that the series are responsible, but a new study released this week shows the overall teen pregnancy rates in the United States are at a record low.
The Guttmacher Institute, the nonprofit sexual health research group, conducted the study, which found that, in 2008, nearly 750,000 women under the age of 20 in the U.S. became pregnant, with 98 percent of them between 15 and 19-years-old.
That translates to a pregnancy rate of 67.8 pregnancies per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19, which Guttmacher says is the lowest teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. since 1972 -- the year before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion.
That number, Reuters reports, is also down 42 percent from the 1990 stats, when teen pregnancy was at a high of 116.9 per 1,000 teens.
As for teen abortions, the rate in 2008 dropped to 17.8 per 1,000 teen girls and women, the lowest rate since 1972 and down 59 percent from 1988's high of 43.5 per 1,000 teen girls.
Guttmacher reps point to higher use of contraceptives by teen females and males as the reason for the lower numbers.
Unfortunately, both birth rates and abortion rates remain high among minority teens, according to Guttmacher. Birth rates for black and Hispanic teens were more than twice the rates for white teens in 2008, while abortion rates for black teens were four times as high as those for white teens and abortion rates for Hispanic teens were twice as high as those for white teens.
Do you think shows like "Teen Mom" and "16 and Pregnant" encourage or deter teen pregnancy?
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