Friday, January 29, 2010

Recent Trends in Teenage Pregnancy

A few days ago, the Guttmacher Institute came out with a report stating that teenage pregnancy rates have been increasing since 2005. This information comes as an unpleasant surprise to the public because the rates had been steadily decreasing since the early 90s.

But is this really that surprising?

There have been signs of this increase was occurring in the past few years:

1) Sex in the media is on the rise. In the past 5 years, there has been a large presence and acceptableness of sexual activity in movies, on TV, in advertisements, etc. Many contribute this increase to the sexual revolution that is currently going on in our country. Compared to the revolution of the 60s and 70s, it is not as radical and therefore not as noticeable, but it is as influential just the same.

In 2008, Time had an article about how sex on TV influences teen pregnancy rates. "They found that teens exposed to the most sexual content on TV are twice as likely as teens watching less of this material to become pregnant before they reach age 20." TV shows such as Beverly Hills 90210 and Gossip Girl contain frequent sexual activity and influence teens to start being sexual active at an earlier age. A lot of the actors on the shows are a lot older than the characters they are playing, which causes them to act more mature and skew the realistic-ness of the content. Movies such as Juno and Knocked up glamorize pregnancy but do not show the harsh reality of what happens when you have a young child.

People are quick to assume that this raise in pregnancy rates is a direct result to the absence of good sex education. While this is probably one attributing factor, the Guttemacher Institute has found no clear connection between abstinence-only education and high rates of teenage pregnancy.

photo courtesy of kelsey.borsa via flicker

1 comment:

giocam said...

Here is a great article about teen pregnancy....