Teen Birth Rates in Us

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Gault, Madeleine
Socio 125 T8
Nov 20, 2012
Teen Birth Rates in the United States
Sociological imagination is a concept introduced by C. Wright Mills that allows us the ability to “think ourselves away” from familiar routines in our daily life. It also shows us a “vivid awareness of the relationships between experience and wider society”. An example of this concept is how the changing sexual norms in our society have influenced the issue of high teen birth rates in the US. Sexual behavior among teens has changed for many reasons over the past 50 years. For example social media, more permissive attitudes and increased equality for women in the work place are some of these reasons. These social influences affect the sexual behavior of teens today more than ever before which results in an increased teen birth rate.

Social media not only allows teenagers to consume information on sexual activity, but also to produce it. Cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social networking sites allow teenagers today to connect with people faster than ever before. Because of things like sexting and sending nude photos, it accelerates the connection making part of the relationship and being more intimate. It is easier for teenagers today to “hook-up” than in decades past for that reason. These behaviors have become familiar routines in the daily social life of teenagers.

Society’s attitude towards sexual behavior is more tolerant and permissive now than ever before. Entertainment directed at a teen audience is much more sexually explicit allowing teens to believe that sexual activity is something common that everyone in society does. The popular series “Twilight” is a perfect example because although the book is meant for a teen audience, it contains a sexual nature. Another example would be the TV show, “16 and Pregnant” which glamourizes the issue of teen pregnancy. These new social norms make teenagers feel that it is accepted behavior to become sexually...
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