Teen Pregnancy: A Declining Trend

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Teen Pregnancy: A Declining Trend
Rebecca Smith
English 101 5/9/2012

Although it still seems to be a growing epidemic in the United States, many studies show that teen pregnancy has drastically declined in the past twenty years. The CDC reports that in 2010, 367,752 babies were born to teenagers, which is a drop of 9 percent from 2009 and 37 percent from 1991. In 2010 there were 34.3 births per every 1,000 women compared to 61.8 per 1,000 in 1991. There were less teen moms in 2010 than in any other year since 1946. (www.cdc.gov) There are quite a few reasons found for the continuous decline in teen pregnancies.

National Center for Health Statistics/CDC

More teens are using birth control and having safer sex. A survey from the CDC shows that hormonal contraceptives were used by 47 percent of sexually active teens from 2008 to 2010 compared to 37 percent from 2006 to 2008. The use of two contraceptives (mainly condoms and the pill) rose to 23 percent from 16 percent. (www.cdc.gov) It is shown in another study from the CDC that more teens are choosing to wait longer to have sex than they did in the past. In 2006–2008, 11 percent of never-married females aged 15–19 and 14 percent of never-married males that age had had sex before age 15, compared with 19 percent and 21 percent in 1995. (www.cdc.gov) Today, there is so much more media focus on teen pregnancy. This could play a small part in the declining teen pregnancies. With the television reality shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, teenagers get a first-hand look at the struggles that these teenagers and their families go through when they have babies at such a young age. They depict that having children while still in high school is anything but easy. Some of the issues shown are domestic violence, poverty, drug abuse, divorce, absent parents, and incarceration. Seeing these teens’ lives could very well persuade other teens from not wanting to have babies at such an early age....
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