Teenage Births: Recycling Deprivation

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Teenage births: recycling deprivation
Teenage births: recycling deprivation

Published in March 2009, “The Spirit Level: why greater equality makes societies stronger” by Professors Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett has become an award winning bestseller, at the same time that has been subject to a volley of criticism from a variety of sources. The book emphasizes that problems more common among poor people are worse in rich societies and the base of this affirmation are 30 years of research (data from reputable sources, like WHO, UN, OECD, UNICEF, etc) around single set of rich countries then, checked among 50 states of the USA. The chapter to be analyzed in this report is the # 9 “teenage births: recycling deprivation”, and the data come from 20 fonts from 1989 to 2006.

What’s the model?
In a simplified manner, the authors identify the following model:

and exemplifies it through a gradient in teenage birth rates by household income, from poorest to richest.

It’s also interesting to see in the study the correlation of household income vs. teenage births in some countries around the world, as demonstrated below: Teenage Births

“One and a quarter million teenagers become pregnant each year in the rich OECD countries and about three quarters of a million go on to become teenage mothers. The differences in teen birth rates between countries are striking. In the USA the teenage birth rate is 52.1 per 1000 women aged 15-19, more than ten times higher than Japan, which has a rate of 4.6.”

Teenage motherhood is part of the inter-generational cycle of deprivation and social exclusion, but don't limited to these. Furthermore, we should consider others reason such as:
* Religion (predominant Catholics countries)
* Race (African-Americans, Hispanic, etc)
* Education (poor school performance, poor school attendance, low maternal education and no sexual orientation) * Family (family situations with regular conflict...
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