The teenage birthrate reached a 40 year low in 2008. Although the number of pregnancies, births, and abortions has decreased among all teenagers, there is still a large gap in the pregnancy rates among Hispanics, African Americans, and non-Hispanic whites. The African American and Hispanic teenage pregnancy rate is still two to three times higher than the rate of non-Hispanic white teenagers.
Kost, co-author of the study attributes the drop in pregnancy rate to increased and more effective use of contraception by teenagers. She stated, “the recent declines in teen pregnancy rates are great news. However, the continued inequities among racial and ethnic minorities are cause for concern.”
It is important to inform our children from a young age about the consequences of having unprotected sex rather than teaching them to “just say no”. Perhaps those minorities have little access to contraceptive knowledge and/or do not have the financial means to support their lifestyle through purchasing in store contraceptives or visiting doctors.
Title: Teenage Pregnancy Rates Decline
Author: Kathryn Kost and Stanley Henshaw
Publication: Ms. Magazine
Date: February 13, 2012
Student Researcher: Bahareh Farhid, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Cindy Stearns, Sonoma State University