Does Abstinence Only Education Equal More Teen Pregnancies?

According the Guttmacher Institute, a research facility tied to Planned Parenthood, pregnancy among girls aged 15 to 19 rose 3% in 2005 and 2006. This is the first increase since 1990 as pregnancy rates among teen girls dropped 35% between 1991 and 2005.

There is a claim that abstinence education is to blame. “Heather Boonstra, a policy analyst with the Guttmacher Institute, was quick to politicize the findings, calling the upward trend “deeply troubling” and claiming that the results coincided “with an increase in rigid abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, which received major funding boosts under the Bush administration.”

As far as my personal opinion is concerned, I really don’t know if one form of sex education is more effective than the other, but to paint abstinence only programs as the culprit in teen pregnancies is irresponsible.

There is one other major issue that could be directly related to the increase in teen pregnancy. Teens are idle. There is less access to jobs that keep teens occupied in meaningful activities. Since 2008, the summer and after school jobs that teens usually occupy have gone to adults with families to support. This means that teens have nothing to do with their spare time, and they have no money for entertainment either. To top things off, parents are now busier than every having to work longer hours to bring money into the home.

What are teens to do when they have a lot of idle time on their hands and no money to do out on dates? They do a lot of the same things adults do.

If you look into it, you will find that it is not the girls from poor and single family homes that are coming up pregnant. With these new statistics, you will discover that “28 percent of people who reported giving birth or fathering children as teens lived in families with incomes below the federal poverty line, and only 30 percent said they were living with a single parent.” It is middle and upper class teenagers who are bringing babies home. It is the Briston Palins of the world that are giving birth. These girls have mothers who may have been home at one time, but have left for the workforce giving them what appears to be way to much freedom to do as they will.

Also read:

Parents in Denial: Pool Pregnancy

Teen Pregnancy on the Rise

Birthparents from the show 16 and Pregnant Have Bittersweet Moments But No Regrets

Teen Vogue Promotes Teen Pregnancy

Should We Pay Teens to Not Get Pregnant?

What Would You Like To Ask A Teen Mom?