Wednesday, 16 September 2009

From the 'No Shit, Sherlock' File

Teenage birth rates higher in more religious states
Rates of births to teenage mothers are strongly predicted by conservative religious beliefs, even after controlling for differences in income and rates of abortion. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Reproductive Health have found a strong association between teenage birth rates and state-level measures of religiosity in the U.S.

But the researchers were struck by how much religiosity and teen birth go together.
"The magnitude of the correlation between religiosity and teen birth rate astonished us. . . . Our findings by themselves do not, of course, permit causal inferences. But, if we may speculate on the most probable explanation, we conjecture that religious communities in the US are more successful in discouraging the use of contraception among their teenagers than they are in discouraging sexual intercourse itself."

Yeah, that abstinence-only sex ed works real good.


deBeauxOs said...

Yabbut fern hill, in the deep religious US women have to start breeding when they're teens otherwise what other chance will those girls have to produce a quiverfull of bay-beez and surpass Michelle Duggar's record, before their wombs fall out?

fern hill said...

Ah, the Clown-Car-Womb Syndrome. How could I forget? Especially since I blogged on a related subject recently -- the alternative to abstinence-only sex ed, early marriage.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how I feel about some of these issues, but I do have to say that this is really poorly reasoned. Measure the "religiosity" of an entire state, look at birth rates in the same state, and then make conclusions from that about the effectiveness of something that wasn't even part of the study (abstinence-only sex ed)?? This is a huge jump to conclusions. The fact that people made statements about their beliefs in Scripture says nothing about what children are taught in schools (never mind elsewhere - how do we know what "religious communities" teach??). How about actually measuring the number of abstinence-only sex ed programs in those states? 75 percent of public schools in this country do NOT teach abstinence-only, and for every dollar spent on discouraging teen sexual activity, $12 is spent on comprehensive sex education. Let's see a study that actually incorporates information about the frequency of the different messages presented to teens.

fern hill said...

Anonymous: It's called 'snark'. The study -- very well done, by the way -- did not factor in abstinence-only sex ed.

There have been other good studies proving that ab-only has been a boondoggle of historic proportions. If I have time, I'll find a link for you.

fern hill said...

Here you go, Anonymous: A multi-year study by Mathematica Policy Research.

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