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Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:16 PM

"Teen Pregnancy Is Most Common In Rural America" by Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress

Teen Pregnancy Is Most Common In Rural America

by Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress



The teen birth rate is nearly one-third higher in rural areas of the United States than it is in more populous areas of the country, and teen pregnancy rates have been much slower to decline in rural counties over the past decade, according to a new study from The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. The advocacy organization notes that while no single reason explains the difference in teen birth rates across regions, adolescents in rural areas likely have particular barriers to contraceptive services.

ďThe prevailing stereotype is that teen parenthood is primarily an urban and suburban phenomenon,Ē Bill Albert, the chief program officer for the National Campaign, told USA Today. But the groupís new data suggests thatís not actually the case.

As the nation has increasingly focused its efforts on preventing unintended teen pregnancies, there has been significant progress. Although the U.S. still has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the developed world, teen birth rates have plunged to record lows as adolescents have begun to use more effective forms of birth control when they become sexually active. But that trend has been slower to take root in rural areas. Between 1990 and 2010, the birth rate dropped 49 percent for teens in major urban centers and 40 percent for teens in suburban areas ó but just 32 percent for adolescents who live in rural counties.

While teens across the country have largely been having less sex and using more contraception, teens in rural areas have actually been having more sex and using birth control less frequently. Itís not clear why thatís the case, but it could partly be because teens in rural areas still lack access to a range of comprehensive contraceptive services. There just arenít as many sexual health resources in rural counties, where teens may have to travel farther to the nearest womenís health clinic. And deeply rooted attitudes about sex ó including school districts that continue to cling to abstinence-only health curricula that donít give teens enough information about methods to prevent pregnancy ó may also play a role. Urban school districts, particularly in New York City, have made significant advances in expanding teensí access to sexual education and resources, but there often arenít similar pushes in rural places.

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Reply "Teen Pregnancy Is Most Common In Rural America" by Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress (Original post)
applegrove Feb 2013 OP
oldhippydude Feb 2013 #1
Warpy Feb 2013 #2

Response to applegrove (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:23 PM

1. i would love to see the religious breakdown of the teen agers

I'm wondering how much of this is attributed to abstinence only education...

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:26 PM

2. The only things going on for entertainment in rural towns

are alcohol and religion. The former is officially (but not practically) off limits and the latter keeps them ignorant. The two combine with the sheer boredom of small town life to produce those high pregnancy rates among teenagers.

BTW, NM is number one in the rate of teenage pregnancy. Most of the state is rural and towns out here tend to be very far apart, reflecting the huge amount of land it takes to support cows or sheep in the desert.

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