The birth rates among adolescents tend to be higher in the states that change correctly, but are the most conservative sex education programs the culprits?
9.1 per 1,000: This is the number of adolescent girls born in 2009 in the United States, according to CDC statistics.
In the United Kingdom, 24 out of every 1,000 adolescent girls were born that year, and only 4 out of every 1,000 had a child in the Netherlands, Life Science reported. But what is here in the United States? Do birth rates vary from one state to another?
Yes, research suggests that this may be the general rule: the more conservative the state, the higher the birth rate in adolescence. In a new study from the University of Washington published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, the researchers studied the birth rates of girls aged 15 to 17 who lived in 24 states between 1997 and 2005. Interestingly, Arkansas (which recently ranked as the tenth most conservative state). The country by Gallup) has the highest rate of births in adolescents (with 34.8 births per 1,000 adolescents). Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma (all above the provincial average) are at the top. However, New Hampshire, which tends to turn to the left, had a lower rate during this period (in 9.7).
While these statistics seem to contradict the logic (conservative children are less sexual, is not it?), Researchers point to a series of problems that may be at play and may be related to gender programs in the states.
Is Sex Education Unsatisfactory?
“The birth of adolescents in the state varies widely, and these state disparities must be recognized as a major public health problem,” said researcher Patricia Cavazus-Rege, PhD, of Life Sciences.
While researchers studied birth rates for each state, they also looked at state sex education practices (if schools were considering things like STD prevention and condom effectiveness), as well as the county level in each state, religiosity and abortion policies.
Not surprisingly, conservative states tend to adopt a more conservative stance on sex education; some still focus on exclusive abstinence programs for marriage instead of sex-based programs (14 of the 16 southern states, which also tend to be the most conservative) continued to focus on abstinence programs, according to a 2010 report from the Sexual Education and Information Board. “Our findings provide evidence that the increase in sex education in school programs is associated with lower birth rates in adolescents,” the researchers wrote.
However, sexual programs exercised by the correct states may not be the only factor: the fact that these states are more conservative and tend to be more religious suggests that rates may also be associated with more conservative views on abortion. “Can girls in both conservative and liberal states maintain the same rate, despite sex education, and girls in Arkansas carrying their children for a while, possibly as a result of greater religiosity, lack of access to abortion services, or both? ” Ask Live Science.
The researchers say they need more research before they can answer this question, but these results can help shape decisions about future educational programs. “Although it is still unclear what sex education is really effective, what we now know is that any future evaluation of sex education must take into account the effects of social and political characteristics in comprehensive analyzes,” said Kavazos-Reegh.