The birth rate among teenagers 15 to 19 in the United States rose 3 percent in 2006, according to a report issued Wednesday, the first such increase since 1991. The finding surprised scholars and fueled a debate about whether the Bush administration’s abstinence-only sexual education efforts are working.Teenage birth rates are driven by rates of sex, contraception and abortion. In the 1990s, teenage sex rates dropped and condom use rose because teenagers were scared of AIDS, said Dr. John S. Santelli, chairman of the department of population and family health at Columbia University.But recent advances in AIDS treatments have lowered concerns about the disease, and AIDS education efforts, which emphasized abstinence and condom use, have flagged.Perhaps as a result, teenage sex rates have risen since 2001 and condom use has dropped since 2003. Abortion rates have held steady for a decade, although numbers from 2005 and 2006 are not available.The largest increase came among black teenagers, but increases were also seen among whites, Hispanics and American Indians. Birth rates among Asian teenagers continued to drop.Unmarried childbearing reached a record high in 2006, according to the disease control centers, with unmarried mothers now accounting for 38.5 percent of all births. Births among teenagers and unmarried women tend to lead to poor outcomes for their children.
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At Dec 6, 2007, 4:07:00 AM, "Candy" said…
"birth rates among Asian teenagers continued to drop." i don't know why i found this hilarious but i did.
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