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“It’s not rocket science” — Why Now?
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“It’s not rocket science”

The Associated Press reports Teen births up for first time in 15 years

The birth rate had been dropping since its peak in 1991, although the decline had slowed in recent years. On Wednesday, government statisticians said it rose 3 percent from 2005 to 2006.

The reason for the increase is not clear, and federal health officials said it might be a one-year statistical blip, not the beginning of a new upward trend.

However, some experts said they have been expecting a jump. They attributed it to increased federal funding for abstinence-only health education that doesn’t teach teens how to use condoms and other contraception.

Some key sexually transmitted disease rates have been rising, including syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. The rising teen pregnancy rate is part of the same phenomenon, said Dr. Carol Hogue, an Emory University professor of maternal and child health.

“It’s not rocket science,” she said.

The only people who believe that abstinence-only programs will work are those who forgot what being an adolescent was like. When the hormones kick into high gear, chastity promises don’t stand a prayer.


1 dave { 12.06.07 at 9:22 am }

It’s perfectly fine to preach abstinence – just make shure you pass ut the condoms at the end of the sermon. If we werent meant to have sex, then our genitals shouldnt “pop-out” till we reach 21. I guess that’s a “intelligent design” flaw. LOL

2 Cody { 12.06.07 at 10:52 am }

This statistic shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Today’s teenagers are the offspring of the teenage mothers 15 years ago. Teens may be naive in certain aspects of life, but they can easily perform the addition to figure-out when they were conceived. No school program is going to have a louder voice than the direct and indirect lessons learned at home.

3 Bryan { 12.06.07 at 1:20 pm }

The real problem is that parents can’t or won’t speak about the issue. Parents should make their views known to their children. The schools should be providing information, not viewpoint to the maximum extent possible.

Sorry, Cody, but when I look at the dates of 50th birthdays and compare them to the dates of 50th wedding anniversaries, this is a long standing problem that people have just avoided talking about.

The increasing rates of sexually transmitted diseases is a public health concern that schools need to address, because parents haven’t been doing it.

4 Brendan { 12.06.07 at 3:18 pm }

I’m actually a liberal person, so don’t think of me as an uneducated redneck or what have you. But I believe that this increase in teenage pregnancy could be partially based on the increase in hispanic immigration, legal and illegal. The typical catholic beliefs of this population indict abortion as a non-alternative. This causes birth rates to go up.

5 Bryan { 12.06.07 at 4:48 pm }

Actually, the Latino immigrants would tend to be less of a problem than second and third generation Latinos who move away from the hellfire of the Church. Many of the undocumented are here to get money for their families who remain behind.

Catholics, as a group, due tend to have higher birth rates and to marry earlier, as do poor, rural populations. Immigration status isn’t really a factor, because the undocumented live below the radar and are rarely counted in any survey.

I helped a Census worker locate our local Spanish speaking population, but it involved negotiations with a couple of churches, and then, most weren’t counted.

6 Bernadette { 12.06.07 at 10:32 pm }

Read closely what is being said in the article…teen birth rates are on the rise. This does not mean that teen pregnancy is on the rise as you are assuming. It does mean that teen pregnancy ending in abortion is on the downswing. Our children are realizing that life begins at conception and they are choosing to value that life. They are also discovering that teen pregnancy does not have to mean single parenting…they are making adoption plans for their babies. Abstinence only programs are effective whether you believe it or not, and abstinence is the only 100% guarantee that there is against stds and unplanned pregnancies. I only wish that you knew how many teens and pre-teens get pregnant despite their use of condoms, the pill, the patch, Depo, etc. And for the uninformed…condoms do not protect you from stds…including HIV/AIDS. Condoms do not completely eliminate skin-to-skin contact and the virus that HIV is composed of is smaller than the holes that occur naturally in the processing of the latex during the manufacturing of condoms. It is past time that we adults stop ruining our childrens’ lives by feeding them the lie that sex outside of a monogamous marriage between a man and a woman is safe. It is not. It has never been and it will never be. Don’t buy the lie and don’t sell the tale.

7 Bryan { 12.06.07 at 11:02 pm }

Bernadette, you have a right to your opinion, and your opinion is all that you offer because your facts, especially about the efficacy of condoms are not accurate and have been throughly disproved in multiple studies. The truth is that there is no real support for teen mothers and they fall into the poverty trap.

The last local “Christian” home for teenage mothers was closed when the leader was convicted of statutory rape and molestation, so I’m not well disposed towards faith-based initiatives.

Abstinence education has failed, and that is a fact. As a taxpayer, I paid for those programs and now I’m paying for the failure. I resent that misuse of my tax monies.

8 Steve Bates { 12.07.07 at 1:59 am }

Bernadette, there is an ages-old technical term for the kind of argument you offer. That term is politely rendered as “making stuff up.” I don’t know if you are willfully ignorant or unrepentantly lying; either way, you are doing a monumental disservice to our nation’s adolescents and young adults by assaulting them with blatant falsehoods about contraceptives.

If you have moral objections to the use of contraceptive devices, why don’t you exhibit at least a minimal honesty and say so. Spreading garbage of the kind you are slinging, e.g., alleging that condoms are anything less than highly effective in reducing the likelihood of both pregnancy and STDs including HIV, is dangerous to young people. You… yes, you, personally… are endangering their very lives.

In a world in which adolescents and young adults face many dangers… you are making matters worse. Please cease. If your “morals” require you to continue, please at least exhibit a shred of honesty about your motives.

9 Sorghum Crow { 12.07.07 at 9:21 am }

Abstinence works. Abstinence programs do not. I think some people may be confused about the distinction.
Abstinence programs do not cause abstinence any more than TV programs cause TV.

10 Bernadette { 12.07.07 at 9:38 pm }

HIV virus is 50 times smaller that the pores that occur naturally in condoms. This is a fact, not an opinion. Every week I counsel women varying in ages from pre-teen to peri-menopausal who are living proof of the unreliability of so-called safe sex methods. Whether or not you choose to believe me is up to you. I’m concerned about those who are entrusting not only their health but their very lives to a very thin man-made product that has a very high failure rate. I encourage you to leave cyberspace long enough to spend some time in the trenches with the teens and young adults who are using your “safe-sex” methods and still receiving positive pregnancy and std results. Explain to them why abstinence would not have been better.

Yes, I am a Christian…unapologetically so. I pray that His grace never escapes me.

11 Bryan { 12.07.07 at 10:13 pm }

All I have to rely on is scientific studies and the conclusion of the Centers for Disease Control: How Effective Are Latex Condoms in Preventing HIV?

Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing heterosexual sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Research on the effectiveness of latex condoms in preventing heterosexual transmission is both comprehensive and conclusive.

I was in law enforcement for ten years and have had more that my share of interaction with teens. Working with Hospice volunteers, I know more than anyone should have know about the effects of AIDS.

No one here has said that abstinence wouldn’t have been better, but the fact is teens and young adults need to know how to protect themselves if they can’t wait, and too many of them can’t.

Believe whatever you what to believe, just stop expecting me to pay for it.

12 Steve Bates { 12.08.07 at 1:02 am }

“I encourage you to leave cyberspace long enough…” – Bernadette

Done that. Did contract work for Planned Parenthood 20 years ago; no cyberspace involved. You are still either lying or ignorant about condoms, Bernadette, and no amount of pontificating on your part will change that fact. Pitch all the insults you want… unintentionally or (I suspect) intentionally, you are factually incorrect here. And it has the potential to harm all those teens you come into contact with. I don’t care what religion you belong to: nothing gives you the right to lie to those teens. They deserve the facts… the ones that come out of scientific research… the ones that can actually protect them from HIV. Abstinence is a nice fantasy, but those who fail in its pursuit do not deserve the hell you condemn them to. “Judge not…”

13 Christy { 12.09.07 at 8:05 pm }

One thing they ignored is the media influence that is a big cause to this. Sex education may be a part of it, but teens don’t really care too much about that when they are in school. They watch the TV, buy the music, fill their brains with a message put out by teens and ADULTS that sex before marriage is OK, and so, teens follow this bad example. It’s right in front of everyone’s eyes, but will people look close enough to see the cause?
The story teller of this generation is media. Media is telling teens that sex is absolutely OK when one’s not married, and sadly, once so much of it is pounded into their stressed minds, they accept that. Consequences follow that decision, and there is NO escaping it. Like this article said, diseases are increasing because of it. Many teens are HURTING SOOOO much, and we are not listening to their cry for help. Once one commits sex outside of wedlock, something changes in their heart and they get depressed (maybe not right away, but they will). Then, many commit suicide, and die hopeless. Is that what my generation is coming to? Teens dying, killing themselves, being drowned in hopelessness, being lost and afraid???? We need to do something! Everyone, open your eyes, and look around you…people are hurting! The only hope is in Jesus Christ, who will give them a life worth living instead of a life of hopelessness, and who does not like their sin, but loves them so much that He will take them into Him arms even if they have done wrong.
This generation has been named the “generation of pain” and it’s true. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m praying sooo hard for these teens that are trapped in a prison of fear and shame. Hopefully, our nation will come together and help these teens through their trials, and show them how to live a life filled with God’s powerful love and purpose.
By the way, I’m a teen, so I know what teens are feeling. I hear their talks and conversations.
And one thing, abstinence from sex IS a good thing to teach teens, or else, how will they know that it’s wrong????? If the media is telling them it’s right, then who is going to tell them the truth???????? Let me say something: teens DO listen to the media and they follow it more than they follow anything else. I’m a teen; I know…I see other teens doing it. So now it’s not just the teen’s fault, but the fault of the one’s who were/are mentors over the teens, because it’s their responsibility to teach them the things of life. If they never know it’s wrong or that it affects their life in a negative way, then OF COURSE they are going to do it. It’s common sense; a 6 year old could know that. Sadly, our world is becoming less mature than 6 years olds….this is true because I know 6 year olds and a lot of the times they have more common sense than adults today….ironic huh?
Sorry about getting so fired up. I just wonder sometimes why people in our world today can’t understand the simplest things ever. But I’m still praying.

14 Bryan { 12.09.07 at 10:02 pm }

Sorry, but no sale, Christy. It’s a parent’s job to raise children and provide them with their basic beliefs and understanding of the world. The Media’s job is to sell stuff. TVs and radios have power switches, movies require tickets. Parents need to take responsibility for doing their job. The school system is supposed to be providing information, accurate, reliable information, not raise children.

If parents don’t do their job, there’s not much to fill the gap. From a public standpoint, abstinence only programs do not provide all of the information and facts necessary, and if the parents are doing their jobs, you end up with this mess.

Through the 1990’s schools were providing the entire picture and the teen pregnancy and STD rates were in decline. Since 2001, the emphasis shifted to abstinence only and the rates are going up. There would definitely seem to be a correlation.