The number of children born every year to women under the age of 20 is around 13 million, and in this article, Insider Monkey brings you the list of 10 states with the highest teenage pregnancy rates in America.
While I am well aware that the topic in question is a sensitive matter, much like any matter nowadays, I am entitled to have an opinion about it, much like anyone is entitled to have an opinion about anything. I have no right to make judgments on people’s sexual practices nor do I intend to. Anyone who has been through their teenage years knows well enough what it is like having raging hormones control your behavior. The part of the brain in charge of decision-making is underdeveloped in teens, explaining the poor choices they make.
Teenagers rarely think about the responsibilities that come with indulging in sexual relations but only see it through the prism of the satisfaction of their body needs. The responsibility is threefold: using contraception, raising the child or experiencing the burden and the consequences of abortion. What I wish was that the issue of teen pregnancy was approached more seriously, having in mind its grave consequences. It is beyond any rational thinking that the media tries to present it as a way of life to be pursued by teens. Who would have thought that Teen Mom would go on to have so many seasons? It aggravates me to think about all the money that went into making this show instead of into something that would actually benefit society, in this particular case, sex education and promotion of birth control. The case simply embodies the degradation society is subjected to, much like that meme “Every day, we stray further from go(o)d.” does.
This is not the first time Insider Monkey decided to look into the issue of teen pregnancy. We have already published an article on countries with the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world. After a thorough research on the subject, we established that the United States of America comes first having the highest teenage pregnancy rate by country. The data showed that the birth rate in the United States is 52 per 1000. Teenage pregnancy statistics by country suggested that the United Kingdom has the 2nd highest teenage pregnancy rate in the world, while New Zealand was ranked third. This time, we decided to analyze the matter focusing on the United States only by looking into 10 states with the highest teenage pregnancy rates in America.
As Guttmacher Institute points out, teenage pregnancy rates from 1950 to present in the United States, reveal divergent trends. Teen birthrate has declined. However, the ratio of teen births out of wedlock has increased. As the research suggests, teen childbearing has decreased steeply for the period indicated, however, “the proportion of teen births that are nonmarital has increased (equally) dramatically, from 13 % in 1950 to 79 % in 2000.” The US teen abortion rate increased during the period of the 1950s to 1970s. In the 1980s it was constant, after which a steady decline began. The statistics on teenage birth rates by state suggest that Arkansas was the state with the highest teenage pregnancy rate in 2015, where the birth rate was 38 per 1000. The state with the lowest teenage pregnancy rate was Massachusetts, noting a rate of 9.4 births per 1000 girls. If we take into account teenage pregnancy statistics for 2016, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico are the states with the highest pregnancy rates, with numbers of births equal to or greater than 30 per 1000. Interestingly enough, states with abstinence only education, such as Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Arizona, are not the ones with the lowest teenage pregnancy rates. As the organization Advocates for Youth suggests, abstinence only education programs are not effective at tackling the issue of teenage pregnancy.
When drafting the list of 10 states with the highest teenage pregnancy rates in America, I have taken into account the data provided by a number of relevant sources. I have referred to the statistical data concerning teenage pregnancy rates provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. I have also considered the data on teenage pregnancy rates provided by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Given that education programs implemented in each state have an effect on teenage pregnancy rates, I have also looked into the data on which states require sex education, HIV education and abstinence-only education provided by ThoughtCo. Continue reading the article to get the info on top teenage pregnancy rates in the United States.