Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Teen birth rates highest in most religious states (Due to communities frowning on contraception ?)
MSNBC ^ | 9/17/2009 | Jeanna Bryner

Posted on 09/17/2009 9:55:54 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

U.S. states whose residents have more conservative religious beliefs on average tend to have higher rates of teenagers giving birth, a new study suggests.

The relationship could be due to the fact that communities with such religious beliefs (a literal interpretation of the Bible, for instance) may frown upon contraception, researchers say. If that same culture isn't successfully discouraging teen sex, the pregnancy and birth rates rise.

Mississippi topped the list for conservative religious beliefs and teen birth rates, according to the study results, which will be detailed in a forthcoming issue of the journal Reproductive Health.

However, the results don't say anything about cause and effect, though study researcher Joseph Strayhorn of Drexel University College of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh offers a speculation of the most probable explanation: "We conjecture that religious communities in the U.S. are more successful in discouraging the use of contraception among their teenagers than they are in discouraging sexual intercourse itself."

The study comes with other significant caveats, too:

The same link might not be found for other types of religious beliefs that are perhaps more liberal, researchers say. And while the study reveals information about states as a whole, it doesn't shed light on whether an individual teen who is more religious will also be more likely to have a child.

"You can't talk about individuals, because you don't know what's producing the [teen birth] rate," said Amy Adamczyk, a sociologist at the City University of New York, who was not involved in the current study. "Are there just a couple of really precocious religious teenagers who are running around and getting pregnant and having all of these babies, but that's not the norm?"

Strayhorn agrees and says the study aimed to look at communities (or states) as a whole.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: birthrate; religious; teenpregnancy
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-60 next last

1 posted on 09/17/2009 9:55:54 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Could that not be from keeping, rather than aborting, humans?


2 posted on 09/17/2009 9:57:04 AM PDT by ConservativeMind (Liberals have an inability to value good character or to desire it for themselves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Mississippi topped the list for conservative religious beliefs and teen birth rates

I'd like to see the racial breakdown of the teen birth rates. Just sayin'.

3 posted on 09/17/2009 9:57:43 AM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

This makes sense. Higher birth rate, but NOT higher abortion rate—states with more Christians probably don’t have as many abortion.

Does not necessarily mean conception rate.


4 posted on 09/17/2009 9:58:11 AM PDT by madison10
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

oh please.

What garbage.

As if the two are linked in any way whatever.


5 posted on 09/17/2009 9:59:04 AM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com ............. http://tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

It’s not lack of contraception, it’s disdain for abortion.


6 posted on 09/17/2009 9:59:23 AM PDT by BertWheeler (Dance and the World Dances With You!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Mississippi topped the list for conservative religious beliefs and teen birth rates, according to the study results, which will be detailed in a forthcoming issue of the journal Reproductive Health.

What subgroup of the population has the highest level of unwed pregnancy? What do thes Bible Belt states have in common concerning that subgroup that could explain their higher numbers? Bueller? Bueller?

7 posted on 09/17/2009 9:59:44 AM PDT by SampleMan (Socialism enslaves you & kills your soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeMind

My thoughts exactly.


8 posted on 09/17/2009 10:00:00 AM PDT by mombonn (God is looking for spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Huck
I'd like to see the racial breakdown of the teen birth rates. Just sayin’.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You probably are on to something. This is an example of throwing numbers out without context.

The article assumes it's because of religious beliefs. It doesn't tell you anymore

10 posted on 09/17/2009 10:00:06 AM PDT by rasl04 (Reagan/Goldwater 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Perhaps because these communities frown upon teens having abortions.

Or maybe the 19 year old teenager is married.


11 posted on 09/17/2009 10:00:12 AM PDT by bobjam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
in a land without abortion, an interesting thing will happen: when children realize that sex leads to babies, they'll stop having it until they want babies.
12 posted on 09/17/2009 10:01:08 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (hang the Czars.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeMind

That, and the fact that most of these ‘religious states’ are southern states with large numbers of blacks in the welfare culture who basically have kids out of wedlock as a profession. The same can probably be said for all the northern cities like Philly, etc.

Control the data for race and class, and I wonder how the states would compare.


13 posted on 09/17/2009 10:01:25 AM PDT by MitchellC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Just from my observations, I don’t believe it has anything to do with ‘frowning on contraception” but instead, parents and children not discussing the issue. For many, the entire subject is ‘taboo’. When teenagers rebel, as they do, they gravitate towards what seems taboo (be it drinking, smoking, sex, etc), especially if their parents didn’t discuss with them consequences, etc.


14 posted on 09/17/2009 10:01:35 AM PDT by mnehring
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that more of these teenage birth mothers marry their baby’s fathers, too, and assume responsiblity for their offspring. Just sayin....


15 posted on 09/17/2009 10:01:47 AM PDT by nfldgirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

For western nations to even survive it is going to be necessary for us to find a way for people to again marry and start families beginning at age 17 - 19; the thing we’ve been doing for the last 60 years or so clearly isn’t working.


16 posted on 09/17/2009 10:02:24 AM PDT by wendy1946
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: madison10

Here’s their methodology :


Strayhorn compiled data from various data sets. The religiosity information came from a sample of nearly 36,000 participants who were part of the U.S. Religious Landscapes Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted in 2007, while the teen birth and abortion statistics came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For religiosity, the researchers averaged the percentage of respondents who agreed with conservative responses to eight statements, including: ‘’There is only one way to interpret the teachings of my religion,” and ‘’Scripture should be taken literally, word for word.”

They found a strong correlation between statewide conservative religiousness and statewide teen birth rate even when they accounted for income and abortion rates.


17 posted on 09/17/2009 10:02:38 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeMind

Exactly. The northeast on coasts probably have a lot more abortions. I’m sure if they focused on pregnancy rates they results would be different.

Newsflash: sometimes teens from Christian families and communities succomb to their urges and have sex. The left delights in it, along with Satan.


18 posted on 09/17/2009 10:03:00 AM PDT by Retired Greyhound
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Again an example of drawing incorrect conclusions. Perhaps the birth rate ( particularly in places like Mississippi and the inner city of Pittsburgh) is large there because you have a bunch of unwed teens doing what they damned well please and telling any adults “You aren’t the boss of me).


19 posted on 09/17/2009 10:04:08 AM PDT by the long march
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huck
“I'd like to see the racial breakdown of the teen birth rates. Just sayin’. “

Me too!

Also I'd like to see how they define, “conservative” and “religious”.

This is just more propaganda to diminish proper Christianity and conservatism. I am too experienced to take these kinds of studies at face value. Later, you ALWAYS find out that the results re skewed to fit their godless agenda.

20 posted on 09/17/2009 10:04:21 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I think the best way to read this is that religious communities let the children actually be born than abort them like in non-religious communities.


21 posted on 09/17/2009 10:04:28 AM PDT by WaterBoard (Eventually, Socialists run out of other peoples' money to spend.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BertWheeler
and lumping Humanism in with Christianity to discredit genuine Christianity and God.
22 posted on 09/17/2009 10:05:20 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind; All

Abortion could play a role here, as well as the fact that the more conservative states tend to be more rural and thus, the opportunity to fool around is more present...it’s just something to do on a boring Friday night.


23 posted on 09/17/2009 10:06:12 AM PDT by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nmh

What’s your point? I missed something.


24 posted on 09/17/2009 10:06:19 AM PDT by BertWheeler (Dance and the World Dances With You!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

And the questions they asked DO NOT pertain to Christianity ( as such) most of those statements for the “very relgious” would apply to Muslims as well. And it is known that the ROP encourages young marriage and lots of babies


25 posted on 09/17/2009 10:06:46 AM PDT by the long march
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: wendy1946

http://www.duggarfamily.com/

They are doing a fine job all by themselves.


26 posted on 09/17/2009 10:07:05 AM PDT by Retired Greyhound
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Retired Greyhound
This table shows data that reflect birth rates and religiousness throughout the United States. "Birth rate" is the state’s national ranking by rate of teen births according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and "religiousness" is the state’s national ranking based on responses to a survey of religious beliefs taken by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Asterisks indicate that no data are available.
State Birth rate Religiousness
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Mississippi 1 1
New Mexico 2 22
Texas 3 12
Arkansas 4 7
Arizona 5 33
Oklahoma 6 10
Nevada 7 34
Tennessee 8 4
Kentucky 9 9
Georgia 10 11
Louisiana 11 5
Alabama 12 2
South Carolina 13 3
North Carolina 14 8
District of Columbia 15 100000*
Wyoming 16 100000*
Missouri 17 16
Florida 18 23
West Virginia 19 13
Alaska 20 46
Colorado 21 41
Indiana 22 17
Kansas 23 15
Delaware 24 27
Hawaii 25 18
South Dakota 26 21
Ohio 27 26
California 28 37
Montana 29 20
Illinois 30 31
Idaho 31 14
Oregon 32 38
Virginia 33 19
Utah 34 6
Michigan 35 29
Maryland 36 25
Nebraska 37 24
Washington 38 35
Iowa 39 32
Pennsylvania 40 28
Wisconsin 41 40
Minnesota 42 36
Rhode Island 43 43
North Dakota 44 30
Maine 45 47
New York 46 42
New Jersey 47 39
Connecticut 48 44
Massachusetts 49 45
Vermont 50 49
New Hampshire 51 48

27 posted on 09/17/2009 10:07:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Cause everyone knows that if it is a “highly religious” state they winnow out the non believers and send them to the heathen outlands.


28 posted on 09/17/2009 10:09:21 AM PDT by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Minority communities in MS and NM may explain some of it.


29 posted on 09/17/2009 10:10:02 AM PDT by Retired Greyhound
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: BertWheeler
“It’s not lack of contraception, it’s disdain for abortion.”
I was adding to your comment and pressed “post” to soon.

and lumping Humanism in with Christianity to discredit genuine Christianity and God.

The LEFT hates Christianity and tries it's best to mock it. I doubt that this was a “conservative” group. I suspect those considered “Christianity” would hardly pass the grade up yonder ... . MSNBC will use this to ridicule genuine Christianity and push using birth control and sex education at earlier and earlier ages.

30 posted on 09/17/2009 10:10:39 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Of course. I'd be shocked if this wasn't the case. Note how they phrase the stat:

U.S. states whose residents have more conservative religious beliefs on average tend to have higher rates of teenagers giving birth, a new study suggests.

In the less religious states, they just kill the baby in utero.


31 posted on 09/17/2009 10:13:05 AM PDT by Antoninus ("There is no movement," --G. W. Bush)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

These journalists really have an agenda. I wonder if they learn it in journalism classes or if it is self-selection. Could be they’re not very smart.

They may get A’s in journalism classes but they flunk research design. Nothing in their data says it’s the religious folks who are having the babies.


32 posted on 09/17/2009 10:13:34 AM PDT by ladyjane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
If they didn't poll the political views of the actual parents, the article is worthless and logically invalid.
33 posted on 09/17/2009 10:13:37 AM PDT by Niteranger68 (Barack Obama - The wrong man, at the wrong time, for the wrong country.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Can’t have anything to do with low abortion rates. Surely not.


34 posted on 09/17/2009 10:14:35 AM PDT by Freedom_Is_Not_Free (Depression Countdown: 50... 49... 48...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Judging by the top 10 alone, I would assume that the “undocumented” play a role in these numbers...


35 posted on 09/17/2009 10:15:38 AM PDT by pgyanke (You have no "rights" that require an involuntary burden on another person. Period. - MrB)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
"We conjecture that religious communities in the U.S. are more successful in discouraging the use of contraception among their teenagers than they are in discouraging sexual intercourse itself."

Sounds logical. Even teenagers from religious homes grow up in a culture where "sex for fun" is considered a human right. It all stems from the Enlightenment/Reformation idea that the individual is the basic unit of society, and that no one has the right to limit an individual's liberty.

The truth, of course, is that the family, not the individual, is the natural basis of human society, and that outside of a context of marriage and procreation the sexual act becomes meaningless and harmful.

The worship of individual liberty has made slaves of us, by shacking us to our primal desires. Until our current liberal/libertarian social environment collapses, the best thing a parent can do to prevent their children from fornicating is to raise them as part of a loving family that is explicitly at odds with the prevailing culture. Step One: get rid of television and radio in the home.

36 posted on 09/17/2009 10:16:27 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Freedom_Is_Not_Free

It takes a huge leap to conclude that it’s the religious teens who are having the babies.

It reminds me of a study showing an extremely high correlation between the number of churches and the number of taverns in cities. But you can’t conclude there’s a causal relationship between religion and drinking. Bigger cities have more of both!

Who ever funded this guy didn’t get their money’s worth. Bad study. What did they expect, the guy’s name is Strayhorn.


37 posted on 09/17/2009 10:22:33 AM PDT by ladyjane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

anti-Catholic-anti-Mormon-slander-ping-alert


38 posted on 09/17/2009 10:24:02 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Mississippi is number one, it is also more than 37% black.


39 posted on 09/17/2009 10:24:04 AM PDT by ansel12
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Not sure how much sense it makes to compare state teen pregnancy rates. Wouldn't comparisons of individual communities be better? This from the Daily News on Bronx, NY (about as liberal and secular a place as one could get) pregnancy rates.

As a teacher in the South I can't remember a semester where I haven't taught 3 or 4 pregnant students. http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/bronx/2008/03/04/2008-03-04_bronx_teen_pregnancy_rate_soars.html

40 posted on 09/17/2009 10:24:53 AM PDT by nycteacher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog

It is more of a racism alert, Mississippi (#1) is 37% black.

New Mexico (#2) is only 42% white

Utah (#34)is 1% black.

New Hampshire (#51) is 1% black.


41 posted on 09/17/2009 10:32:43 AM PDT by ansel12
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: mnehring
When teenagers rebel, as they do, they gravitate towards what seems taboo (be it drinking, smoking, sex, etc), especially if their parents didn’t discuss with them consequences, etc.

I know that's what the Freudians used to love to say. But everyone knows the consequences. Religious people's kids rebel, as all teenagers do to some extent, but as a group (in my observation), their scale of rebellion is 10 on the scale of 100. The children of atheists living on Central Park West in NYC filling out the "100" end of the scale with drugs, sex changes, and suicides.

42 posted on 09/17/2009 10:33:56 AM PDT by SamuraiScot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

“In most religious states” do not equate to “most religious teens”. People seem to conveniently forget that even the most religious states have some very irreligious cities in them. If I remember correctly Texas was in the top ten most religious states, but Austin is not only not particularly religious—it is the headquarters of the American atheists. What true journalists would do is to try to determine how religious the knocked up teenagers are, not how religious their neighbors might be. But then we have many more journwhoralists than we have journalists these days.


43 posted on 09/17/2009 10:40:26 AM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel (I AM JIM THOMPSON!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BertWheeler

To a liberal - Abortion is a very good form of contraception.


44 posted on 09/17/2009 10:45:25 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (I am Legend)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Strayhorn compiled data from various data sets. The religiosity information came from a sample of nearly 36,000 participants who were part of the U.S. Religious Landscapes Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted in 2007, while the teen birth and abortion statistics came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For religiosity, the researchers averaged the percentage of respondents who agreed with conservative responses to eight statements, including: ‘’There is only one way to interpret the teachings of my religion,” and ‘’Scripture should be taken literally, word for word.” They found a strong correlation between statewide conservative religiousness and statewide teen birth rate even when they accounted for income and abortion rates.

This is a wonderful example of a meaningless correlation. To have any significance, we would need to know the birth/abortion rates for those people within each state who are defined as "religious" according the Pew Survey. We also need to know the ages of the teens and their marital status when they gave birth. No rational conclusion can be made from the correlation without this additional information.

45 posted on 09/17/2009 11:05:38 AM PDT by Labyrinthos
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

They may have loose conservative religous beliefs but they are liberal dependents who vote for the Dem’s.


46 posted on 09/17/2009 11:19:30 AM PDT by bilhosty (Tax payers for change)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SampleMan
What subgroup of the population has the highest level of unwed pregnancy? What do thes Bible Belt states have in common concerning that subgroup that could explain their higher numbers? Bueller? Bueller?
 
That is exactly correct. Look at the 6th most religious state, Utah - #34 in teen birth rate. What is different about the demographics of Utah and Mississipi?

47 posted on 09/17/2009 11:21:40 AM PDT by azcap (Who is John Galt ? www.conservativeshirts.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: bobjam

That’s what I was wondering -

the implication is “unmarried”, but this is never stated.

The “teenage” marriage rate is probably higher among religious conservatives as well.


48 posted on 09/17/2009 11:24:56 AM PDT by MrB (Go Galt now, save Bowman for later)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I read through all the comments and didnt see anyone suggest that perhaps Christians just want to have more kids. There are families in my church with 6, 7, 8 and 9 children - on purpose! They love kids!


49 posted on 09/17/2009 11:29:36 AM PDT by Galatians513 (this space available for catchy tagline)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

My mother was 18 when she had me. She had been married to my father for 2 years at the time. They stayed together until his death two years ago. Teen pregnancy in and of itself is not a bad thing. Single women getting pregnant, teens or not, is a whole different thing, imo.


50 posted on 09/17/2009 11:42:59 AM PDT by sportutegrl (If liberals could do math, they would be conservatives.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-60 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson