Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s National Center for Heath Statistics released new data for 2010 that shows a 9 percent decrease in the U.S. teen birthrate, now making it the lowest level ever reported. This is also the biggest one-year drop in teen births documented since 1946. Can we get a “Heygirlhey!” up in here?
We English majors don’t get along too well with numbers, but we can say with utmost certainty that 9 percent equals a whole lot of teens that now have a much greater opportunity of graduating from high school, going to college, achieving financial independence, and one day, providing a stable home for a child they are prepared to support in every way.
So is this new figure related in any way to MTV’s teen pregnancy programming, which focuses its efforts on showing the harsh truths about unplanned parenthood? Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, thinks it’s very possible. Said Brown in a press release, “Teens are being more careful for a number of reasons, including the recession, more media attention to this issue– including the “‘16 and Pregnant‘/’Teen Mom‘ effect?–and more attention to and investment in evidence-based programs. But at the end of the day, the thanks and admiration go to teens themselves.”
You should be proud of yourselves, ladies and gents, for making smarter decisions about sex. Here’s to lowering the numbers with each successive year!
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