Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Teen births versus religiosity

September 18th, 2009 by Vader

A new study claims high teen birth rates correlate with high religiosity.

The implication is that religious folks are either hypocrites or too dim to understand contraception. Actually, based on my experience residing in some of the more religious states and growing up with a Sunday School classmate or two who got in the family way without benefit of clergy, I’d say it’s kids who don’t want to admit they’re going to have sex, even to themselves, and therefore do not avail themselves of “protection.” Hypocrisy in a sense. Dimness in a way.

But there are lots of things wrong with this study, such as the fact that rankings are given rather than actual rates. This is a great way to disguise a narrow distribution, or for that matter a broad one. But there’s also the fact that columns of numbers were given instead of an actual graph.

Your humble servant has bestirred himself to remedy this gap:

A picture is worth a thousand words

A picture is worth a thousand words

It’s not exactly a scatter diagram. It looks like a low religiosity does not ensure a low teen birth rate, but it does seem a high religiosity rules out a low teen birth rate.

With one outlier. One state that has both high religiosity and an unremarkable teen birth rate. Can you Name That State?

Comments (5)
Filed under: Deseret Review,Martian Rose | Tags: , ,
September 18th, 2009 12:42:15

September 22, 2009


They’re measuring the wrong thing. They should be measuring teen _pregnancies_, not teen _birth rates_.

It’s quite likely that the less-religious teens (or teens in less-religious states) abort their babies at a higher-rate than the more-religious teens (or teens in more-religious states).

So, even if the religious teens are having sex at the same (or lesser) rate than less-religious teens, OF COURSE they’re still going to have a higher birth rate, BECAUSE THEY’RE LESS LIKELY TO ABORT.

This report/study (based on the summary of it in the news) says nothing at all about which groups have higher/lower _pregnancy_ rates.

Idiots! Use of contraception is NOT tied to birth rate, it’s morely closely tied to _pregnancy rate_.

September 22, 2009

Insert “(and having pregnancies)” after “having sex” in the 3rd paragraph above.

September 22, 2009

The report claims it corrected for abortions.

But there are lots of other things wrong with it.

Adam G.
September 23, 2009

I hope they’re excluding married teens–if a woman gets married and pregnant when she’s 19, big deal.

[…] that sound so cool: Abstinence education promotes sex! Lower taxes promotes government revenue!) LDS teens are somewhat more chaste than their peers and it is certainly not from a lack of abstinence education at Church. Of course LDS teens are not […]

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