Writing assignment #1
In The Washington Post’s article, “Teen birthrate hits all-time low…,” the author Ariana Eunjung Cha talks about American teen birthrates. Specifically, an all-time low in teen birthrates, led by a 50 percent decline among black and hispanic people since 2006. The article credits the all-time low majorly to a combination of a change in social norms in the last twenty years about the acceptance of not having sex early and today’s teen’s accessibility to contraceptives. It also speculates that economic downfall that started in 2007 had something to do with it.
The perception of fertility control and family size has changed lot over the last few years. It started with Louis Henry’s concept, natural fertility, the idea that people do not limit the number of children they have. Now there are many ways that fertility is maintained, via contraceptives and increased and changed sexual education. Proximity of family planning services and clinics affect fertility rate too. Former President Obama and policymakers targeted exactly what effectively lowers fertility, and placed these services near places with higher teen pregnancy rates.
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Cha also speaks on the change in culture around teen sex. Teens today feel much more accepted and comfortable with not having sex, and it spreads: the more teens that practice abstinence, the more other teens will want to as well. This shift in societal norms in the last 20 years has brought down teen pregnancy rates substantially.
Many of the causes of the decrease in teen birth rates reflect Ansley Coale’s ideology of fertility decline. Practicing abstinence or delaying sex is a conscious choice, and teens take less risks given certain economic conditions, and there are countless effective techniques available for limiting pregnancies. However, despite everything that has brought fertility down, the teen pregnancy rate, especially among black and hispanic teens, still has a lot of work to do.
- Cha, A. E. (2016, April 28). Teen birthrate hits all-time low, led by 50 percent decline among
- Hispanics and blacks. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/04/28/teen-birth-rate-hits-all-time-low-led-by-50-percent-decline-among-hispanics-and-blacks/?utm_term=.640b4d7ec282
- Hirschman, C. (1994). Why Fertility Changes. Annu. Rev. Sociol., 20. Retrieved from
- Kaiser, J. (2011, Jul. 29).Does family planning bring down fertility? Science, 333. Retrieved
- from www.sciencemag.org”
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