More Teen Births in Religious States

| Wed Sep. 16, 2009 9:14 PM EDT

Whis is this not a surprise? The states with the strongest conservative religious beliefs also tend to have the highest rates of teen pregnancies and births. This according to a new paper forthcoming in Reproductive Health.

I posted a blog on a similar story a while back about religious teens having more abortions.

Live Science reports that this little piece of paradox is likely due to the fact that communities with high religiosity frown upon contraception as well as sex education. The combination is as good as a euphemism for pregnancy.

The top 10 states for conservative religious beliefs:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Alabama
  3. South Carolina
  4. Tennessee
  5. Louisiana
  6. Utah
  7. Arkansas
  8. North Carolina
  9. Kentucky
  10. Oklahoma

The top 10 states for teen births:

  1. Mississippi
  2. New Mexico
  3. Texas
  4. Arkansas
  5. Arizona
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Nevada
  8. Tennessee
  9. Kentucky
  10. Georgia

Researcher Joseph Strayhorn of Drexel University College of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh speculates: "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."

'Cause nobody can do that. Ask Bristol Palin.

 

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.