Teens subject to reproductive coercion

After a decade of decline, teen pregnancy rates are up. CBS News/Washington Post:

The pregnancy rate among 15-to-19-year-olds increased 3 percent between 2005 and 2006 - the first jump since 1990, according to an analysis of the most recent data collected by the federal government and the nation's leading reproductive-health think tank. [See that Gutmacher Institute report here.]
...
The cause of the increase is the subject of debate. Several experts blamed the increase in teen pregnancies on sex-education programs that focus on encouraging abstinence. Others said the reversal could be due to a variety of factors, including an increase in poverty, an influx of Hispanics and complacency about AIDS, prompting lax use of birth control such as condoms.

"It could be a lot of things coming together," said Rebecca Maynard, a professor of economics and social policy at the University of Pennsylvania. "It could be we just bottomed out, and whenever you are at the bottom, it tends to wiggle around. This may or may not be a sustained rise."

It may not explain the change in trend, but teenage rates of pregnancy are high, and under studied factor is sex between teenage females and older males. From the AMA Newsletter (no link):
Reproductive coercion seen as possible factor in teen pregnancy rate. Newsweek (1/27, Kliff) [Teens subject to reproductive coercion] reports that a study appearing in the journal Contraception found that "about a third of women reporting partner violence experienced reproductive coercion, as did 15 percent of women who had never reported violence." The research is said to be "particularly relevant" in light of the Guttmacher Institute study, as "reproductive coercion among adolescents could be an overlooked factor behind the United States' unusually high, and now increasing, teen-pregnancy rate."

Here's the link to that Newsweek article cited by the AMA.

Comments (6)

Seems like Tim Tebow should be talking to boys and men and not to women who have to bear the results of their actions.

Amen to that, Ann. You've hit the nail on the head. But that ugly double standard rears its head once again. How often we hear righteous types tell women what to do or not do with their bodies -- and how rarely we hear them tell men to control their own bodies and their own appetites (as well as treat women right)!

Gregory Orloff

The pregnancy rate among 15-to-19-year-olds increased 3 percent between 2005 and 2006 ... Several experts blamed the increase in teen pregnancies on sex-education programs that focus on encouraging abstinence.

Yup. Thanks, Dubya. [Only it shouldn't say "focus on...", but "teach Abstinence Only."]

JC Fisher

What is reproductive coercion? Do they mean sex? I doubt most young men are looking to reproduce, just to have sex. Let us call it what it is. Young men are pressuring young women to have sex with them or out right raping them. Why play word games?

David - I trust you don't mean to say contraception is entirely the woman's responsibility. Or that there are men who prefer not to use a condom. Or that the genetic desire to fertilize as many women as possible is a pre-modern drive that has disappeared. Or that there are men from impregnation "proves" they are a man -- even though they have no intention of providing support for progeny.

More generally the notion has to do with manipulation which when it comes to sex is mostly done by men. And, finally, there is there is the phenomenon of men in their 20s preying on teen women.

No John, I was just misunderstanding what was being said. I see reading more carefully that the men are pressuring their sex partners to actually become pregnant, not just to provide sex for them.

I have never heard of such a thing here in Mexico.

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