American Papist Blog – Friday, September 18, 2009
“Teen Birth Rates Higher in Highly Religious States”
I love science. Especially science about sex. It leads to such interesting conclusions.
U.S. states whose residents have more conservative religious beliefs on average tend to have higher rates of teenagers giving birth, a new study suggests.
The relationship could be due to the fact that communities with such religious beliefs (a literal interpretation of the Bible, for instance) may frown upon contraception, researchers say. If that same culture isn’t successfully discouraging teen sex, the pregnancy and birth rates rise. (Live Science)
Now, I have a different interpretation. I would tend to think that religious individuals are less likely to choose abortion once pregnant. And that is why the teen birth rates are higher among religious individuals – because those babies aren’t being killed in the womb.
The actual study, of course, “don’t say anything about cause and effect”, but that doesn’t stop the scientists from forming their own conclusions:
“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.”
How odd because – again – I would conjecture that religious communities in the U.S. are more successful in discouraging the choice to abort a child once he or she has been conceived.
Am I biased? Probably. Are the scientists biased? Probably.
But the difference is that the scientists look at this issue through the lens of contraception, and I look at it through the lens of abortion. Maybe we can find common ground in admitting that both can be a factor.
Oh, and that teens having abortions is far worse than teens becoming pregnant.
And that the Church proposes very effective solutions to both problems. If anyone will listen.
posted by Thomas Peters at 9:00 AM