Thursday, January 26, 2006

all you needed to know about pregnancy

N C H S - Publications and Information Products - Fertility, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health of U.S. Women: Data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth

it's not the most exciting piece of writing, but ever since i started working at National Non Profit, i've been digging studies, research papers and stats.

but in light of recent discussions about abortion and choice, let's get a good look at the whole picture: who's having babies, why and when.

2 things that stand out to me:
in 2002, 14% of births to women/girls between the age 14-44 were unwanted at time of conception (which leads me to wonder how accessible contraception was or how wanted the sex was - which leads me to the second thing...)

'younger age at first sexual intercourse was associated with higher incidence of nonvoluntary first intercourse' (in other words, 20% of women who had sex before age 15 were sexually assaulted)

the other stats are fascinating, too (the numbers about poverty, education level and use of contraceptives are telling). why bring these up now?

i like numbers.


greg said...

While 74% of first births to white women occurred within marriage, 54% of first births to Hispanic women and 23% of first births to black(sic) women occurred within marriage (emphasis mine).

That's unbelievable. Wow.

ding said...

yeah. leads to a whole 'nother conversation about where we should be directing our 'responsibility' lectures.

greg said...

It seems to me that there is something bigger going on than some people's mamas forgot to tell them to be responsible. The first thing I would like to know is what did those numbers look like 100 years ago? 50 years ago? Is this and old problem or a new problem?

I'm a white guy, and while I hear about the problem of "absent fathers" in the "Black community", I had no idea that less than 1 out of 4 Black children are born to a married couple. I was thinking maybe half. Maybe.

ding said...

one place to look would be the brookings institute and their metropolitan program. they have a few studies out on why young black women choose motherhood over marriage.

(there's also a huge education disparity in these numbers - the more educated the woman the less likely that woman will be an unmarried mother - though marriage rates of black educated women are still not that high. a black woman with a degree has as much chance of getting hit by a bus than getting married...)

ding said...

well, here's one way to stop teenagers from having sex: make it illegal.

greg said...

I thought you said it was a way to stop them from having sex. Like the way making recreational drugs illegal stops people from using them. Yeah. Right.

ding said...

i'm not saying that the prosecutor is totally crazy. i don't think adolescents giving birth is a good thing.

i don't think teenagers should be having sex. but is making it illegal a way to stop it? i don't understand what his point is. to force them to stop having sex or to replace their having sex with something else, like, say life goals and the tools to meet those goals?

education, education, education - these are the things that will stop kids from having sex.