Posted by: Bobby Desulme | September 23, 2009

High teen pregnancies within religious circles

During the last few years, the increasing rate of teenage pregnancies has been a highly emphasized subject. From the movie Juno (reviewed by Rev. Beverly Dale) to the new television phenomenon The Secret Life of an American Teenager, this issue is a hot topic in the entertainment industry. But it doesn’t stop in Hollywood.

Most of us remember the alleged pact made by a group of young adolescents at Gloucester High in Gloucester, MA  to become pregnant and raise their babies together a year ago.  Even though it was later found that there had never truly been a pact made between all these young women, cases of teenage pregnancies are happening all across the United States and seem to be present in some areas more than others–hence the speculation about Gloucester High, where a very high percentage of girls became pregnant.

Recently MSNBC reported that there might be a correlation between the number of reported teenage pregnancies and the religious attitude of a state.  This new study claims that

states whose residents have more conservative religious beliefs on average tend to have higher rates of teenagers giving birth.

Why could this be?

In the present case, I would encourage the communities that are the most severely hit by this recurring scenario to modify their attitude towards this situation. Spending more time on sexual education and providing more resources, such as conferences or seminars on sex, to facilitate the conversation between parents and their children are not avenues that faith based communities should omit or disregard. I believe it to be more just and fair to educate teenagers about sex (and everything around it) rather than simply keeping silent about it and shunning those who are acting, for the most part, out of their youthful ignorance.

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