I was reading on page 31 of the latest Time Magazine of November 14th 2011 how Teenage Mom's have a 41 percent chance of their children engaging in delinquent behavior as they grow up. As I was reading this I also found that we have the highest amount of teenage pregnancies in the industrialized world. This didn't sound very good and then my wife got really upset about this and said, "You cannot get a girl who gets pregnant at 16 through college usually after that!" and then got really angry about the whole thing being very into upward mobility for women. So then she asked "What does 41 percent mean?" So, I looked the statistic up and it is based upon 750,000 pregnancies with 8 of 10 unwanted and about the same unmarried.
So, at least in regard to teenage pregnancies we are one of the most backward nations in the industrialized world. This does not bode well for our future because 41% equals 307,500 delinquents born every year. And this means hiring more police and prison guards than college teachers or high school teachers after about age 12 to 14 for this group. It also means less productive citizens for a longer period in each of these kids lives and it also means unwanted crimes committed and unwanted deaths along the way for society to deal with. So, at least in regards to teenage pregnancies our country is devolving in this respect and becoming a less safe place for everyone as a direct result of these ongoing statistics.
My other source of statistics for this blog article is the following:
However, it is also important to consider that teenage birth rates used to be much worse than now. In fact they peaked from 1965 to 1980 according to the following report:
In the middle and upper middle class area I grew up in Los Angeles County it was quite common for girls 15 to 16 years old then in 1965 to say something like, "Oh. I want a pretty little baby." And then they would go to convince their latest boyfriend to give them a baby. Unfortunately, this mostly didn't wind up in a marriage or even two parents living together raising that child but usually just the girls parents raising their grandchild along with their now 16 or 17 year old daughter who was a new mother. I remember, visiting a Thifty Drug Store in Glendale during this time and meeting old friends who had married at age 16 because the girl had gotten pregnant. They seemed so very 16 like me but wanted to show me their new baby. I fought back panic and nausea at this experience because from my point of view they might as well have been 10 years old as 16 and I knew that I wouldn't be ready for this until I was 21 to 25 at the very earliest. However, I must also say that getting married soon after high school graduation was a pretty normal thing to do in 1965 for many people not going to a 4 year college. And there were always a lot of people who married then at 18 out of high school so they could live together at college and both sets of parents often supported this at that time as well. People all just generally were expected to grow up a lot sooner than now. This all changed with the 1960s, the 1970s, the Viet Nam War, AIDS etc. to where we are now. But then getting married very young was very common except among Ivy Leagers and people in College Prep High schools who tended to wait until at least 20 to 25 to get married even then. (Although there were always exceptions to every rule).
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