Teen pregnancy

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Although there are probably many planned and wanted children born to teenaged mothers who are able to care for them properly, teen pregnancy statistics are often used as a stand-in for unwanted pregnancy statistics for the following reasons:

  • They are apparently easier to obtain (not sure why, though one can make guesses)
  • They are likely to have a higher correlation with sex education policies, which is one of the major topics when unwanted pregnancies are being discussed
  • Any given teen pregnancy has a much higher probability (than an adult pregnancy) of being unwanted:
    • Teenagers (of the ages usually under discussion) are too young to be legally having sex.
    • Teenagers are almost never prepared (economically and otherwise) to raise a child.
    • Many teenage girls are not physically mature enough to give birth safely.


Ideally, when talking about the results of sex education policy we would be talking only about the rate of unwanted teen pregnancies; it is only the lack of such data that makes it necessary to lump all teen pregnancies together as an undesirable end.


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