By Maris A. Vinovskis
In school rooms and in residing rooms, in examine associations and on Capitol Hill, teenage being pregnant is without doubt one of the so much arguable public problems with our day. but in any case the research and govt attempt, what's fairly recognized in regards to the challenge of adolescent being pregnant and the way to house it? and what's the function of the social scientist and historian in a public factor of this sort? during this examine, Maris Vinovskis--a well-known demographic historian and a player in either Carter's and Reagan's Presidential tasks on teenage pregnancy--sets those questions inside of a historic framework and discusses a bunch of present matters and coverage issues. Vinovskis starts through interpreting adolescent sexuality and childbearing in early the United States and comparing even if there has in truth been an ''epidemic'' of adolescent being pregnant in American heritage. within the following chapters, he addresses the increase of adolescent being pregnant as a countrywide factor and assesses the government's reaction to it, either in Congress and the Presidency. Bringing his exact skills as a historian and a coverage planner to his research, Vinovskis deals readers a provocative new context for figuring out a urgent public factor of the Nineteen Eighties.
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Extra resources for An ’’Epidemic’’ of Adolescent Pregnancy?: Some Historical and Policy Considerations
21 Most of these experts did not even consider the fact that while the pregnancy rate of young adolescents declined only slightly during the past fifteen years, without the increased use of contraceptives it would have risen rapidly as a consequence of the dramatic increase in teenage sexual activity. To appreciate fully the success of primary prevention among these young adolescents, we need to take into consideration changes in their sexual activity as well as in their use of contraceptives. 22 Though some of the studies of sexual activity are based on small sample sizes and unrepresentative populations, the national surveys of sexual and contraceptive practices among female adolescents in 1971, 1976, and 1979 by Melvin Zelnik and John Kantner convincingly document an increase in the level of sexual activity among unmarried female adolescents (1977, 1978a, 1978b, 1980).
6 One can certainly defend the need to deal with the problems associated with adolescent pregnancy in America today. As has been already pointed out, nearly a million teenagers become pregnant each year and almost 500,000 of them have babies. 7 The well-documented adverse social and health effects of early childbearing for both the An "Epidemic "of Adolescent Pregnancy ? 8 But an historical perspective on the problem of adolescent pregnancy offers a somewhat different and more complex picture than the one supplied by the news media and policymakers.
Civil magistrates or ministers quickly and publically chastized sexual offenders. , found themselves convicted and punished (Smith and Hindus, 1975). 7 Adolescent Pregnancy in Early America 13 Source: Smith and Hindus (1975) FIGURE 1-2B. Percentage of Premarital Pregnancies in Andover by Age Perhaps the most surprising result of the data by Smith and Hindus (1975) is the rapid rise and the peak of premarital pregnancies in the late seventeenth and eighteenth century. By the second half of the eighteenth century, nearly 30 percent of first births occurred within eight and one half months of the marriage.