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  • New Survey on Abstinence and Sexual Activity: The Good News and the Bad News

    On Thursday, The Washington Post heralded the findings of a new survey reporting on sexual activity in the United States. While the study pronounced such positive findings as an increase in abstinence among teens and college-age adults and a decrease in teen pregnancy, there is bleaker story that cannot be ignored: the ever-increasing rate of unwed childbearing in the United States.

    On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its seventh round of the National Survey of Family Growth. The Post notes:

    Among 15-to-24-year-olds, 29 percent of females and 27 percent of males reported no sexual contact with another person ever—up from the 22 percent of both sexes when the survey was last conducted in 2002.

    This is good news. A wide swath of research shows that youth who remain abstinent do better academically, are more likely to attend and graduate from college, have better emotional health, are less likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases, and are also protected from becoming a single parent: a factor linked with a significantly increased rate of poverty.

    Furthermore, the Post also notes that the rate of teen pregnancy has declined since the 1990s. This is also good news.

    However, the majority of births among single women occur to females who are in their 20s. And this rate has soared since the 1960s.

    Today, over 40 percent of children are born outside of marriage. Among black and Hispanic populations, this number is significantly higher at roughly 70 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

    The high rate of single-parent families is devastating for children, families, and society. Children born to single mothers are nearly five times more likely to live in poverty than are children born to married parents. As a result, these families are at significantly greater risk of becoming dependent on government welfare. Of all families with children dependent on these programs, nearly 75 percent are those headed by single women.

    Beyond the financial implications, children in single-parent homes are at greater risk of experiencing a variety of social and behavioral problems. While some of these problems are connected to the higher poverty rates in single-mother homes, “improvements in child well-being that are associated with marriage persist even after adjusting for differences in family income … [indicating] that the father brings more to his home than just a paycheck.”

    Unfortunately, however, many of these single mothers—often from low-income communities—never receive the message on the benefits of marriage when it comes to having children. In many low-income communities, the concept of childbearing has become separated from marriage. And the results are tragic: high rates of poverty and a generation of children at greater risk for a host of social problems.

    While it is good news that teens in the United States seem to be realizing that abstinence is the best choice for their good, it remains critical that young adults understand the importance of marriage as well.

    To encourage strong marriages, we should place increased attention on supporting healthy marriage in low-income communities. Policymakers should also eliminate laws that penalize marriage. Healthy marriage and family are essential for a strong civil society and a prosperous nation.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to New Survey on Abstinence and Sexual Activity: The Good News and the Bad News

    1. Pingback: New Survey on Abstinence and Sexual Activity: The Good News and the Bad News

    2. Uncle Jim says:

      In a society where the only concern of the media is to make money, our cultural standards continue to fall. There are too few if any examples of leading a good ife for anyone to follow, no ideals, no heros. Very sad.

      Uncle Jim

    3. Bobbie says:

      government, peer pressure, society, all make victims out of personal responsibilities. if government didn't exist in this area, the attitude of the other two would be more responsible…

    4. Michael D. says:

      "While it is good news that teens in the United States seem to be realizing that abstinence is the best choice for their good, it remains critical that young adults understand the importance of marriage as well."

      Are those twenty-sometings who are now having children outside of marriage, of the same generation of teenagers who were having sex in 2002?

    5. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      It isn't lost on me that the old timers were warning about exactly this, and were discredited. "Oh those bad Christians! They're just after your money!" Really, that was the official line. So the Progressives actively promoted sexual promiscuity, and now, of course, they are doing that as much as possible with Public Money! People back then were warning that "They" whoever, were "Destroying the moral fabric of America!"

      So now that you see the Moral Fabric destroyed, isn't it time to put Morality, Hope, Faith and Charity back into the hands of the Churches? We tried Secular Humanism as America's State Religion and it didn't work! I watched the Government obviate Religion, that is Disestablish Religion by usurping Religious Functions! I suppose the Demo-crats benefit from all that family chaos, so isn't that more evidence of Progressive Perfidy?

      I wish the actual numbers were given on our new FamilyFacts.org, but then, I like raw data myself, in real measures rather than just opinions or statements in English. I want both.

    6. Charlie, Black Fores says:

      Obviously men are not going to marry women when sex is readily available. Women are not going to marry men when they can be forced to pay child support and they don't particularly like the guy. So why did she have sex with him. As the article states teenagers are seeing what the 20 year olds are going through and don't want what the 20 year olds are going through. Missing from the article is any stated reason for teenage being abstinent.

      • carmon cruz says:

        honestly most teens need to open there eyes and relize that just because most of there friends are doing that doesnt mean they have to because there friends are most likely going to be teen parents and/or get sexually transmitted diesses so whats the point in risking it????? in my opinon like mostly anyones they should wait

    7. Pingback: FamilyFacts.org: More Than Half of U.S. Teens Have Remained Sexually Abstinent | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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