The Most Conservative States Have the Pregnant-est Teenagers

Illustration for article titled The Most Conservative States Have the Pregnant-est Teenagers

Brace yourselves for drama camp-levels of feigned surprise. Turns out that the states most likely to support "family values" conservative legislation contain the teenage girls most likely to have babies. See? Abstinence-only education works.

We already knew that the Bible belt was also home to a lot of unideal, sinful pre- and extra-marital belt loosening. But now, according to the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control, the birth rate for girls between 15 and 19 is highest in states where the most publicly popular approach to extramarital sex is to affix one's hands firmly over one's ears and shout Bible verses until whoever is talking about the sex gets annoyed and walks away.

For example, 53 of every 1,000 teenage girls in Texas gave birth in the year 2010. In Arkansas, 56 of every 1,000 gave birth. Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Arizona also bear the dubious distinction of being living monuments to how abstinence-only education and restricted access to abortion and birth control translates to more young single parents, more poverty for young women, and the corresponding greater expense to the state that comes with providing services to those families. To compare, heathen blue states like Vermont, New York, Minnesota, Washington, Connecticut, and Massachusetts boasted the lowest teen birth rates.

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Too bad sanctimony is the least reliable form of birth control.

[Slate]

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DISCUSSION

I grew up in a state with very explicit sex ed... that was optional. Most of our parents didn't opt us out of it (hell, saved them from having to give us THE TALK), but several of my female friends were yanked out.

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that we filled them in on what we were learning. One of the girls was dating a guy who was trying to convince her that:

1. She couldn't get pregnant from 'partial penetration' (Our sex ed class: You will end up having sex. Stop fooling yourself. Also, pregnancy and STDs are still on the table.)

2. She couldn't get pregnant if they had sex while she was on her period. (Our sex ed class: It's tougher, but still happens. Also, STDs.)

3. How about anal? :D (STDs! And you can get sick if you transition to vaginal sex from anal.)

4. Oral! (STDs. FFS.)

5. He has a deadly latex allergy. (If he/she doesn't have a bracelet, it's not that damn deadly. Also, there are non-latex alternatives)

And the best advice our class gave? Don't sleep with anyone who tries to feed you the crap above.