Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Wish for You

I want to take a moment on this Christmas eve to wish all of our readers, including those in Russia, Thailand, India, Africa, Israel, Canada, and all across Europe, whether you are Christian or not, a wonderful and meaningful Christmas.

I hope each of you is warmed this night by the love of God and that you each have opportunity to direct that love to all those around you in ways great and small.

Gloria in excelsis Deo

He's Kidding, Right?

Casey Schwartz at The Daily Beast has a piece on teen pregnancy that contains some good news. Apparently teens are continuing a trend that started back in the 90's of getting pregnant less and less frequently. There's lots of information in the article, but one thing that struck me was the speculation about the cause of the downward trend. Read this excerpt and see what you think:
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published its preliminary findings of all things birth rate for America in 2009. The report showed that the birth rate among American teenagers is now the lowest it has been in the 70 years since such records were kept. In 2009, 39.1 in 1,000 teenagers had a baby, down from 41.5 in 2008, a 6 percent decrease.

“Six percent is a huge drop,” said Bill Albert, chief program officer for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “To get a birth rate dropping 6 percent in one year is really quite remarkable.”

The heft of the decline seemed to catch experts and advocacy groups off guard, and no clear explanation for the change was forthcoming.

Some experts are pointing to the economic recession as an operating factor....Albert was initially skeptical that the economy could be responsible for the downturn, but has become a “recent convert” to the possibility.

“It may be that the recession has had a bit of a sobering effect on teenagers in the following respect: Maybe their parents are having a tough time. Maybe they have neighbors who have been unable to find a job. Maybe they have neighbors who have lost their home,” he said. Survey data on teens show “they are very, very pessimistic about their economic future. Maybe that has placed a governor of sorts on their sexual appetite.”
It was hard not to laugh when I read this. It's difficult to believe that teenagers with hormones at full throttle and their passion all but incandescent, are pausing to think about the recession, of all things. If they're not inhibited by all the other hazards that often accompany teenage sex, they're hardly likely to be dissuaded by sudden concerns over the jobless rate.

I'd like to think that maybe the reason that there are fewer teen pregnancies now is that teenagers are simply having less sex today than they were a decade ago, but that might sound to some ears almost as silly as claiming that the reason they're not getting pregnant is their profound alarm over the national debt.