Summary: Abstinence Responsible for 53% of Decrease in Teen Pregnancy Rates During 1990's

Study observes that the decrease in teen pregnancies and birthrates in the 1990's can be attributed to both a decrease in sexual experience (abstinence) and an increase in the use of contraception.

  • In an article written in the Journal of Adolescent Health, authors explore the possible factors that contributed to the decreases in pregnancy and birthrates found in previous studies, including the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the National Survey of Family Growth, and the National Vital Statistics System. The studied concluded that 53% of the decline in pregnancy rates could be attributed to decreased sexual experience (e.g. abstinence). The remaining 47% could be credited to improved use of contraception (e.g. condoms, birth control pill, etc.). These figures were found to be most accurate for school-age black and Hispanic populations, but tended to be less accurate for white adolescents.1

1Can Changes in Sexual Behaviors Among High School Students Explain the Decline in Teen Pregnancy Rates in the 1990's?, Journal of Adolescent Health, Vol. 35, No. 2, August 2004, pp. 80-90.


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