Departmental Papers (Sociology)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

2008

Publication Source

Pathways

Issue

Summer

Start Page

3

Last Page

7

Abstract

Teen pregnancy is back in the news. After 15 years of decline, the trend in teen birth rates ticked upward in 2006. Coupled with the ongoing media spotlight on the popular film Juno and the pregnancy of Britney Spears’ younger sister, we’re once again wringing our collective hands over kids having kids. But are these concerns really warranted? To what extent does teen pregnancy lead to mothers’ and children’s long-term poverty? Have policies adopted to deter early childbearing been effective in discouraging teens from having children before they are ready to shoulder the responsibilities of parenthood? To answer these questions, it’s necessary to put the issue in proper historical context, and to cast a sober eye on existing policies that were employed to keep rates of teenage childbearing low.

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Date Posted: 08 June 2017