I was browsing the internet news today and I found this particularly interesting article about how the teen birthrate is the lowest it has been since we’ve kept record. I was absolutely shocked to find “experts” claim the low birthrate is due to the recession.
This could be dumber than the Kardashian Kard thinking it could stop kids from buying drugs.
The only way the recession could impact teenagers’ behavior towards having sex and making babies is if those teenagers understand the impact of the recession and the financial impact of a child. It would be great if teenagers were that smart and forward-thinking, but that’s a pretty big stretch.
There are enough 40-something adults who don’t truly understand the economic and financial implications of a recession and having a child; there can’t be so many teenagers that grasp these concepts well enough to make a meaningful statistical difference.
Here’s another little tidbit: Statistically, teenagers who get pregnant were already poor before the recession hit! This data shows that two out of every three young, unmarried mothers are already poor. The recession doesn’t change anything for people who are already in poverty. I’m sorry, but I find it hard to believe that these poor girls are thinking, “well, I want to have unprotected sex, but the Dow dropped below 8,000 today…”
If you are an uneducated, unmarried, pregnant teenager, statistically your employment options are probably limited to Walmart and McDonalds. Those places were still hiring all through the recession. To summarize, the economic circumstances of the majority of teens at risk of having children were not impacted by the recession.
I’m very confident the recession had almost nothing to do with the decrease in teen births. I have a different theory that can’t be supported by data, but I’m confident it’s the reason birth rates are down so much this year.
Pop Culture has a Good Role Model – This is purely speculation, but I think this is actually the most important reason teen births have decreased. I truly believe pop culture has a huge effect on the actions of teenagers. It doesn’t surprise me that the lowest teen birth rate comes in the year of Taylor Swift’s biggest year ever.
I’m convinced a teenage girl who looks up to Taylor Swift is a lot less likely to get pregnant than one who looks up to Britney Spears. When young girls spend hours and hours listening to songs about true love instead of songs about hitting me baby one more time or getting drunk in the club, it’s going to have an impact on their behavior.
What do you think? Which had a bigger impact on decreased teen births in the US: the recession or Taylor Swift?
PS – Have my babies Taylor! You’re not a teenager anymore, so it’s okay!