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View Full Version : Did US teen pregnancy rates quintuple the year after school prayer was removed?


Ladewig
12th May 2010, 06:19 PM
While looking for some other statistics, I found several websites claiming that in 1962 the number of teen pregnancies was 5000 and immediately after school prayer was outlawed by the Supreme Court, the number rose to 27000. I have my doubts as to the veracity of the figures because some sites claim it was girls under 15 while other sites claim under 18.

Where is a good place to find reliable statistics to prove or debunk this claim?

Fiona
12th May 2010, 06:30 PM
I did not know prayer was a contraceptive. Live and learn...

Uncayimmy
12th May 2010, 06:44 PM
The original source is described here:
http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0124_When_America_stopped.html

Even if it's true, and I have my doubts about that, it's still post hoc, ergo propter.

paximperium
12th May 2010, 06:49 PM
http://www.guttmacher.org/graphics/gr0501/gr050107f1.gif
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/05/1/gr050107.html

Modified
12th May 2010, 07:03 PM
Ah, so prayer is not a contraceptive, but it does cause marriage.

Ladewig
12th May 2010, 07:04 PM
The original source is described here:
http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0124_When_America_stopped.html

Even if it's true, and I have my doubts about that, it's still post hoc, ergo propter.

Thanks for the link. It refers to figures but does not supply the referenced charts. Any idea where to find them?

Ladewig
12th May 2010, 07:05 PM
http://www.guttmacher.org/graphics/gr0501/gr050107f1.gif
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/05/1/gr050107.html

That chart seems easy enough to read. I thought the claim was questionable.

Puppycow
12th May 2010, 07:12 PM
The original source is described here:
http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0124_When_America_stopped.html

Even if it's true, and I have my doubts about that, it's still post hoc, ergo propter.

It's not true. They made it up or there was a change in data collecting methods or the age range was increased. Regardless, it's still a lie.

paximperium
12th May 2010, 07:14 PM
That chart seems easy enough to read. I thought the claim was questionable.
Interesting that most teen pregnancies back in those days occurred among married teens.

bpesta22
12th May 2010, 07:40 PM
I can help with more direct data!

It's an empirical question, I think. I have data on teen pregnancies across the 50 U.S. states. I also have data on how often people report praying every day (among many other variables)

Here's a picture of the relationship. Note for social science this is a huge correlation, but it's opposite that suspected. Praying daily co-varies strongly and directly with teen pregnancy rates (r = .70). It also correlates .71 with infant mortality and .39 with the % of unwed mothers.


http://c3.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/97/l_ec52eb18d38d4c789dcca77d3450faee.jpg




The percent godless in a state correlates inversely (-.423) with teenage pregnancy rates.

Correlation doesn't imply cause (though the reverse is true) but the idea that prayer is needed to keep the birth rate down is patently false.

But, by their logic we should be promoting atheism in school.

KingMerv00
12th May 2010, 07:40 PM
Interesting that most teen pregnancies back in those days occurred among married teens.

Depends. Did that include people who got married while pregnant?

KingMerv00
12th May 2010, 07:42 PM
I can help with more direct data!

It's an empirical question, I think. I have data on teen pregnancies across the 50 U.S. states. I also have data on how often people report praying every day (among many other variables)

Here's a picture of the relationship. Note for social science this is a huge correlation, but it's opposite that suspected. Praying daily co-varies strongly and directly with teen pregnancy rates (r = .70). It also correlates .71 with infant mortality and .39 with the % of unwed mothers.


http://c3.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/97/l_ec52eb18d38d4c789dcca77d3450faee.jpg




The percent godless in a state correlates inversely (-.423) with teenage pregnancy rates.

Correlation doesn't imply cause (though the reverse is true) but the idea that prayer is needed to keep the birth rate down is patently false.

But, by their logic we should be promoting atheism in school.

Where'd you get the chart?

thaiboxerken
12th May 2010, 07:47 PM
I dunno about this statistic. Are these the same punks that think that crime has risen since then as well?

MattusMaximus
12th May 2010, 07:51 PM
That chart seems easy enough to read. I thought the claim was questionable.

It's not questionable, it's flat out wrong.

Skeptical Greg
12th May 2010, 08:12 PM
Yeah, but what about all the teens that were screaming " Oh God! Yes ! Yes ! " ?
Didn't that make up for some of the lost prayers ?

bpesta22
12th May 2010, 09:21 PM
It came as a subset of data I reported in the following article (published in the journal, Intelligence). This specific chart is mine, but a more global scaling of all my variables (e.g., religiosity versus just the single question on prayer) is reported therein:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6W4M-4XC974W-1&_user=10&_coverDate=02%2F28%2F2010&_rdoc=17&_fmt=high&_orig=browse&_srch=doc-info(%23toc%236546%232010%23999619998%231577821%23 FLA%23display%23Volume)&_cdi=6546&_sort=d&_docanchor=&_ct=22&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=ff0b868361b36e425e07127c0f3859b1

KingMerv00
12th May 2010, 09:27 PM
It came as a subset of data I reported in the following article (published in the journal, Intelligence). This specific chart is mine, but a more global scaling of all my variables (e.g., religiosity versus just the single question on prayer) is reported therein:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6W4M-4XC974W-1&_user=10&_coverDate=02%2F28%2F2010&_rdoc=17&_fmt=high&_orig=browse&_srch=doc-info(%23toc%236546%232010%23999619998%231577821%23 FLA%23display%23Volume)&_cdi=6546&_sort=d&_docanchor=&_ct=22&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=ff0b868361b36e425e07127c0f3859b1

Cool thanks.

Completely hypothetical: Maybe the trend comes from the fact religion discourages birth control?

ponderingturtle
13th May 2010, 04:16 AM
Interesting that most teen pregnancies back in those days occurred among married teens.

Well at least the births did. I suspect a significant percent might not have been married at the time of conception.

Accidental Martyr
13th May 2010, 04:23 AM
Yeah, but what about all the teens that were screaming " Oh God! Yes ! Yes ! " ?
Didn't that make up for some of the lost prayers ?

Dear God, please let me not be pregnant. Amen. ;)

paximperium
13th May 2010, 04:26 AM
Well at least the births did. I suspect a significant percent might not have been married at the time of conception.
Kid's these days. They just don't have no respect for a shotgun wedding anymore.

Cainkane1
13th May 2010, 04:45 AM
While looking for some other statistics, I found several websites claiming that in 1962 the number of teen pregnancies was 5000 and immediately after school prayer was outlawed by the Supreme Court, the number rose to 27000. I have my doubts as to the veracity of the figures because some sites claim it was girls under 15 while other sites claim under 18.

Where is a good place to find reliable statistics to prove or debunk this claim?
Prayer itself wasn't removed. What was removed was organized prayer. You can pray on your own if you want to. You just can't make someone else do it. Constantly reciting a prayer day after day and year after year until you graduate was no obstacle to sexual activity.

casebro
13th May 2010, 06:47 AM
Constantly reciting a prayer day after day and year after year until you graduate was no obstacle to sexual activity.

Thank god for that!!!! :)

bpesta22
13th May 2010, 08:10 AM
Merv-- I don't think the explanation needs to be that specific. Everything is correlated-- pretty strongly-- with everything else at the state level. Surprisingly, fundamental religiosity is about the best predictor of how messed up a state is on a host of variables ranging from crime to poverty to health to education and intelligence.

One hypothesis is that without the capacity for rational thought, one clings to easier and unquestioned explanations for reality.

Puppycow
13th May 2010, 08:17 AM
One hypothesis is that without the capacity for rational thought, one clings to easier and unquestioned explanations for reality.

"without the capacity for rational thought" sounds like you're talking about a slug or a fungus.

bpesta22
13th May 2010, 08:41 AM
I know PC, it comes across as arrogant. I mean formal operational thought a la Piaget.

I personally believe a large chunk of humanity is not ready to let reason rule their belief systems. I also believe this is a luck of the draw thing one is born with or not.

fuelair
13th May 2010, 08:48 AM
Is there any wild chance that other minor social changes that began in the early 60s (late 50s) might have had some effect on unwed births regardless of age level and/or prayer? I ask because I was alive and functional then and seem to recall a lot of things changing at that time that had potential for making it more likely.

I Ratant
13th May 2010, 08:51 AM
Well at least the births did. I suspect a significant percent might not have been married at the time of conception.
.
I've read that the birth records for the Pilgrims show that very effect.

I Ratant
13th May 2010, 08:52 AM
Kid's these days. They just don't have no respect for a shotgun wedding anymore.
.
Painting the shotgun white for a formal wedding has gone by the wayside also! :(

I Ratant
13th May 2010, 08:54 AM
I know PC, it comes across as arrogant. I mean formal operational thought a la Piaget.

I personally believe a large chunk of humanity is not ready to let reason rule their belief systems. I also believe this is a luck of the draw thing one is born with or not.
.
I think teaching thinking is something that is rather rare.
It leads to questioning things, which is bad.
(for the rulers)

RSLancastr
13th May 2010, 08:54 AM
When was the birth control pill first widely available?

I Ratant
13th May 2010, 09:08 AM
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_oral_contraceptive_pill

"The combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP), often referred to as the birth-control pill or simply "the pill", is a birth control method that includes a combination of an estrogen (oestrogen) and a progestin (progestogen). When taken by mouth every day, these pills inhibit female fertility. They were first approved for contraceptive use in the United States in 1960, and are a very popular form of birth control. They are currently used by more than 100 million women worldwide and by almost 12 million women in the United States.".
.
Coincidence? :)

Edited, breach of Rule 4; please ensure you properly reference quoted material

Ladewig
13th May 2010, 09:16 AM
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_oral_contraceptive_pill

"The combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP), often referred to as the birth-control pill or simply "the pill", is a birth control method that includes a combination of an estrogen (oestrogen) and a progestin (progestogen). When taken by mouth every day, these pills inhibit female fertility. They were first approved for contraceptive use in the United States in 1960, and are a very popular form of birth control. They are currently used by more than 100 million women worldwide and by almost 12 million women in the United States.".
.
Coincidence? :)

But how many girls under 15 would have access to the pill in the early 1960s?

MontagK505
13th May 2010, 09:26 AM
Cool thanks.

Completely hypothetical: Maybe the trend comes from the fact religion discourages birth control?

More likely a non-believer knows pregnancy is something you have actively prevent. Prayer has no effect.

bpesta22
13th May 2010, 10:00 AM
.
I think teaching thinking is something that is rather rare.
It leads to questioning things, which is bad.
(for the rulers)

I'm not that big of a conspiracy theorist-- you could be right, but what's the saying, "never attribute to evil what is best explained by stupidity"?

casebro
13th May 2010, 10:13 AM
Did we liberalize welfare at that time? Did girls not need to force a shotgun wedding in order to support their little bastard?

pgwenthold
13th May 2010, 11:18 AM
Is there an explanation for the sharp increase in teen pregnancy that occurred in the late 80s/early 90s?

I remember hearing about it, but I don't recall if there was an explanation.

Polaris
13th May 2010, 11:26 AM
Is there any wild chance that other minor social changes that began in the early 60s (late 50s) might have had some effect on unwed births regardless of age level and/or prayer? I ask because I was alive and functional then and seem to recall a lot of things changing at that time that had potential for making it more likely.

This is 1962 we're talking about. The most likely hypothesis is that a bunch of virgins went at it with reckless abandon in case the next Cuban Missile Crisis didn't end quite so well. Because who wants to die a virgin? :D

bpesta22
13th May 2010, 11:27 AM
Is there an explanation for the sharp increase in teen pregnancy that occurred in the late 80s/early 90s?

I remember hearing about it, but I don't recall if there was an explanation.

Legalizing abortion, as in Freakonomics???


Ooop, nope; that would predict the opposite. Sorry!

I Ratant
13th May 2010, 11:48 AM
But how many girls under 15 would have access to the pill in the early 1960s?
.
I'd expect none!
Daddy would kill the guy first!

ponderingturtle
13th May 2010, 12:26 PM
Is there an explanation for the sharp increase in teen pregnancy that occurred in the late 80s/early 90s?

I remember hearing about it, but I don't recall if there was an explanation.

Did it? The perception of a rise could account for that with no actual rise?

Looking at the chart above it seems that it rose from 50 to 60 per 1000, of course this was much lower than the 95 per thousand of the late 50's. So remember the 50's were the time of a real teen pregnancy epidemic.

Darth Rotor
13th May 2010, 01:47 PM
Is there an explanation for the sharp increase in teen pregnancy that occurred in the late 80s/early 90s?

I remember hearing about it, but I don't recall if there was an explanation.
Are the stats for that broken down demographically, by region, and by income level?

I've heard similar stuff, and of the "explanations" I've heard, none pass muster yet. Guessing there is a study, somewhere, that is at least modestly valid ...


DR

casebro
13th May 2010, 02:22 PM
Some kind of psychological echo of the baby boom? In 1962, the first boomers would have been 16 years old...

pgwenthold
14th May 2010, 11:48 AM
Are the stats for that broken down demographically, by region, and by income level?


No, the plot on the previous page I think refers to all pregnancies.

If I knew of a demographic breakdown, I might not have to ask if anyone knows what explanations there are for it.

You say that none of the explanations pass muster, but I don't even know what explanations you are talking about, so I can't help you there.

Michael Redman
14th May 2010, 11:58 AM
Is there an explanation for the sharp increase in teen pregnancy that occurred in the late 80s/early 90s?
Prince.

pgwenthold
14th May 2010, 12:14 PM
Prince.

Actually, Prince was hitting the top 40 charts already in 1980.

Then again, Sheena Easton went through her Prince influence (Strut, Sugar Walls) around 1984, so maybe that was the start?

Although I like your suggestion, seeing the effect that he had on Sheena, it is clear that Prince was able to to corrupt.

Tatyana
14th May 2010, 01:33 PM
But how many girls under 15 would have access to the pill in the early 1960s?

I think birth control pills were illegal to married women until 1965, so the chances of a teen aged girl getting it was unlikely.

Isn't this the decade of the hippies and the 'free love' thing?

When that start?

fuelair
15th May 2010, 06:29 PM
I think birth control pills were illegal to married women until 1965, so the chances of a teen aged girl getting it was unlikely.

Isn't this the decade of the hippies and the 'free love' thing?

When that start?

Yes - that's part of why I mentioned what I mentioned.