Ever hear of Amanda Marcotte? Me neither… Her opinion piece entitled “So Why is the Teen Birth Rate Plummeting?” ran in the Press of Atlantic City this morning, and doubtless in many other papers. She brings good news – teenaged women are having fewer babies.
She offers two reasons, one policy based and the other more subjective. Some jurisdictions have implemented “aggressive” sex education and family planning programs. It seems that teens want to avoid pregnancy and do so successfully when protective measures are available.
Marcotte also cites the power of (negative) example: “… maybe it’s just that in 2008, the mere existence of Bristol Palin showed that conservatives didn’t even believe their own story about abstinence-only as an effective teen pregnancy prevention tool. It’s hard to sell kids on the idea of avoiding contraception when the results of that advice are on stage at the Republican convention.”
So have I changed my mind about The Spirit Level and the arguments in favor of greater income equality. No! There are still the other problems which the book addresses, and I feel like a society with an extensive middle class is where I want to live. It is, after all, where I had the good fortune to grow up.