The percent of teens having sex is at the lowest it's ever been. The rate of condom use is the highest it's ever been. A product of our sex education programs or less than replacement level issues in our industrialized nation?
"In 2005, 47 percent of high school students - 6.7 million - reported having had sexual intercourse, down from 54 percent in 1991. The rate of those who reported having had sex has remained the same since 2003."(ChildStats)
Although I believe that teen birth is not a good thing; it does beg some questions. The theory is that the youth education efforts as well the HIV/AIDS epidemic have led to the trend of falling birth rates among teens.
What I wonder is, is this a product of the industrialization evolution process. The proof is in the pudding; many european countries have total population birth rates below replacement level. Meaning: Each couple is having less then 2 children on average. Which means the population is diminishing with each generation that operates at below replacement level. Oddly enough the birth rates for muslim countries are around 6 children per couple.
"Of those who had sex during a three-month period in 2005, 63 percent - about 9 million - used condoms. That's up from 46 percent in 1991."(ChildStats)
This statisitic I believe represents the population of teens who are looking to their professional future; and making sure with each act that they can maintain their freedom from having a child. This is a bold thing; in other modes of production, for example with agriculturalism - families start having kids early and have lots of them. Also in Horticulturalism and Pastoralism. The only other Mode of Production that resembles the birth rate changes and sexual equality and egalitarian relationships in families is foragers.
Foragers are known for having replacement level birth rates. They also had many kilometers per person; and often would not give birth much. Due to a lack of food - women missed menstrual cycles due to starvation and lack of nutrients. Even in the unlikely event that they concieve; they would breast feed for an extended period of time: in the attempt to prevent another birth.
However, What we're seeing in our nation is just above replacement level birth rates. With many similarly modeled industrialized nations operating at below replacement level birth rates it is interesting to note that - although doing fairly well for birth rates as an industrialized nation - we are slowing down though.
"The teen birth rate, the report said, was 21 per 1,000 young women ages 15-17 in 2005 - an all-time low. It was down from 39 births per 1,000 teens in 1991."(ChildStats)
What I wonder is if this drop in teen birth rates may in some represent the values and ideals of an upcoming generation of children brought up on computers and everything technological that is advancing so quickly. I think so... I'm not saying that we are immediately in need of upping our birthrates like some of the European countries need to; but just that it is something to look out for in the future.
The report was released by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics - a consortium of federal agencies that includes the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Census Bureau and the Administration for Children and Families.
Report available after midnight: http://childstats.gov