Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Teenage pregnancies drop, but so does fertility and population replacement

Rob Stein (and he’s not quirky columnist “Ben Stein” but maybe he could be) has an article on p A2 of the Washington Post, Dec. 22, “Birthrate among teens hits record low: poor economy, abstinence message may be swaying girls”, link here.

The article briefly connects abstinence to the reverse problem of low fertility. It says that US birthrates inched above population replacement in 2007 and 2008 and have slipped below again in 2009 and 2010.

There is a general impression that it is not a good idea to depend on a bad economy to prevent unwanted pregnancy. The longer term, however, is that a stagnating population and seriously imperil a country’s future economic growth, and that’s why some social conservatives are talking about rewriting “the social contract.”  These days, we tell young people that their future responsibilities are under their own control. (Just listen to Dr. Phil.) That might not work forever.

No comments: