Suddenly Teens Pregnancy Is Cool?

3668 WordsOct 16, 201215 Pages
When Jamie Lynn Spears, the 16-year-old sister of Britney, announced that she was pregnant last month in OK!, the magazine sold a record two million copies and had to run a second printing of the issue to keep up with demand. How could a wealthy preteen idol with her own hit Nickelodeon show, and the good sister to her chaotic older kin, be just several months away from adolescent, out-of-wedlock motherhood? "I didn't believe it because Jamie Lynn's always been so conscientious. She's never late for her curfew," lamented mother Lynne Spears. She got over the shock in a week, and then Jamie Lynn, ever conscientious, notified the press that she would be having, keeping and raising the baby with her mama in Louisiana. "I'm just trying to do…show more content…
"It's part of a larger revisioning of motherhood: queer mothers, old mothers, young mothers. That wasn't possible 20 years ago." Suffice to say, the rising American teen birth rate in 2006 is something of an eye-opener. Between 1991 and 2005, the United States saw a 34 per cent decrease in the birth rate among those aged 15 to 19. But in 2006, that relatively steady decline was reversed. Suddenly, among 15- to 17-year-olds, the rate was up three per cent to 22 babies per 1,000 females, and 18- and 19-year-olds jumped four per cent to 73 births for every 1,000. "That took us by surprise," admits Stephanie J. Ventura, head of the reproductive statistics branch at NCHS. And the rise was spread over almost every ethnic group except for Asians; births among black, native, Hispanic and white teenagers rose. While no specific data was collected on the income of teen mothers, Albert says that with three in 10 girls getting pregnant by age 20, "you realize this is not [just] 'poor folk.' The problem is spread wide." In England and Wales, the birth rate per 1,000 females under age 20 rose to 45.5 in 2006 compared to 44.8 the year before. Not a huge leap, but it's already one of the highest rates in the developed world. The United Nations' last comprehensive tally of G8 countries, from 2004, showed the U.K. has the third-highest teen birth rate, with 26.8 births per 1,000, slightly lower than Russia (28.2) and well above Japan (5.6), France (7.8),
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