By Maris A. Vinovskis
In study rooms and in dwelling rooms, in examine associations and on Capitol Hill, teenage being pregnant is likely one of the such a lot debatable public problems with our day. but in spite of everything the research and govt attempt, what's rather recognized in regards to the challenge of adolescent being pregnant and the way to house it? and what's the function of the social scientist and historian in a public factor of this sort? during this research, Maris Vinovskis--a fashionable demographic historian and a player in either Carter's and Reagan's Presidential tasks on teenage pregnancy--sets those questions inside of a ancient framework and discusses a bunch of present concerns and coverage issues. Vinovskis starts through analyzing adolescent sexuality and childbearing in early the US and comparing no matter if there has in reality been an ''epidemic'' of adolescent being pregnant in American heritage. within the following chapters, he addresses the increase of adolescent being pregnant as a countrywide factor and assesses the government's reaction to it, either in Congress and the Presidency. Bringing his specified skills as a historian and a coverage planner to his research, Vinovskis bargains readers a provocative new context for figuring out a urgent public factor of the Eighties.
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Extra resources for An ’’Epidemic’’ of Adolescent Pregnancy?: Some Historical and Policy Considerations
Of semi-dependency existed in the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century, nothing fully resembling today's adolescence existed at that time. But the transformation of America from an agricultural to an urban-industrial society during these years created sharp discontinuities in the lives of children and prepared an environment in which adolescence as a stage of life eventually could develop. Others have challenged this interpretation by pointing out that in the seventeenth century youths experienced many of the same emotional impulses and tensions that we associate with adolescence today (Thompson, 1984, 1986).
Because neither the rate nor the number of pregnant adolescents by themselves can account for the increased public concern about early childbearing today, we might explore another possibility— that the real problem of adolescent pregnancy for most Americans is not the number of pregnant teenagers, but the increasing proportion of out-of-wedlock births. While the rate of out-of-wedlock births (number of births per 1,000 unmarried women) dropped sharply for all other age groups between 1960 and 1977, the rate for teenagers increased rapidly.
9 Finally, whereas Shorter explains much of the rise in sexual activity as the result of changes in the lives of young women fostered by urban and industrial development, others have questioned his interpretation of these women's lives and have pointed to the fact that similar shifts in sexual activity simultaneously occurred in agricultural and rural areas (Tilly and Scott, 1978). Assuming that Smith and Hindus (1975) are correct in dating the decrease of premarital pregnancies in America during the early nineteenth century, how can we account for this change?
An ’’Epidemic’’ of Adolescent Pregnancy?: Some Historical and Policy Considerations by Maris A. Vinovskis