An "Epidemic" of Adolescent Pregnancy?: Some Historical and by Maris A. Vinovskis

By Maris A. Vinovskis

In study rooms and in residing rooms, in learn associations and on Capitol Hill, teenage being pregnant is among the so much debatable public problems with our day. but in spite of everything the research and executive attempt, what's particularly identified 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 learn, Maris Vinovskis--a admired demographic historian and a player in either Carter's and Reagan's Presidential tasks on teenage pregnancy--sets those questions inside a old framework and discusses a bunch of present concerns and coverage issues. Vinovskis starts through reading adolescent sexuality and childbearing in early the United States and comparing no matter if there has actually 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 precise skills as a historian and a coverage planner to his learn, Vinovskis bargains readers a provocative new context for realizing a urgent public factor of the 1980s.

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Extra info for An "Epidemic" of Adolescent Pregnancy?: Some Historical and Policy Considerations

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S. Congress, House, Select Committee on Population, 1978b). With the introduction of oral contraceptives, IUDs, and voluntary sterilization, the likelihood of an unplanned pregnancy has greatly diminished for most women (Westoff and Ryder, 1977). 29 In the 1950s and 1960s the immediate financial cost of adolescent An "Epidemic" of Adolescent Pregnancy?

Thus, the general societal attitudes toward premarital sex played a much larger role in determining how young people would be treated than any special view of adolescents. One interesting perspective on whether sexual activity was viewed differently among adolescents than adults can be found in public reactions to prostitution in nineteenth-century America. As reformers denounced the evils of prostitution and sought to eradicate it, did they pay particular attention to teenage prostitutes? And, in appealing to the sympathy of the public and the magistrates, did they evoke the image of the particular vulnerability of the young prostitute?

As long as the community was not saddled with the financial burden of illegitimate children, citizens tolerated premarital pregnancies. The result was not a breakdown of sexual mores in the early Republic but a shift in the definition of appropriate behavior between individuals in love (Ulrich, 1982). While some consensus exists on the low level of premarital pregnancies in the seventeenth century and their increase during the eighteenth century, scholars disagree over the pattern in the nineteenth century.

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