DarrochEtAl_DifferencesInTeenagePregnancyRates - Family...

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Family Planning Perspectives Volume 33, Number 6, November/December 2001 Differences in Teenage Pregnancy Rates Among Five Developed Countries: The Roles of Sexual Activity and Contraceptive Use By Jacqueline E. Darroch, Susheela Singh, Jennifer J. Frost and the Study Team Context: Adolescent pregnancy, birth, abortion and sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates are much higher in the United States than in most other developed countries. Methods: Government statistics or nationally representative survey data were supplemented with data collected by private organizations or for regional or local populations to conduct studies of adolescent births, abortions, sexual activity and contraceptive use in Canada, the United States, Sweden, France and Great Britain. Results: Adolescent childbearing is more common in the United States (22% of women reported having had a child before age 20) than in Great Britain (15%), Canada (11%), France (6%) and Sweden (4%); differences are even greater for births to younger teenagers. A lower proportion of teenage pregnancies are resolved through abortion in the United States than in the other countries; however, because of their high pregnancy rate, U.S. teenagers have the highest abortion rate. The age of sexual debut varies little across countries, yet American teenagers are the most likely to have multiple partners. A greater proportion of U.S. women reported no contraceptive use at either first or recent intercourse (25% and 20%, respectively) than reported nonuse in France (11% and 12%, respectively), Great Britain (21% and 4%, respectively) and Sweden (22% and 7%, respectively). Conclusions: Data on contraceptive use are more important than data on sexual activity in explaining variation in levels of adolescent pregnancy and childbearing among the five developed countries; however, the higher level of multiple sexual partnership among American teenagers may help explain their higher STD rates. Family Planning Perspectives, 2001, 33(5):244-250 & 281 Despite recent declines, the current level of births to adolescents continues to be much higher in the United States than in most other developed countries. 1 Continued decreases in U.S. rates have only succeeded in moving the country's levels slightly closer to where those of most other developed countries were during the late 1990s. 2 (By 2000, the
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teenage birthrate in the United States had declined to 49 per 1,000, as compared with late-1990s rates of 7-9 in Sweden and France, and 20-31 in Canada and Great Britain.) Large differences in adolescent pregnancy rates were also identified in the early 1980s in a comparative study of developed countries. 3 At that time, differences in sexual activity were not found to account for the variation in pregnancy rates; instead, the limited available information suggested that use of contraceptives, particularly the pill, by teenage women was lower in the United States than in other developed countries. Building on this body of information and using the most recent data available, we address
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2012 for the course 360 290 taught by Professor Dankelemen during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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DarrochEtAl_DifferencesInTeenagePregnancyRates - Family...

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