Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Theory, A (likely to fail) Resolution

First: I am currently reading a really interesting article from The New Yorker about adolescent sexuality in Red States v. Blue States. As one would assume from its provenance, the article has only good things to say about adolescent sexuality in Blue States (virginity lasts longer, teens are more likely to be sensible about contraceptives, tight-knit families are more important than pledges etc.) and cites the following fact to back up these theories:

The highest teen-pregnancy rates were in Nevada, Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas (all red); the lowest were in North Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Maine (blue except for North Dakota). - "Red Sex, Blue Sex" by Margaret Talbot

Now, they make one red and blue alignment-- political voting habits-- but looking at that list, I'd make another: temperature. The 5 states with the lowest teen pregnancy rates? All freezing cold 70% of the year! Maybe it's not morals, or tight-knit families, or career ambitions, or comprehensive sex ed. Maybe it's just a question of opportunity. I mean, if you're an average 15 year old couple in the Northeast, your sexing up options are severely limited by weather. It's certainly a simpler theory.

And my resolution? Predictably, it's to write more, both here and in my private journal.

We shall see how long it lasts...

3 comments:

Helgagrace said...

Well, Utah is definitely a Red State . . . I wonder where it is on that list? It's cold there, but not too cold . . . I'm guessing that race has something to do with this, too. A lot of those blue states are pretty much white states . . .

Namlhots said...

For a successful pregnancy, a lot of layers have to be removed up North. But Alaska, certainly the coldest state in the Union, is right up there with Texas in teen pregnancies. Even our best (worst?) state, New Hampshire(18.7/1000), has nearly double the rate compared with Finland(9.8/1000).

Two words explain it. Sex education.

Cassandra Mortmain said...

Thanks for the extra data Tom-- I definitely agree with you. I was mostly just kidding around.