There was a collective bi-partisan freak out last week when the Pew Research Center released a report finding that U.S. birth rates hit a record low in 2011. Before doing anything crazy, like implementing social programs the rest of the developed world has enjoyed for decades, I recommend taking a closer look at the numbers to see that really, this is good news.
In October, newly appointed Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will undertake one of her most ambitious projects yet: she is going to become a mother. Her commitment to take only a few weeks’ maternity leave sparked a media flurry that taught her mothering lesson No. 1—all parental decisions are open to public scrutiny.
New research finds that government regulations that restrict the supply of abortions performed after 15 weeks gestation in the state of Texas increased the price of late abortions by 37% ($454) and lead to an increase in the number of unintended births by over 6,600 in the three years following the implementation of the regulation.
This is the first of two posts on the topic of the market for second trimester abortions. Later on in the week we will talk about the impact of government policies on the supply side of that market. Before we do that, I want to start with a discussion of the economic factors that are contributing to the demand for late abortions in the United States.
Promiscuity in US high schools is at a twenty year low and teen birth rates have fallen by over one third from 1991 through to 2009. So why is it if teens are sexually active at lower frequencies, and appear to be taking more precautions, that 50% of new STI infections last year were in people younger than 24?
A couple of years ago Steven Landsburg controversially argued that if we want STI rates to fall then what is needed is more people participating in casual sex. As counter-intuitive as that argument may seem, the reverse of that “unconventional wisdom” appears to be playing out in high schools across America.
Two articles have appeared recently on the topic of sperm snatching. The first is a new blog here at Big Think and the second is an article in yesterday’s Daily Mail by writer Liz Jones. In the Daily Mail article Ms. Jones describes how, over the course of two relationships, she snuck into the bathroom in the middle of the night in order to inseminate herself using sperm rescued from condoms. This despite the fact that both men had made their unwillingness to become fathers very, very clear (hence the condom usage).
Next time you buy a coffee make sure you are polite to the person who serves you – after all, her tax dollars helped fund your college education. Public funding of education doesn’t just benefit the recipient though; lower college tuition fees can reduce teen risky sexual behavior as high school students have more to lose when things go wrong.
Here is a puzzle: if promiscuity has increased over the past century and if the cause of that increase was really a fall in the risk of pregnancy, then why have out-of-marriage births increased as well?