OC HIGH / STUDENT NEWS & VIEWS : Teen Births
Better nutrition and later marriages are leading to more adolescent sexual activity and more unwanted pregnancies in most countries, a new study concludes.
“Improved nutrition and health care mean that puberty now begins earlier,” said the International Planned Parenthood Federation in its newly released report.
The report said more youths in developing countries are going to school, staying in school longer and getting married later. These are all positive developments, but the longer period between maturity and marriage leads to more unwanted pregnancies, the report said.
The report praised the Netherlands for having the world’s lowest teen-age pregnancy rate--about one for every 100 teen-agers--because confidential information and services are readily available to all teen-agers.
It said the rate in the United States is among the highest of developed countries: more than 11 pregnant teen-agers out of every 100.
In Latin America, it found teen-age girls accounting for nearly one birth in five. In some parts of Africa the figure is almost one in four.