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Teen Moms: geography of teenage pregnancies in the US

From Europe we usually have a fairly monolithic perception of the United States although the amount and variety of American fiction we eat it, we could say, very didactic in this regard. The continental scale of the country, its strongly federal organizational model and the enormous variety of cultures and religious beliefs that mark the lives of many communities at the local level (even though many of them are minority in the whole country) result in a country much more complex than we think from the outside. An example of both complexity as a major media phenomenon footprint inside and outside the US They are the moms teen (roughly translatable by “teenage mothers”, but includes mothers of 18 and 19 who are technically adults). Although the figures are improving (as it appears in this article in The Atlantic Cities), the success of reality shows like Teen Mom(produced by MTV and broadcast in Spain and other countries) has topical theme.

The protagonists of the second season of Teen Mom . Farrah Abraham (above
right) has tapped its way through the program to make the leap to fame through
tactics already tested successfully by the well-known Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian.

This phenomenon is a paradigmatic example of the already mentioned complexity US and it is linked to numerous economic, ideological, ob gyn and religious issues (being not always clear division between the latter two). The combination of these factors leads to the geographic distribution of births to teenage mothers map showing the following:

A quick glance at the map is enough to detect a general pattern: the rate is clearly higher in the states of the Bible Belt (the Bible Belt or set of the most religious states in the country). The limits of the Bible Belt are well defined and any European culture steeped in pop American know name a few with their corresponding topics.

The coincidence between the two indicators is remarkable, being perhaps Utah’s most striking exception, but can be explained by the strict adherence of most Mormons (responsible for the high religiosity of the state) to the precepts of their faith, including chastity until marriage. REST of the most religious states have rates of teenage pregnancies carried to term within the top two thresholds, with the sole exception of North Carolina. New Mexico and Arizona are less conspicuous exceptions, especially Arizona (traditionally Republican state) and considering that we are comparing maps with relatively large thresholds.

The third factor (along with religion and ideology, usually amalgamated) is generally lower in states with higher rates of teen pregnancy socioeconomic status. This factor influences negatively on access to contraception and abortion (which are not subsidized or are nonexistent in the most religious and / or conservative states, increasing their prices or force a shift to another state), so the rate of teenage pregnancies and the percentage of those carried to term is much higher. The following map is very informative in this regard:

Access to abortion is much easier in the wealthiest and towns (especially in northeastern) coastal states, again with the exception of New Mexico, who perhaps deserved a deeper analysis that can be done in this short note. In any case, this distribution of access to abortion (and other issues such as those mentioned in this article from The Atlantic Cities) suggests that access to contraceptives and abortion in the United States serves largely to socioeconomic factors, making it largely in a class problem.

Anyway, it seems that the rise to fame of the moms teen MTV is the model life attitude needed by adolescents belt bible and other states network .

bonus : Interestingly, the most religious states largely coincide with those traditionally had cultivated cotton and snuff, encouraged by the US southeast wet subtropical climate, but that’s a topic for another time.

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