• The kids are actually ok

    Every time I read a story on the “kids these days”. I roll my eyes. Sexting, Internet porn, grinding, twerking, blah, blah, blah. Get this:

    db136_fig3 (1)

    The teen birth rate in 2012 was a record low. It’s less than half what it was in 1991. The teen abortion rate is at an all time low. It’s less than half of what it was in the 1970’s, and is now at 38% of its peak in 1988. Even the teen pregnancy rate is at an all time low. It’s only 56% of its peak in 1990.

    African American teens? All time low. Hispanic teens? All time low. Non-Hispanic White teens? All time low. Will that stop us from going on and on and on about the “good old days”, how sex is ruining everything, and how today’s kids are just the worst? I doubt it.

    I swear, some day I’m going to get someone to fund me to do my “the sky isn’t falling” study. Funders? Pretty please?


    • Aaron, thanks for this and all you do. So many people out there base their world view on anecdotes, “common knowledge” (that is false), ancient dogma, false information, etc. There is a severe lack of rational, fact based decision making. I would LOVE it if you were able to do your “Sky Isn’t Falling” study. Maybe you could take up donations or use something like Kickstarter?

      Also, you might have seen this already but it’s a great book on how we are living in the most peaceful moment in human history…
      It’s super long but fascinating and well worth the read. It goes along with your sky isn’t falling theory.

    • Isn’t that just the title & content of your next book?

    • I think the standard first guess at an explanation is “lead removed from gasoline and paint”. Declining in 1990 is too soon for it to be “the internet” and easier access to relatively sensible information (wikipedia for birth control, wonder if that gets any hits?)

    • Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    • I recently read the Anti-Reactionary FAQ. It’s awfully long and detailed, and mostly aimed at people who want to bring back monarchy (seriously). But, among other things, it does a great job debunking, with data, the premise of “things are getting worse”.


    • P.S., every time I hear someone go on about “kids these days,” my stock reply is, “Why are you worried about the kids? It’s the adults who are the problem.”

    • I used to have these discussions (read: arguments) with people on various internet forums. In the end I just gave up. It’s pointless when people “know” that “common sense” tells them that “things” are getting “worse” despite with the “numbers” say,

      The old tome is that “the problem with common sense is that it isn’t that common.” I disagree–the problem with common sense is that it tends to be wrong quite often.

      Or, to quote Stephen Colbert, “I’m not a fan of facts. You see, the facts can change, but my opinion will never change, no matter what are the facts.”

    • But I thought teaching kids about sex, and how to protect themselves, *shudder*, was doomed to create thousands of babies and skyrocketing pregnancy rates? I mean thats conservatives have been telling me my whole life.

      I mean, surely its just like gun safety right? The more we teach kids about how to proper handle and behave around firearms, the more they will shoot each other right?

      Oh wait…they preach the opposite lesson on that topic.
      My bad.

    • “I wish they had let me do that work.”

      Side note, but I really dislike how academics use this sort of language. “Let” ≠ “give large sums of money.” No one is letting you or stopping you.

      • This is wonderful. I’m so glad that you are volunteering to spend your days doing survey research for Aaron for free. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of this study.

    • The pregnancy/abortion metrics are evidence of the kids’ intellect and common sense? Color me unimpressed. Watching these little entitled, mouth-breathing pupae try to function in society should explain the drop-off in teen pregnancy. They can’t figure out sex. They don’t have the social skills no negotiate their way into that situation. Now, I don’t have any pie charts to illustrate this for me, but I’ve watched 2 of these idiots with their mouths hanging open walk into closed doors in the last week because they are staring at their phones.

    • Certainly great news – although I will also add that pregnancy, birth rate and abortion are not the only ways to measure sexual health, or to take the sexual pulse of a generation. Dating violence, abuse, sexual assault (read here: Steubenville, Maryville, etc.). These things are harder to measure, and lend themselves more to anecdotal hysteria – which is why I think we are awash in the battle cry of “it’s getting worse” – though nobody seems to clearly articlate what “it” is, and why it’s getting so much worse.