The year I began college – 2007 – a landmark study was released highlighting that one in five women on college campuses had experienced a rape or attempted rape. So, when I left home to attend school in DC my mom and sister were shouting warnings at me until I closed their car door. At the time, I thought they were being overprotective. By the time I completed my master’s program, however, the number of my friends that had been attacked by their friends or dating partners was more than I could count on both hands. Like 60 percent of sexual assault victims nationwide, most of my friends never reported these crimes. And our experiences are not isolated. Read More
Trend Lines Blog
Welcome to Child Trends’ blog, Trend Lines, where we share key findings from child and youth research and offer insights to inform policies and programs.
Child poverty, we know all too well, is a stubborn blight on the American Dream. It will likely require not only deepened commitments, but innovative thinking, if we are to see significant declines in this pre-eminent “risk factor.”
Perhaps it’s the case that poor families, fundamentally, respond to the same motivations as the rest of us. They want to look into the eyes of their child and see the promise, or at least the hope, of tomorrow. One demonstration of the power of hope is suggested by a recent study of parents of young children.
Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, the highest rate in the developed world.1 Within the U.S., teens and young adults have the highest unintended pregnancy rates, largely due to incorrect or inconsistent use of a contraceptive method.
Currently, about half of unintended pregnancies end in an abortion.2 According to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute, however, the abortion rate in the U.S. has dropped to a historical low; nearly the same rate as when abortion was legalized in 1973. Notably, the abortion rate dropped 13 percent between 2008 and 2011, the last year for which data are available. Many people may think this decline is attributable to new legislation in many states, which limits the availability and accessibility of abortion providers. In fact, however, much of this legislation was enacted after 2011, so we do not yet have data on the post-legislation years. Additionally, the greatest declines in the abortion rate were seen in states without restrictive laws. Instead, the authors of the report argue that the increasing use of highly effective, long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) played a central role. Read More
Books are my first media love, but at times I can definitely be a screen media junkie. I still drop Mean Girls references even though the movie is a decade old because I know the limit on those references does not exist. I will also admit that I once watched five straight hours of Community on Hulu Plus. So even though the reality TV show 16 and Pregnant aired on MTV is not my idea of “quality entertainment,” I am not surprised at the recent findings from the National Bureau of Economic Research that highlighted the show’s contribution to lower teen pregnancy rates. According to the report, 16 and Pregnant increased the number of searches and tweets about birth control and abortion, which the authors argue ultimately led to a 5.7 percent reduction in teen births in the 18 months after it was introduced.
Fusing information and entertainment is not a new idea. Read More
What is life like for the children in these families? How do their parents find the resources to put food on the table, much less pay for doctors’ visits or child care? Read More