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Misleading Slate Headline: 'Red States = Teen Births' September 28, 2012

In an astonishingly brief article which appears in Slate today, Chris Kirk tries to make the case that red states are more susceptible to teen pregnancy because gasp! abstinence-only sex education is promoted in those states, or sex education isn't even required.

Maybe Mr. Kirk didn't look at his own map.

Check out New Mexico. That state is trending blue right now, and it's got one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country.

Further, we can't think of any state that's redder than Utah. And yet it has some of the fewest teen pregnancy rates in the country.

Socially permissive California sits in the middle of color spectrum. But, based on Mr. Kirk's thesis, shouldn't it be as free from teen pregancy as Utah?

North Dakota and Nebraska, states that are consistently red, have fewer teen births than Obama's home state of Illinois.

In short, we can't conclude anything from this map.

That doesn't stop Mr. Kirk from beginning his article with this sentence: "It's easy to understand why New York City schools are handing out morning-after pills to teenage girls."

Actually, it isn't.

(Slate)



 

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