Anorak | 98% of Catholic women use contraception – nuns excluded

98% of Catholic women use contraception – nuns excluded

by | 15th, February 2012

DID you know that 98% of Catholic Women living in America use contraception? The Guttmacher Institute says it’s so.

The Institute’s overarching goal is to ensure the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health for all people worldwide.

Other facts from a survey tell us:

* Among never-married young adult women, 79% are  sexually experienced. Evangelicals are less likely  than Catholics or Mainline Protestants to have ever  had sex (75% vs. 89% and 86%, respectively).

* Among all women of reproductive age who have  never had sex, Evangelicals are more likely than  Catholics or Mainline Protestants to cite religious or  moral reasons as their main motivation for remaining abstinent (63% vs. 31% and 36%, respectively).

* Never-married women of reproductive age who attend religious services every week are less likely  to have ever had sex than are those who attend less frequently (48% vs. 74–80%), and this association applies to both adolescents and young adult  women.

* Similarly, never-married women with a religious affiliation who indicate that religion is very important in their daily lives are less likely to be sexually experienced than are those who indicate religion is less important (59% vs. 74–80%), and this association applies to both adolescents and young adult women.

So. Naughty nuns are rare.

Lydia McGrew notes:

The survey was limited to women between 15-44. Ah, well, that explains how we weren’t including the elderly, but it also means that the silly “percent of all Catholic women” thing should be chucked out right from the beginning. More strikingly, as Neil pointed out to me after looking up the study, it excluded any women who were a) not sexually active, where that is defined as having had sexual intercourse in the past three months (there go all the nuns), b) postpartum, c) pregnant, or d) trying to get pregnant!

In other words, the study was specifically designed (as the prose discussion on p. 8 makes explicit, in bold print) to include only women for whom a pregnancy would be unintended and who are “at risk” of becoming pregnant. Whether or not it included women who considered themselves neither trying nor not trying to get pregnant (there are some such women in the world) is unclear. It’s also unclear whether it included women who have had their reproductive organs removed because of some medical problem. Presumably the study was intended to exclude women in both of these categories, as neither would count as a woman “at risk of an unintended pregnancy.”

Such are the facts…

Also, the report says:

Teen pregnancies have declined dramatically in the United States since their peak in the early 1990s, as have the births and abortions that result; in 2008, teen pregnancies reached their lowest level in nearly 40 years…In 2008, the teen pregnancy rate was 67.8 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15­–19, which means that about 7% of U.S. teens became pregnant that year. This rate represents a 42% decline from the peak in 1990 (116.9 per 1,000). Similarly, the birthrate declined 35% between 1991 and 2008, from 61.8 to 40.2 births per 1,000 teens; the abortion rate declined 59% from its 1988 peak of 43.5 abortions per 1,000 teens to its 2008 level of 17.8 per 1,000.

A large body of research has shown that the long-term decline in teen pregnancy, birth and abortion rates was driven primarily by improved use of contraception among teens. And while there was also a decrease during the 1990s in the overall proportion of females aged 15–19 who were sexually experienced, there has been almost no change in the proportion in recent years. Continuing decreases in teen pregnancy more recently may be driven by increased use of the most effective contraceptive methods as well as dual method use. In sum, teens appear to be making the decision to be more effective contraceptive users, and their actions are paying off in lower pregnancy, birth and abortion rates.

So. Contractpion is a good thing that works, right?

Posted: 15th, February 2012 | In: Reviews Comments (4) | TrackBack | Permalink