Roughly one in four teen girls become pregnant at least once by age 20 and fully half of all pregnancies in the United States are reported by women themselves as unplanned. Not too good.

By posting some intemperate thoughts about sex, love, relationships, pregnancy, childbearing, the media, public policy, our dogs, and other topics, we hope to spark a two-way discussion about how best to bring down the high rates of teen and unplanned pregnancy in this country. And who knows…from time to time, we might even offer up a few cogent thoughts that will be helpful.

Latest Post

20-Somethings, Colleges, Contraception, Relationships, Unplanned Pregnancy
October 23, 2014

college students, gradutationWe’d like to think that college students make better decisions as they continue through college. However, one study suggests this may not be the case, at least when it comes to risky sexual behavior. Surprisingly, the risks actually increase between freshman and senior year. 

A recent study* shows that:

  • The odds of having sex in a hookup doubles between freshman and senior year.
  • At the same time, the odds of using a condom when having sex during a hookup decreases by nearly half.
  • Most of this decline in condom use occurs among students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

So why do we care about unprotected sex among college students? Unprotected sex can lead to unplanned pregnancy, and we know that this is one reason why many young women don’t finish college.  It’s particularly concerning that the decline in condom use occurs among economically disadvantaged students, who are already at a high risk for dropping out. This reinforces the need to focus on unplanned pregnancy prevention in colleges.

At the same time, this study does leave some unanswered questions; it didn’t include other methods of contraception, so it’s possible that some students who stopped using condoms switched to more effective methods. Even if that’s true, though, the steep decline in condom use suggests an alarming proportion of students are at risk of sexually transmitted infections.

* Bearak, J.M. (2014).  Casual contraception in casual sex:  Life-cycle change in undergraduates’ sexual behavior in hookups [Advance Access]. Social Forces.  00(0) 1-31.  Retrieved from: http://sf.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/10/15/sf.sou091.full.
Authored by: Alison Stewart Ng

Alison Stewart Ng is the Research Coordinator at The National Campaign. She is responsible for keeping The National Campaign’s online data portal up to date with the latest statistics, and for providing assistance with research requests.  She has co-authored Freeze Frame 2012, and three new additions to our Why It Matters series.  These briefs provide research on the consequences of teen childbearing on topics including education and economic wellbeing, single parenthood and father involvement, and child welfare.

During her time at The National Campaign, Alison has participated in several other projects, including updates to the public cost of teen childbearing, and the redesign of the data portal.   In early 2014, she co-authored a Science Says on teen childbearing in rural areas, and she is currently working on an analysis of factors explaining this rural-urban disparity.

Alison received her BA in International Relations from Tufts University, and is currently working on her MS in Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University.  She currently resides in Washington, DC with her husband, Abraham.

Other Recent Posts

Men Playing Football, Bedsider, Pregnant Pause
October 21, 2014
Authored by: Lawrence Swiader

Lawrence Swiader has spent his career studying the intersection of technology, media, education, and how it can better people’s lives.  Currently, as Senior Director of Digital Media at The National Campaign he leads the Bedsider program which makes use of digital media to improve the reproductive health behaviors of young adults in the U.S.  For 10 years before that, he used technology as a tool to teach about the history of the Holocaust and to motivate people to act to end contemporary genocide.

In his second home of Athens, Greece, he has consulted on various projects for clients including the Athens Metro and museums of Greek history.  Lawrence graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 1989 with a degree in Television, Radio, and Film and in 1993 earned a Master’s degree in Instructional Design, Development, and Evaluation from Syracuse University’s School of Education.

Lawrence has a 13-year-old daughter and finds inspiration from playing tennis, sea kayaking in Greece, art, and a good book.

  “What about men?” This is a question those of us who work on the Bedsider.org program often receive and it is a question that I’ll address at a session of the upcoming American Public Health Association annual conference in New Orleans. Without a doubt Bedsider’s focus is women and, as a recent...
20-Somethings, Bedsider, Men, Unplanned Pregnancy
Books
October 17, 2014
Authored by: Jessica Sheets Pika

Jessica Sheets Pika is the Director of Communications at The National Campaign. In that capacity, Jessica is the community manager and content strategist for The National Campaign’s award winning websites, www.TheNationalCampaign.org (the Campaign’s corporate website) and www.StayTeen.org (the Campaign’s teen website). She curates and writes content, manages consultants and content contributors, handles both sites’ social media presences, and develops new activities and content areas for both sites. In addition, Jessica handles press initiatives, spearheads the design and creation of new National Campaign materials, and provides general communications and editorial guidance to all program areas of the Campaign.

Jessica joined The National Campaign in 2006 and has more than 10 years of experience in the non-profit healthcare world. She received a Bachelors degree in Communications and Political Science from Wake Forest University and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, her adorable son, and their dog, Cora.

The Washington Post: "Is Sex Only for Rich People?"Catherine Rampell (@crampell)America has decided: Sex is for rich people. Non-procreative sex in particular. How else would you explain the trap we’re laying for poor people who deign to get it on?The Atlantic: "Why Kids Sext"Hanna Rosin (@...
20-Somethings, Contraception, Popular Culture, Teens, Unplanned Pregnancy
Teen-Mom-2
October 16, 2014
Authored by: Amy Kramer

Amy Kramer is the Senior Director of Entertainment Media at The National Campaign. She came to the Campaign in 2007 after more than fifteen years as a television news producer and communications consultant.

Amy’s role at the Campaign is to advance the organization’s mission by working with entertainment media executives, writers, producers, and others to help them incorporate teen and unplanned pregnancy prevention messages into the content of their work. She consults and advises on many television programs and websites, writes episode discussion guides for parents and teens in order to help them watch TV together and talk about it afterward, produces Campaign PSAs and other videos for educational and promotional purposes, and works with outside experts on the media goals of the Campaign.

Prior to joining the Campaign, Amy was a producer at ABC, CNN, and CNBC. She began her career at the political Hotline, a daily news wire service covering state and national politics, and then started in television as a political researcher for CBS News. As a communications consultant she worked with corporations and foundations on issues such as drug abuse, education, health care, aging, and employee/employer relations. She has moderated focus groups, written surveys, and provided analysis and direction on public opinion related to these topics. She has also worked as a political campaign press aide and a summer camp waterski instructor. Amy graduated magna cum laude from Lehigh University with degrees in government and journalism. She lives in Maryland with her husband and dog.

Teen Mom 2’s fourth season finished last night with the second part of the reunion finale special. As always, the season was filled with lots of drama, tears, triumphs, and reminders about why parenting before you’re ready is not easy or glamorous. The moms—no longer teenagers but rather young...
Media, Popular Culture, Teen Pregnancy