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Under Age Pregnancy Amongst Teenagers

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A Report to the Nation Maggie Gallagher, Principal Investigator

The Age of Unwed Mothers

Is Teen Pregnancy the Problem?

Institute for American Values

This report comes from the Marriage Project of the Institute for American Values. Maggie Gallagher, the principal investigator, is an affiliate scholar at the Institute and the director of its Marriage Project. The Institute is grateful to Amara Bachu, Douglas J. Besharov, Norval Glenn, Dana Mack, Steven L. Nock, and Maris Vinovskis for their scholarly and editorial suggestions, and to the William H. Donner Foundation for its generous financial support of this initiative. The contributions of other supporters are also greatly appreciated.

On the cover: Maternity (1950) by Milton Avery. Oil on canvas, 32 X 46 inches. Collection of Sally M. Avery. ©1999, Milton Avery Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

© 1999, Institute for American Values. All rights reserved. No reproduction of the materials contained herein is permitted without the written permission of the Institute for American Values. ISBN 0-9659841-5-X Institute for American Values 1841 Broadway, Suite 211 New York, NY 10023 Tel: (212) 246-3942 Fax: (212) 541-6665

The Age of Unwed Mothers

Is Teen Pregnancy the Problem?

Executive Summary Why have three decades of intensive national effort to reduce teen pregnancy not been more successful? Largely because for three decades, we have framed the problem falsely. What we have called our “teen pregnancy” crisis is not really about teenagers. Nor is it really about pregnancy. It is about the decline of marriage. What has changed most in recent decades is not who gets pregnant, but who gets married. Demographically, our “teen pregnancy” problem is inseparable from the disconnect between marriage and childbearing that increasingly...

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