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Teen pregnancy rates per 1,000.

(click on image to enlarge)

When Red States get their social problems under control, and things such as teen pregnancy down to nationwide lows, then they can try and foist their solutions on the rest of the country.

But as things currently stand, on this issue (as well as others like divorce), the Red States have no ground to stand on. Those crazy New Englad liberals are running circles around them in this tangible measure of their residents' "values".

(Source: CDC (PDF) via It affects you.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:57 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You forgot the REAL 'values'. (none)
    They probably also lead in cross burnings and minority/gay killing, which is the REAL values of many of these idiots.

    It's been a time, therefore, of illusion and false hopes, and the longer it continues, the more dangerous it becomes.- John Anderson

    by Anderson Republican on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:51:58 AM PST

    •  hypocrisy in the reds....we know that.... (3.71)
      look, i like to bash bubba & jim bob just like the next elitist tree-bark liberal, buuuuut:

      i think the red/blue state thing is going to get us nowhere....

      i like the purple map that kos put up a month ago.

      it reminds us that:

      1.  we have lot more in common

      2.  that the demographics are changing -- in our favor i believe

      3.  that we're not alone (no matta how much we're surrounded down heah in Texas)

      4.  that even with state/national losses, we can balance it with local wins...

      understand the anger -- i live in texas.....but it's distracting to our goals & hurting our psyches maybe.

      data like this will help us prove the hypocrisy in the reds...

      yes, there are definitely some red states but i'd like to take florida, ohio, the great lakes states, northern midwest, the up & coming southwest out of the red list....

      we came close in several of those states & the demographics are heading our way.....

      let 'em have alabama!

      Recession means that people's incomes, at the employer level, are going down, basically, relative to costs, people are getting laid off. Bush

      by krazypuppy on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:01:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Poverty and hopelessness means more early births (4.00)
        I'll butt in with an upthread mention of an important post below that shows the red/blue states by income to similar effect.

        This is a global issue and a class issue in which some of the posts below stake out positions on the race/class divide that many may find unseemly.

        When the only hope in life is the afterlife.

        Hal C.

      •  let'em have Alabama (none)
        Hey, I live there. It is kind of fun watching the political games though.

        One thing to remember NASA is one of the state's largest employers.

        •  hmmmm (none)
          no offense intended -- i'm in texas -- the bastard child of liberals....

          the thing is there's a decent democratic base here...that just....needs....a....good kick in the ass!

          hmmm....nasa, huh?  & birmingham...

          look, we're not turning these states red nationally but we should be able to hold our districts -- that in it self will weaken them...

          that's all we have to do for now...

          Recession means that people's incomes, at the employer level, are going down, basically, relative to costs, people are getting laid off. Bush

          by krazypuppy on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:37:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You are so right. (4.00)
        These blue state-red state arguments just re-enforce the right-wing media's cartoon of Democrats as "elitists" who look down on the values of ordinary Americans. When we make these kinds of arguments, we just make Sean Hannity's and Rush Limbaugh's jobs that much easier.
    •  No wonder values ... (none)
      are such a big deal to them. They! are a mess . . .

      A stupid man's vote means as much as a wise man's

      by tchoup on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:45:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously (none)
        You may have meant that as a joke, but I was thinking the same thing, actually.

        If your local communities manifest a lot of social problems (like teen pregnancy, divorce, and the other phenomena that are higher in the red states), you might well be more likely to want some sort of greater public emphasis on "moral values."

        Of course we've reduced many of these problems in the blue states by other means.

        •  Projection (none)
          What's really going on is simple projection.  This emphasis on claimed ``values'' is nothing more than blaming people the religious right already hates instead of looking to solve the problem.

          To the fundies, the way to confront an uncertain world is to seek the certainty of irrational prejudices and superstition.

        •  Solved? (none)
          Urrr, births at large are much higher in rural areas than anywhere else throughout history.  Why should it be amazing that it remains true at every level of income and age group?
    •  Red v. Blue (none)
      No, no, it's an important distinction, the red v. blue thing.

      I didn't know that my blue tax bucks are going to prop up those red state welfare queens.  I hadn't realized that the reason red states are so worried about divorce is that--they have so many miserable marriages and then so many divorces  And the reason they don't want to educate their kids about sex is that they think sex education will lead to their kids having even more sex than they already are.  And even more teen-age pregnancies.

      It's all about values, is it not?

      •  The "red state welfare" myth (none)
        is exactly that. A few people with their heads up their ass and lots of intolerance in their hearts looking for someone to hate.

        Edwards Airforce Base, The Presidio, Vandenberg,
        China Lake, El Centro, Lemoore, Sierra army depot, LA Air force base, Fort Hunter Liggett, JFT, Seal Beach NWT, Barstow Marine Logistics, Fort Irwin, Twentynine palms, Miramar, San diego recruit depot, Camp pendleton, NAVAIR, Coronado, Sand Diego space and naval warfare center, Onizuka, Travis AFB, Point Mogul, Yuba...

        Twenty four bases sucking from the federal teat in California because California has political pull.

        I guess its only acceptable on KOS to be ignorant, use falsehoods and hate groups you know nothing about when the target is .. well most of the nation that isnt northeastern or cali eh..

        The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

        by cdreid on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:05:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll agree I'm intolerant... (none)
          ...when I drag a black man to death behind my truck or tie a gay man to a fence and kill him.

           As far as military bases and personnel goes, California is #1. Ask around and figure out which ones are #'s 2-10 before you start talking about 'sucking at teats'.

          It's been a time, therefore, of illusion and false hopes, and the longer it continues, the more dangerous it becomes.- John Anderson

          by Anderson Republican on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:23:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh really? (none)
            The men who drug that man to death were tried by a southern jury, found guilty by evil ignorant southerners, and sentenced to prison.

            Whereas the NYC cops who shot a black man 41 times for the crime of entering his apartment were applauded by that cities mayor and its people. The cops who anally raped a black immigrant it seems were also NYC cops. The police who brutally beat Rodney King were "blue state eutopia" cops. YOu know the ones who pretty much walked.

            The city known for race riots is... take a second : Los Angeles California

            The two cities known nationwide for the most racist police forces are : Los Angeles and New York City.

            Golly.. us southerners are such racists...

            The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

            by cdreid on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:42:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  love these handy-dandy charts (1.00)
    I think I'll pull out that recent chart of avg IQ from each red/blue state and put the two  side by side.  It just begs the question, why do the stupid people insist on breeding so much?  We're suffering from a bad case of reverse-Darwinism.
    •  I'm doing my best to correct the situation. (none)
      I've fathered four children :)  
      I started college at age fifteen and my IQ was tested to be a minimun of 145 (VA test didn't measure higher).
    •  not to spoil the fun (4.00)
      but the IQ chart has been pretty thoroughly debunked. Here's the link to the Snopes entry.
      •  Yeah, well, snopes... (none)
        I've learned that you can't trust Snopes on anything political.  The guy who runs it doesn't have a hidden agenda, he has a quite obvious preference for conservatives and Republicans.  Nothing wrong with that, but it does mean that you can't trust him on political matters.  Check out his page on Bush which mostly contains debunked anti-Bush legends, and verified legends that put Bush in a heroic light.  Compare and contrast to the page on John Kerry.  You will notice that in every instance where it is possible to label an anti-Kerry attack as true, or mixed, they have.

        Again, there's nothing wrong with political bias, but we have to recognize it where it exists.  On everything that doesn't involve politcs Snopes is a wonderful resource.  But when it touches politics you must assume that they will play up any anti-liberal/Democrat angle and downplay any anti-conservative/Republican angle.

        Of course, having said that I also have to agree that the IQ vs. Voting Preference chart is bogus, and plays off the false notion that IQ is a fixed measure of intelligence.

        •  true enough (none)
          a very good point. It does signify a sort of 'mainstream' debunking though - most of the sources I found in the immediate days after the IQ chart started circulating were from fire-breathing wingnuts...
        •  Not sure that Snopes is conservative (none)
          Among the stuff I've found on Kerry there are items debunking 1) the Swifties, 2) the doctored picture of Kerry with Jane Fonda, and 3) the contention that Heinz outsources its work (and they also point out that Teresa Heinz Kerry owns only four percent of the company, anyhow).
          Although Snopes is conservative on at least one thing--they maintain that every bad thing ever said about Jane Fonda is absolutely true.
      •  More fun (none)
        The well-known IQ chart was debunked, but there is a lesser known one which is more "purple" but still has red states trailing as expected. Google for state IQ and you shall find.
    •  Switch the word stupid with minority and... (4.00)
      you may realize just how racist you are.  In fact, the numbers are heavily weighted by the Southern rural black populations.

      "It just begs the question, why do the stupid people insist on breeding so much?"

    •  Really ignorant (3.75)
      ..comment in my opinion.  You should be ashamed. I refuse to support your chauvinism. Also remember, that many of the red states just have the following:

      1. more "colored" people (black and brown)
      2. "colored" people get care in public clinics because they are POOR
      3. clinics report pregnancy termination more accurately than private doctors who see the wealthier and whiter women
      4. no way to know, but blue states may actually have higher teen pregnancy rates but may have more access to private docs and to RU 47 which may not be reported.  No WAY TO KNOW

      5. Focus on other issues that will bring us together - good jobs, education and fair access to housing and healthcare and less on bullshit like why "those people" have so many babies. Sheesh!
    •  Average IQ chart = hoax (1.66)
      The book it is supposedly from does not contain any such information. Check here if you actually want to learn something
  •  Pregnancy vs. Parenthood (none)
    I think some minor correction is needed here ... not every pregnancy turns into parenthood.  The statistics are for women between 15 and 19 who have delivered children, right?  Not sure, though.

    Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community.

    by bink on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:54:16 AM PST

    •  Live births was the term I read (none)
      in the document (although admittedly, I only scanned it).

      My reading is that this is for pregnancies brought to term and doesn't include those that were terminated.

      So a Red Stater could turn this into a "see how many more abortions those liberal freaks have?"

      Did anyone else get a different impression of the data?

    •  Red States Need More Abortion! (1.50)
      Those kids in the Red States should start killing more of their fetuses.  Get those numbers down.  Or, maybe the blue states should stop killing their kids, get their numbers up to the national average.  Or maybe all children should slow down their rate of copulating.

      Or maybe we could give them more guns.  That might fix the problem too.

      There's plenty of solutions to these problems.  

    •  yes (none)
      Yes, that's correct. It says "Teen Parent Rate," not "Teen Pregnancy Rate." And the CDC report mentions this as well.

      And it's hardly a minor correction. Sorry, but this chart doesn't tell us much. It could just be saying that teenagers in red states are choosing more often to have their babies instead of abort them. Which is what pro-life people would want.

      •  But do they keep their babies? (none)
        I watched a news magazine- 20/20 or 60 minutes recently where they discussed infant abandonment.  They found 13 of them in one year in Houston alone and put up billboards to encouage women that there were other options.  

        One of the women who abandoned her child said that when the baby was born she didn't think about the fact that it was her baby... she just needed to do something with it so she wrapped it in a tee shirt and then in a plaid shirt and took it downstairs and put it in the garbage can outside her dorm and went about her business.

        And then there's the woman who cut off her baby's arms and watched her bleed to death...

        You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out God hates all the same people you do... Anne Lamott

        by crkrjx on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:10:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  red state pregnancy (none)
        So what if blue staters are having more abortions.  Even if they are having enough abortions to make the stats even, red-staters have still failed to come up with a viable alternative to the reality of teen pregnancy.

        Is it not a hypocrisy of values to have so many teen pregnancies?  It has been my impression that the teenage mothers' in the two red states I have lived in (both "top 10" states, woo) are almost glorified for "doing the right thing," i.e.  committing themselves to a life of single parenthood, "welfare-mom" status, the lack of an education in most cases, etc.  And I don't think I need to point out what the right thinks of all those types of people, despite the fact that they are the wonderfully moral ladies refusing/unable to get abortions.

        Ok, ok, so teen sex is condemned too...up until the girl becomes pregnant.  Which is good, we should be supportive of girls in that situation.  But again with the red state double standard: what do they do about the men impregnating these girls?  Where is the outcry that statutory rape laws are so seldom enforced?  Why are deadbeat dads not as big a national issue as abortions?  It takes two to tango, yet all too often the victims of teen pregnancy/abstinence only education/unavailability of birth control are women only.

        "Loyalty to country: always. Loyalty to government: when it deserves it." -Mark Twain

        by quackard on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:22:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You hit on many themes (none)
          ..all valid and related to unwanted pregnancies across the country - not just in the so called "red states".

          Unwanted pregnancies have one of two outcomes 1) they are terminated or miscarried or 2) the young moms have the baby.  

          Nationally, our teen pregancy rate is going down, though rates of unmarried women having babies has been going up.  

          This whole discussion and the "facts" behind the statistics is actually quite complex but has been simplified and made a lightining rod for way too many so called progressives who post on Kos.  I say so called because many of the comments that I read are breathtakingly judgmental and downright prejudiced - both culturally and economically.  Any republican red stater reading here would have their beliefs about so called liberals re-affirmed.

          I ask, what happened to progressive ideas and values?  We used to say thinkgs like that the distribution of wealth and power in our country did not empower the average person and that the outcome of that was a culture of huge disparities that was difficult to escape.  So much for that, huh?

          I am pretty disgusted.

    •  yes (none)
      Yes, that's correct. It says "Teen Parent Rate," not "Teen Pregnancy Rate." And the CDC report mentions this as well.

      And it's hardly a minor correction. Sorry, but this chart doesn't tell us much. It could just be saying that teenagers in red states are choosing more often to have their babies instead of abort them. Which is what pro-life people would want.

    •  Yes: Dear Kos: Please correct the post! (none)
      We don't want to be nailed on inaccuracy.  The data are on teen births, not teen pregancies.

      By the way, this came up on Ross's original post on "It Concerns You" (follow Kos' link).  Ross claims that looking up the actual teen pregnancy rates from the CDC present a similar picture, but the red/blue contrast is less stark.

      We're just getting started.

      by jem6x on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:21:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  FWIW. (none)
      I worked the actual pregnancy data, cribbed from the reference offered by silence below, and put it in a diary:

      It still shows a dramatic difference.  Teen pregnancy is much higher in red states.

      We're just getting started.

      by jem6x on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:17:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do As I Say, Not As I Do (none)
    "When Red States get their social problems under control, and things such as teen pregnancy down to nationwide lows, then they can try and foist their solutions to the rest of the country."

    When you are so busy telling yourself how virtuous you are, you have to sweep life's little problems under the rug.

  •  What's the matter with (none)
  •  Anyone think... (none)
    a little sex ed would help? I mean if you don't know that you really can get pregnant the first time...

    My mind is my own church. - Thomas Paine

    by Tuco1 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:55:13 AM PST

    •  I don't think so. (none)
      There is a misconception that the red states don't teach birth control. Well, I found out firsthand that they do. I live in Alabama (worst education system in the U.S.) and I have often had to attend classes with my 12 year old that suffers from an anxiety disorder (only way to keep him in class sometimes).

      Last month, I got to go through abstinance training. It wasn't that bad of a program. While the primary emphasis is on abstinance; they did discuss condems ect.

      However, when I tried to put my freshly gathered knowledge into use at home, my wife told me to get over it. I could sleep anytime. Perhaps I shouldn't have married a younger woman.

      •  Where in Ala, May I Ask? (none)

         Big difference between Mtn. Brook school system and, say, Greene Co. school system.  Which, of course, is part of the problem:  the continuation of segregation and Banana Republicanism via de facto segregation via in Alabama (and Mississippi and North Florida, etc.) school systems.


        "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

        by BenGoshi on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:19:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Brownsboro (none)
          Little town outside of Huntsville in Madison County; you are quite correct in pointing out the disparity in the parts of the state.

          Northern Alabama tends to be more progressive but not always; it was our very own Sen. Tom Butler who introduced legislation to make the sale of anything intended to stimulate the genitals illegal.

          What I found to be really funny was that kids were allowed to attend a sex ed class (with parental permission slip); but the school didn't have Halloween bulletin boards. Halloween is the latest holliday to fall victem to the far right. It has re-emerged as the politically correct fall festival. Which is not associated with ghosts, witches, ect.

          •  Unintended consequences (none)

            You wrote:

            " . . . it was our very own Sen. Tom Butler who introduced legislation to make the sale of anything intended to stimulate the genitals illegal."

             So... that would mean banning photos of Hitler and Rumsfeld from all future meetings of John Giles' little coven of nuts, eh?

             I'm in Bhm.  My office is in Artur's district, and my house, 5 min away, is in Spencer's.  I'm like the guy with his feet in the oven and his head in the freezer saying, "On average, I feel just fine."

             I've had the honor of meeting Callahan.  I like him.  He's typical, though - his heart's in the right place, but he's concerned about being as outspoken as, say, someone from a "safe" Democratic district in Mass.  He is NOT a Mad Zell Democrat at all, and for that the state, and your district in particular, can be thankful.


            "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

            by BenGoshi on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:54:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've met most of the north Alabama delegation. (none)
              At least those that have held office for sometime. But I don't know many of them well. Some of them are quite colorful. For example, my father who served in the Alabama House for 12 years. He lost his last election back in the eighties because he punched another legislator out on the house floor. Not the most even temper in the world; but he obviously was willing to fight for his beliefs.
              •  I can almost recollect that . . . (none)

                  . . . it'll come to me eventually, who your dad is.  Fighting for one's beliefs - what a concept.


                "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

                by BenGoshi on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:28:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Birmingham Judge (none)
                  At least you guys have U.W. Clemons.

                  Do you remember the blind legislator from Fort Payne? He taught me how to play dominoes when I was in the third grade. He had the best memory of anyone I've ever met.

                  •  Chief Judge Clemon is good, (none)

                     but not perfect.  What he doesn't abide is BS, from either side.  It's great to be in front of him (I've been on both sides, P and D, in front of him) and the other side's going down some road o' sophistry and he just cuts them off and says, "Listen, counselor, is it A or B?" and the lawyer will start getting all long-winded again, and he'll just cut him off again and say something like,"You apparently didn't hear my question:  is it A or B?"  And if the lawyer tries being "cute" again, then the Judge will get angry, and you don't want him angry.  He's made me want to crawl into a hole a couple of times - in front of a jury (ouch!), but I still won.

                     He'll rule from the bench -wham!, but take 6-9 months after that to actually Enter the Order.  That part's maddening.

                     By the way, keep this a secret, folks.



                    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

                    by BenGoshi on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:36:55 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  The Blind Legislator... (none)

                     . . . No, don't recall him.  Wasn't George Corley's brother blind?


                    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

                    by BenGoshi on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:43:30 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe (none)
        abstinence training only works if both parties learn to "just say no"!

        Thanks for the clarification.  It think the lack of sex ed in red America is a common misconception among many of us.

        My mind is my own church. - Thomas Paine

        by Tuco1 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:25:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wait a minute (none)
        Abstinence training is not birth control, it's useless bullshit.  You said yourself they didn't discuss condoms, so where is the control?

        That abstinence training is really offensive.  Not in of itslef, but in that it insists on leaving out other parts that equally valid.

        I may be missing something here.  I often miss irony and satire in text, maybe that's it.

    •  Premarital sex and early marriage (none)
      There was a diary on this over the weekend.  IIRC, the high divorce rate in red states has been correlated with earlier marriage.  I also believe that the early marriage rate in red states may correlate with a greater social prohibition on premarital sex and particularly on living together.  Plus there is less education on and availability of birth control in red states.  they rely on abstinence education, and it doesn't work.  So people marry early to have sex and when things don;t work out (likely if you are less mature), then they divorce.  Or they get pregnant and get married.  Same result.

      In blue states things are more liberal.  People can postpone marriage until they are ready for it and they can live together first.  So the divorce rate is lower.  And the greater availability of contraception (and abortion) means a lower teen birth rate.

      The far right wants women who have sex outside of marriage to suffer.  The vast majority supports available and affordable contraception, both as a way to reduce teen births and to reduce the need for abortion.  We should make this the cornerstone of our reproductive rights policy. Take them head on on this issue.

      If you're going in the wrong direction and you stay the course, where, exactly, do you wind up?

      by Mimikatz on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:00:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Token Republican analysis (3.66)
    Here are my immediate responses (some of which are up thread as well).

    1. These are teen mother statistics, not teen pregnancy.  This discounts abortions which occur disproportionately in liberal states.  The title of the post should be changed as it is misleading (teen mothers...)

    2. Marriage occurs at 17-19 for a small but insignificant part of the population in middle America.  Being a teen mother may still not be a good situation, but there is an assumption that young motherhood is not a good thing on this thread.  Some of the disparity is due to young, married women having children at higher rates in conservative areas.

    3. Poverty and education levels affect this disparity.  I hope that these statistics are a good reminder that everyone needs to continue working on providing opportunities to poor communities in all states and not just in urban areas.  Many things can be done outside of government, so being in opposition should not be used as an excuse to hope for the worst for 4 years.

    4. Statistics.  Remember that overal teen pregnancy rates have been declining for almost two decades now.  We had a lower rate of "young teen" (10-14 years old) pregnancies in 2003 than in any year since 1946.  It is still a problem, but it is trending in the right direction (assuming a normative stance that pregnancies in the 10-14 year old category are to be discouraged).
    •  asdf (none)
      If by disproportionly you mean fewer abortions occur in blue states than red states...

      Liquidtoast Blogl
      "Hell is other people at breakfast" - Sartre

      by Aurostion on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:59:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Points (4.00)
      Some of these points are valid, but some are not.  For example, abortions do not happen disproportionately in liberal states.  Abortions happen disproportionately in states with large populations.  I'm not sure exactly how to explain this, but Texas and Florida have high abortion rates, as to Illinois and California.  So does Kansas, for some reason.

      In addition, some states, like Oregon, end up being the place of choice for women from neighboring states, like Idaho and even Utah, to go for abortion services.  This is because some women feel that they cannot get a safe and confidential abortion in their local community.

      Personally, I'm not a big fan of abortion.  But it is not a "plague" of liberal states.

      Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community.

      by bink on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:00:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Plague... (none)
        I find the idea of nature happening being a plague funny.

        When we all get together and say "Kids with raging hormones are going to have sex, no matter what" , then people can get real about how to deal with teen pregnancies/mothers.

        Mother Mary was a unmarried teen-age mother, too.  So it's been happening for a long time, kids.  

        Suppress This, Mutha Scratcher.

        by chanupi on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:06:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Abortion statistics state-by-state (none)
        Here. The correlation is not as exact.  But WA, OR, NY, MA all seem high and much of the Plains States and Mountain West look low.  The South is hard to figure out because Democratic-leaning minority populations have a disproportionate amount of abortions in those states skewing the political result.  Kansas looks like an anomoly, but otherwise it seems to follow the same pattern as the teen parent rates.
        •  Data (none)
          Democratic-leaning minority populations have a disproportionate amount of abortions.

          Where is the data for this?

          Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community.

          by bink on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:20:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Race and Abortion (none)
            The most recent I could find online were for the mid-90s, but the trend is that African-Americans are making up a larger percentage of the total. In 1972, it was White 77%, African-American 23%.  In 1994, it was White 58%, African-American 33%.  "White" includes Hispanic women.  African-Americans make up rougly 17-18% of the country's population.
        •  Hmmm... (none)
          Democratic-leaning minority populations have a disproportionate amount of abortions...

          Strange. I don't remember anyone stopping the young woman I escorted through the picket line to ask whether she was a registered Democrat or Republican.

          •  Democratic-leaning minority (none)
            Minorities, especially African-Americans, vote heavily Democratic.  If you're going to call Texas a "Red State" when it went 65-35 for the President, it makes at least as much sense to say "Democratic-leaning minorities."  The main difference is that the latter includes the caveat of "leaning," rather than the stark dichotomy of red state vs. blue state.
        •  Rate of preg. (none)
          I quickly tossed both sets of numbers and calculated the preg rate by state.  (Obviously, I made the simplifying assumption that abortion rates for girls is comparable to the rates for all women of child-bearing age.  Nor did I factor in live birth rate.)

          The top 10 states for preg:

          The bottom 10 states:

          For what its worth, big blue states NY & IL 15 and 16 respectively.  CA is unranked because they don't report abortion rates.

          Aside from MA looking better and better like the nation's shining light, its hard to make any definitive statements about these results.

      •  funny (but not so funny) -- (4.00)

         if Roe v. Wade gets overturned, then abortion will and things return to the status quo ante (i.e., abortion's legal or not state-by-state), then, abortion rates will "soar" in the "liberal" states because they'll still be legal there and, importantly, all those moms and dads from Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, etc., who have those nasty, creepy, "W" stickers in the back windows of their BMW SUV's, will be sending their little sorority-girl daughters to NY and MASS for "Spring Break" to take care of that "little issue."  Oh, they'll stay at the Waldorf (it gives a Jr. League discount -- by the way, I've nothing against the Jr. League per se, it does some good works, just some of the Eva Brauns who populate it) and see "The Lion King" and do some shopping, too -- in that awful, awful, librul NYC . . .



        "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

        by BenGoshi on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:27:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The rich one will all be going to blue states. (4.00)
          The poor ones will be staying home and dying from botched alley abortions.  I hate abortion, but I also hate the injustices that occur as the result of rich women who can get a safe one while poor ones cannot.

          "Sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." --The Queen, Alice in Wonderland

          by DCDemocrat on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:37:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly. (4.00)

             Nothing to add to what you wrote.

             As for mine, above (and most of mine), it's written between emails, phone calls, memos, etc., that's why it (and so many of mine) are notoriously rambling and have horrible punctuation and sentences that take hair-pin turns and (if I may flatter myself) look as if Wm F. Burroughs and James Joyce's unnatural love child decided to write political screeds...


            "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

            by BenGoshi on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:45:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's funny that you should write what you did (none)
              I was admiring the style you used in your prose.  You write very lucidly, and I always find your comments full of good ideas.

              "Sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." --The Queen, Alice in Wonderland

              by DCDemocrat on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:21:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good Lord how you can make (4.00)

                 a person's head swell.  Thanks mightily.  I'll try and continue to make the complementary words you've assigned to me fit my missives' content and style, and, I'm sure, too often fall short.

                 Kind regards -


                "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

                by BenGoshi on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:45:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Kansas (none)
        Based on a chart listed above, I think Kansas's numbers are inflated by a few thousand women a year crossing the border to avoid Missouri's strict laws on abortion.
      •  Explanation for Kansas (none)
        When I was in high school in Wichita, KS (6 years ago), I used to read in the paper every summer about abortion protests in which people would come from all over the country to participate.  I wasn't particularly interested in it at the time, but I remember hearing that Wichita has an abortion clinic that is one of the few in the midwest to offer late term abortions.  I don't know exactly what is meant by "late term" here, but I imagine that's the explanation for the high rates in Kansas - people coming from all around for that procedure.

        I just checked out, where it lists abortion clinics by state.  There are no clinics listed for Nebraska, Missouri, or Oklahoma (which all border Kansas).  Do these states seem abnormally low?

        Also, here is the clinic I'm talking about.  From the front page of their site:

        we have more experience in late abortion services over 24 weeks than anyone else currently practicing in the Western Hemisphere, Europe and Australia.

        So I'm almost 100% certain the increased numbers in Kansas are because people from about 4 states get abortions there, plus people who want late term abortions go there.
    •  Don't Get Pissed At Me, But Here's Another (none)
      I wonder about the racial breakdown.  Look at the top 20--other than AR, KY and WV, all of those states have fairly high percentages of minorities.  Minorities have historically had more out of wedlock births, and if this still holds, it could be that those states are high in out-of-wedlock births in part, the Repubs would argue, because those states have more African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.

      Now of course if you look at the other end of the scale, you'll see several states that have minority populations higher than the national average, such as NJ, NY, PA, MI and MD.  But I would anticipate blame being attributed to those states' minorities.  

      •  "Blame" (none)
        would more accurately be laid at the feet of income level. The more money you have the fewer children you are likely to have, the fewer problems in general etc....

        It is a bit interesting that Kossacks find it quite acceptable to target "evil red staters" with ignorant stereotyping. To find out the stats they are using, though being false in the first place, are more related to race and poverty levels than anything....

        The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

        by cdreid on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:13:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for saying so (2.00)
          I said the same and I see you rated it.  I am a conservative (generally) but have been coming to dkos to try and engage people I don't agree with.  When I see your honesty, it gives me hope because two intelligent, reasonable sides can make the country stronger.
    •  Good points - some caveats (none)
      Hi to our own visiting "civilized" republican.  Just can't stop sluming with the infidels, huh?

      ..reporting is very iffy and inaccurate across the board.  Some "abortions" are not counted -they take place in doctors offices instead of clinics that keep better stats.  Also the RU 47 , are abortions that happen at home once the medication has done the actual termination of the pregnancy.  The stat is also probably not accurately kept by the docs in private practice.  

      This may actually favor under-reporting of teen births in blue states versus red states where poorer women get more care in clinics or with other medical providers most likely to report those services.

      This whole thing is just another false way to divide us not bring us together, in my opinion, so I hope that the dems don't play this up but rather the REAL issue - access to decent eduction, better jobs and a balanced economy.

    •  In all honesty (none)
      you are partly right. But if it were purely a minority thing, states like Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and California would be high up on the list too. And they're not. Its a combination of factors at work, one of which is the lack of a commitment to civic republican values in the old Confederacy and it contemporary disinclination to fund basic social services and educational institutions. But this disinclination is also a manifestation of larger cultural impulses towards a communitarian ethic that are present in both states like Massachussetts and North Dakota, but aren't in states like Louisiana.

      Ben P

      The United States has a conservative political culture defending a liberal heritage. The modern Republican Party's problem is that it is neither.

      by Ben P on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:15:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is because they have FAITH... (none)
    Faith they can screw like crazy and not get pregnant!
  •  alcoholism (none)
    Is there a correlation between a high rate of teen pregnancy and a high rate of alcoholism? How about poverty?
  •  The rightwingers are throwing stones (none)
    from inside their own glass house.

    They reek of hypocrisy, and the head-in-the-sand SCLM won't call them on it.  Disgusting.

    •  Maybe their empirical knowledge (none)
      leads them to believe if it's like this in the "Bible Belt" then they can well imagine what it is like in those Godless places in the North!
        Seriously though, there is  a good note written to Andrew Sullivan in his blog comparing TX and MA.
        For one thing it's hard to find a "Tittie" bar in MA but they are all over TX .
         That made me think, the morality question of the sleze joints in the Northeast where I live.
        Is it because it's sinful?  Or because it's demeaning to women?  Why is it these are missing from the very "liberal" north?
        I remember Playboy came up to Burlington some time ago to get models for "the girls of UVM" but no one showed up to audition.  Finally one of the local waitresses from a local bar went, she was turned down because she wasn't a student.  Whereupon she went to UVM , registered for one course , got a student ID and Volia she became the one and only "girl of UVM (U of Vermont)"
        the only women who showed up at the auditions were picketing them.

         So why are we different?  I think we need to understand that the motives may be entirely different for both sides.

      •  Honestly... (none)
        I believe that it's large populations and not necessarily area that affects these sort of things. Texas may have a lot of strip clubs, but so do California and New York. Places that tend to have areas of high population density tend to be more open to prurient interests than states that are not.

        Which is why I love Texas, California, and New York. ;)

      •  Andrew Sullivans blog (none)
        Where can I find this comparison of TX and MA on his blog?
        •  on first entry after friday (none)
          copied here from his blog, an email from a reader.

          TEXAS AND MASSACHUSETTS:  A reader, while setting me straight, actually confirms my thesis:

              I liked your article for the Times about red and blue states exemplified by Texas and Massachusetts. It is a perspective those of us on this side of the pond should benefit from as well as the Brits. Your observation, however, that Massachusetts represents "high tax, and social permissivness" plays to old stereotypes and not current realities.

              First taxes. Massachusetts is decidedly middle of the road in taxation these days. High tax revenues have more to do with Masschusetts being a high income state rather than a high tax state. Tax curbs passed years ago have succeeded in dramatically moderating the tax climate. The state income tax is a flat tax, yes a flat tax, with a rate slightly over 5%. The sales tax, with exemptions for food and clothing, is 5%. Property taxes are severely limited by voter initiative and can only be overridden by popular vote. Compare this with neighboring states. With the exeption of New Hampshire (with outrageous property taxes), Massachusetts is a tax bargain. Compared with a neighboring state down the coast with a losing baseball team, Massachusetts looks like an offshore tax haven.

              Second social permissiveness. If you think Massachusetts is permissive, you've been spending too much time in Provincetown. You need to get out and see the rest of the state. Massachusetts is socially tolerant, but certainly not permissive. Let me give you a couple of examples. Let a straight man try to find a "tittie bar" here. They are few and far between. Boston has spent the better part of two decades closing down all but a couple of holdouts, and they are constatly harrassed. Texas, by the way seems to have a "tittie bar" or a suggestive ad for one on every street corner. Let a visiting gay man try to find a bath house. There are none in the state. They are illegal. The closest are 45 miles away in Rhode Island (the parking lots are full of Mass plates). Texas has gay bath houses in every major city. Want a drink? Better get to the bar before 1am. It goes on and on. Tolerant? Yes. Permissive? Definitely not.

          That captures the red-blue ironies perfectly, doesn't it?
          - 1:36:14 AM

      •  Alcohol Regulations... (none)
        I would guess that MA's liquor authority is much stricter than Texas's.....isn't it true that until recently, you couldn't go to the packy to get beer on Sundays, and Menino blamed unruly crowds after the Patriots won the Super Bowl last year on legal Sunday beer sales?

        Portland has the highest per-capita number of strip joints, microbreweries, coffee houses, and bookstores in the country.  I think it's because people want to go somewhere inside when it rains (which is all the time between Oct. 15 - Apr. 15...)

  •  Sure, but these charts don't show everything - (none)
    Maybe the south just has way "hotter" teens.
  •  Red Staters reacting to whats around them (3.75)
    I think Red Staters are more concerned about the so called moral decay of society because it's more around them than urban blue staters.  This is why their so called moral values have been forced on the rest of us.  They attribute it to the loss of christian morality, secularism, hollywood, urbanism etc. in the assumption that it is the root cause of their childrens problems.  These red-staters then naturally assume you would find more examples of teen pregnancy, divorce, moral decay in urban areas and the liberal areas of the northeast and west coast, when we have shown it's the opposite.  What they fail to realize is that things like education and social services help kids lead better lives, help parents raise better children.
    •  Agreed (none)
      Can't remember where I read/heard it, but the point was that because the problem is worse in these states, the issue is more important. Blaming the problem on evil outside influences is consistent with the whole victmized ideology.

      I wonder if this could be flipped around to talking about parental responsibility. Sort've a mix of "popular culture doesn't get kids pregnant" and "do you know where your kids are." Sidesteps the whole abortion/sex education thingy which, IMO, can't be won and also makes us engage in the argument on their terms. Offering abortion and contraception as solutions will be heard as "more sex."

      Empowering parents/holding parents accountable though sounds like something out of their playbook and might be harder for them to argue against.

      "I still think politics is about who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing." -Molly Ivins

      by hono lulu on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:47:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So many inaccuracies so little time (none)
      Why you'd think Blue states are more populous is hard to fathom. You might compare states like Florida and Texas to the blue states.

      California   35,484,453    Blue
      Texas        22,118,509     Red
      New York     19,190,115    Blue
      Florida      17,019,068    Red

      But hey lets dont let reality get in our way. It's sad to watch DKos turn into freeperville.

      The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

      by cdreid on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:20:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd be sort of careful about this chart (4.00)
    (which has been floating around the diaries). For example, is there any change if you adjust for race? Because not only are red states at the bottom, they are (notably excepting VA) largely Southern, not Western red states. So if teenage pregnancies among blacks and/or other ethnic minorities is driving the numbers, you'd want to know that before crowing too much.

    Abortions go up under Republicans. Business is better under Democrats. Pass it on.

    by JMS on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:59:36 AM PST

  •  But are they married? (none)
    I'm sure there are plenty who'd think there was nothing wrong with teen pregnancy as long as they were married teens, right?  Because then it's moral, never mind if they can support themselves or their babies, or if they have even a small piece of the maturity needed to be a good parent.

    I talked to a woman in Alabama once who was 25 and had been married and divorced twice.  She got married for the first time at 15, because she was pregnant.  There was, she said, nothing else to do with your time but have sex.  Then she got divorced, and married her next boyfriend because her former husband's parents would have disapproved of her living with someone she wasn't married to.  This is a rationale I've heard a couple times (always in Alabama, my red state of choice) - it's immoral to live with someone you're not married to, so probably it's a good idea to rush into a marriage that will only last a matter of months or even weeks.  

    The one that killed me, though, was the idea that there was nothing else to do besides have sex when you were a teenager.  Never mind that a little education about contraceptives might come in handy in that case, it sort of puts the "cultural elitism" of the blue states in a new light: we're not elitist, we've just figured out that the more time our teenagers spend engaged in cultural activities, the less time they spend impregnating/being impregnated.

    •  Yeah (none)
      Of course these teen mothers are married.  The fathers in these states are very heavily armed.  And you correctly make the connection between teen pregnancy, teen marriage, and divorce.

      I grew up in Oklahoma and there's no effective sex education in that state.  You can't trust the parents because they are the worst kind of wait-until-marriage ostriches, and their own experience of teen marriage tends to normalize that situation in their minds.  Many of my friends from high school were married and/or pregnant before graduation.  It's not that the ignorant religious people fuck more often, it's that the rest of us knew where to buy a condom and how to use one.

      The most direct correlation with teen pregnancy is with contraceptive education.  The states at the top of this list lack that education.

    •  I think your information may be a bit dated. (none)
      That sounds like my parent's generation.  Both of my grandmothers married thier husbands when they were 14.  Momma and her sister married shortly after high school average age 19. My sister married when she was 24.

      My family has been in Alabama since it was the Mississippi Teritory. Can't quite figure out why no one's been smart enough to leave.

      •  No, it's not. (none)
        My information is highly anecdotal and drawn from one area of the state that I visit regularly, but it's recent (all my anecdotes are from the last 4-5 years).  I know a 19 year old girl there now who's one of the last unmarried people from her high school graduating class, and a 25 year old who was considered kinda old to be getting married at 22.  Like I say, not scientific information, but up to date.
    •  My first thought as well (none)

      So I went to the original report at the CDC, and found the %live births for unmarried women, by state (it's on page 57). The picture isn't quite as clear, but it is similar: the states with the highest rate of out of wedlock births are

      DC, LA, MS, NM followed by AZ, SC.

      After these, it's mostly southern states with the northeast being the lowest. But RI and PA are higher than some 'red' states.

      So use the 'teenage pregnancy rate' figures with care.

    •  no offense but... (none)
      we're not elitist, we've just figured out that the more time our teenagers spend engaged in cultural activities, the less time they spend impregnating/being impregnated.

      do you have any idea how stupid that sounds?

      "Every man on that transport died..."

      by jethropalerobber on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:29:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  how a conservative white red stater sees this... (none)
    Although many people on this board seem to lump red states as southern hick white states, the fact is, is that red states have a lot of minorities, black and latinos mostly.

    I have a feeling that blacks and latinos have a higher teen pregnancy rate than do white people. So,  in Texas for example, the 'good morals' of white people are being skewed in the statistics by the large influx of immigrants to our state.

    When white people talk about red state values, they are talking about the values of white people in that red state.

    •  uh (none)
      The above is the single most racist statement I've read on dKos.  Perhaps you'd like to educate yourself, starting with the National Vital Statistics System and the Census Bureau.
      •  please note, (none)
        The title of my post was how a conservative white red stater would see these statistics.

        I am not a conservative white red stater.

        There was some sarcasm in there...

      •  anyways (none)
        there is some truth to it anyways. I just checked the census bureau. Of course there are other factors involved in all of this....

        but according to statistics:

        Texas is 32% hispanic, close to 3 times natl avg.

        Avg teen pregnancy rate for whites: 56 per 1000
        Avg teen pregnancy rate for hispanics 132 per 1000


        •  California (4.00)
          CA has the same percentage of Hispanics and only 2/3rds the rate of teen pregnancy.  The answer does not lie with race, it lies with poverty and education.  Hispanics in TX are more likely to be poor and uneducated in TX, as compared to CA.  Also 2nd-generation teens of all races have lower birth rates than 1st-generation and immigrant teens.  

          Repeat: the answer is not race.

          •  of course (none)
            Everyone realizes that race doesnt make you more impregnatable...

            But, I'm just saying that TX high teen pregnancy rate will be blamed on the poorest amongst us, which so happen to be largely hispanic immigrants in this case.

            •  minorities and unwanted pregnancy (none)
              first rule of statistics, just because A is correlated with B, doesn't mean A causes B. second rule, any statistic can be manipulated.

              But, I'm just saying that TX high teen pregnancy rate will be blamed on the poorest amongst us, which so happen to be largely hispanic immigrants in this case. Brian in TX
              just because we think something is or will be blamed on a factor (ie teen pregnancy blamed on race) doesn't mean that we should be perpetuating it ourselves, even here, even sarcastically.

              if we want to show ourselves to be a political force worthy of taking back control of the country, we have to be willing to look at and actually solve the root causes of the problems, not pay lip service to what we think other people are going to say they are.

              outside a dog, man's best friend is a book. inside a dog it's very dark. Mark Twain

              by lizzerd on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:53:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  it is and it isn't (none)
            it's the nation's large conundrum that immigrants from all over the world can, after a generation or two, get closer to the American dreams, while native born blacks (and unassimilated American Indians) are still not making strides at the same rate--in ALL categories, including indicators like teen pregnancy. Which has led me to the odd conclusion that it's often "not about race"--unless it's about certain races.

            Sure, poverty explains a lot of this, but what explains the fact that blacks are not only disproportionately poor but tend to remain so over time? Why don't they fall into the same pattern?

            Abortions go up under Republicans. Business is better under Democrats. Pass it on.

            by JMS on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:46:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good point (none)
              you should really read up on how blackness has been constructed as the "ultimate other" for much of American history. There is a ton of work on this topic. I would argue that it wasn't until the last 10 or 20 years that this has begun to change, as the younger generation - ie people under 40, but esp. people under 30, have fully imbibed the lessons of the civil rights movement.

              For far too long in American history, success has been defined in America by "not being like the blacks" - in large measure, this is how groups like the Irish, Italians, and so forth defined their success.

              Ben P

              The United States has a conservative political culture defending a liberal heritage. The modern Republican Party's problem is that it is neither.

              by Ben P on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:11:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  You object (none)
        to the racism of Markos post being laid out for what it is?

        Birth rates correlate Directly to income level. Income level correlates directly to race in the US.

        The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

        by cdreid on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:23:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There's minorities all over the country (4.00)
      I don't think New York is lacking in poor and minority populations.

      I think the thing you need to look at is:
      "who is creating the policies to deal with these social issues?"

      Are conservatives creating programs that are unsuccessful that are driving up these rates in "red states"?

      The converse is also pertinant:  Are liberals creating programs that are successful helping to reduce these rates in "blue states"?

      Conservatives in red states can't continue to blame minority and poor populations for all of the statistics that show that their "values" aren't helping the people of their state.  They're the ones who created the policies that fail to deal with the problems of the minorities and the poor.

      •  Yes, this is the right frame. (none)
        The statistics in the post are important and meaningful, not because they allow us to amuse ourselves bashing Red state citizens as inferior or even as hypocritical, but because they allow us to make a very constructive argument: Look at how your Republican governments have been failing you!  Look at how basic social outcomes are suffering due to the neglect of a government that cares about its conservative/religious ideology more than the actual welfare of its people!  All of these social indicators, such as the data on divorce and homicide rates, should be read in the same way.  They don't show any deficiency in the people in those areas, but in the governments.  

        This is exactly the way Ross frames the point in his original post on "It concerns you."  He's putting together a project called the Red State Project to explore this idea in depth.  (Follow the link from Kos' original post.)  I think it's a great idea.

        We're just getting started.

        by jem6x on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:17:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Conservative Red Stater (none)
      Instead of assuming how a conservative red stater would respond, I invite you to read my response as a Republican Red Stater at least.

      And while we're debunking ideas, I received safe sex education in my public school just like everyone in the whole Tulsa Public School District does.

      •  How long will that class last? (none)
        "Safe sex" is a term that is being threatened all over the country.  Just because you got a good class on sex education doesn't mean your children or grand children will, if Bush has his way.
        •  Safe Sex (none)
          At least in public schools (90%+ of all schools), I expect the teachers unions and other interest groups will keep it there.  I think that is one of the many things that is forcing social conservatives toward homeschooling.

          Since you asked, tell me why this doesn't make sense to the "leave us alone" crowd.  If you teach abstinence (or nothing) in class, parents can still teach safe sex lessons to their children if they want to.  If you teach safe sex lessons, parents who don't want the idea that sex before marriage is an option can't undo that teaching.  You (and I) may disagree with some children not getting safe sex training, but shouldn't that be up to parents.

          I think these issues are so heated they should be returned to the home and taken away from the government.  There are many ways to do that:  end sex ed in schools, only teach abstinence and give materials to parents for optional safe sex teachings, or allow parents to choose different schools and allow different types of sex ed.

          P.S. I wouldn't call the class "good" because it had safe sex in it.  It was more an occasion for giggly humor and laughing at being taught things we already knew by strangers who were at best uncomfortably with a bunch of young teens.

          •  You do not have the right (none)
            to threaten the life of your child!  You do not have the right to deny information about public health that could save your child much misery and even their life.  Sexual attraction is not abnormal for humans.  Indeed, it is very basic to life.  Maybe you can be lucky enough to indoctrinate your child against nature, but for many this just does not work, or does not work for too long.  Every person as they approach sexual maturity deserves the right to know how life works, the potential dangers involved, and how to realistically protect oneself.  Just because you see the world through bizarre colored glasses or just because you may have a great deal of self-control, do not assume your child will also!  You should not be able to punish them so for this human trait.

            Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

            by truthbetold on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:15:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have the right, that isn't in question (none)
              Parents have every right to miseducate their child as much as they choose to.  When the state can trump parents right to choose how to raise their children, it will be a very sad day.

              Second, I did not say that I was choosing this so don't make it personal when it is not.

              Finally, with all the talk about letting blue states have their values and not being "forced" to accept red states views, I thought this might be a less contentious idea.  But I see that federalism and individual choice only apply to liberal ideas.  Abortion and abstinence education are supposed to still be forced on states, communities, and families who do not want them.  I don't like seeing the cuture battles happen, but as long as either side wants to impose their views on the other, it will go on.

              •  Public health and the State (none)
                I liken this sexual education issue to public health prevention of suffering and epidemics.  It has long been decided that the State most definately does have the power to trump individual rights when the greater good to the many is involved.  I think the Smallpox vacinnation issue and Jacobsen Versus Mass prevails in this area as well.  A few parents may get angry, but society has an interest in teaching all young people how to really protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and from the very dangerous, even deadly, contagious diseases potentially associated with sexual activity.

                Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

                by truthbetold on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:14:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Forcing values (none)
                  Just wanted to make sure liberals understand where and why many conservative parents feel they are having a certain set of values (safe sex vs. abstinence) forced on them.  I think parents should make this decision.

                  If the problem was epidemics, etc... why don't you advocate making sex outside marriage illegal?  That would more directly address the problem than pushing a set of values (children will have sex so lets make it safe) over another set (lets educate children not to have sex until they grow up).

                  I'm not a taking a personal side on which is the right set.  But I hope you recognize that neither is right or wrong and that this is an example of where we could let each side persue its own values without infringing on one another.

                  •  Denying human nature is a conservative ploy! (none)
                    Don't fall for it!  You said:

                    If the problem was epidemics, etc... why don't you advocate making sex outside marriage illegal?

                    It would be easier to hold back the tide!  Look, many ignorant (from a safe sex point of view) children have had their lives destroyed by this ignorance and have taken others with them.  It is indeed a public health epidemic in certain areas (look at the graph), and society has an obligation to deal with this ignorance caused health destruction.

                    Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

                    by truthbetold on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:27:29 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  state has an interest in the outcome (none)
            If the state has to "pick up the tab" for social services for teen and unwed mothers, then the state has an interest in teaching contraception.  

            When people go in to a Free Clinic for STD treatment, do they get a lesson in rolling a condom over a cucumber?  help to reduce repeat customers!

            "With Liberty and Justice for All"

            by ohshenandoah on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:16:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  sex ed in school (none)
            truthbetold, i think a deep breath is in order.

            i'm not a parent so i'm not sure how my answer to this would be different if i were. once we, as a nation after the industrial revolution settled down, decided we weren't going to put kids to work at age 8 anymore, and we didn't need them so desperately on the farms all day long.  there were thing we decided a young adult is should know by the time he or she reaches 18 yrs and finishes compulsory schooling. I.e. reading, writing/grammar, math skills, some history/civics, and some science. these things got standardized and turned over to the states to teach to children in various ways because parents didn't have the skills or the time to do it. we're still trying to figure it out exactly.

            then it comes to a point where you have all these kids in the same place, who are probably asking all the same questions. and there is political pressure on to reduce teen pregnancy, and abortions etc, and along comes this STD that can kill you. so maybe it makes sense from a public health standpoint to teach them some facts that make save their lives. esp if the prevailing consesus is, parents are still too busy, or not well enough informed.

            and my parents never once talked to me about anything to do with sex. i found a booklet my mom had gotten for my sister to explain her menstrual cycle five years earlier. the only other education i got (outside of what i had in school) was a book that my friend's parents had for her. and i tell you what, as a person whose job it is to work with families (ok, so my perspective is skewed because these are families with problems) i'd rather have sex ed in school as a backup, and let parents who want to have their kids opt out of it.

            outside a dog, man's best friend is a book. inside a dog it's very dark. Mark Twain

            by lizzerd on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:17:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't follow (none)
              so maybe it makes sense from a public health standpoint to teach them some facts that make save their lives

              I do not follow why you say what you say here.  It sounds like you are supporting the public health aspects of my point and then you go here!  Why?  Do you feel it is okay for a young teen to lose their life because their parent(s) wish to live in fairyland or fundy-land?  I Strongly, strongly do not!

              Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

              by truthbetold on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:33:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  One more point (none)
        Just so you know where I am coming from, I have spent my adult life (30 years) in various federal and state public health efforts.  Up until about 1997, I thought we were getting a handle on this sex education and safety issue, but then the fundies and their abstinence only anachronism returned.  Now the Scopes monkey trials are being overlooked.  What next, the stork is the true case of babies?

        I have never been so frsutrated and angry at the stupidity of a nation in my life.  Listening to some of you supposed progressives here makes me really fear for our future.

        Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

        by truthbetold on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:41:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fact sheet follow-up (none)
           Just some facts:
          From Kaiser Family Foundation:

          Research suggests that women are biologically more
          susceptible to STD exposure than men.3 While STDs,
          including HIV, affect every age group, people under
          25 account for roughly two-thirds of all new STD
          infections: 42 percent occur among those aged 20-24
          and 25 percent occur among 15-to-19-year-olds.1,2 CDC
          data also show higher reported rates of STDs among
          some racial and ethnic minority groups, compared
          with rates among whites - possibly reflecting overall
          health disparities as well as greater use of public health
          clinics by minority populations.4

          Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

          by truthbetold on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:03:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We agree about the problem (none)
            What we disagree on is your belief that only your solution should be taught.  And furthermore that your solution is imposing your own values on children whose parents do not agree with you.  For all the spite against those imperialistic religious rightists, I don't see many attempts around here to pull back from pushing your own values on groups who disagree.

            I expect homeschooling and private/charter schools to grow substantiallly as long as public schools force parents to accept values they disagree with.

            •  It's not about forcing values onto people (none)
              The reason why comprehensive sex education does better is precisely that it doesn't force any values onto people. In fact, the entire point of comprehensive sex ed is not to impose values on people who don't share them. It's called "comprehensive" education for a reason. Comprehensive sex ed shows all the options, including abstinence, and allows families to come to their own conclusions. There's no reason why a personal or family belief in abstinence is incompatible with a comprehensive sex education program.

              Nobody is advocating refusing to teach about abstinence. That's a straw man similar to that used against abortion. Abstinence should instead be integrated into an education program so that those who choose not to abstain aren't left behind. When you force your own values onto those who won't accept them, you're leaving a group of people in the dark. However, with a comprehensive program you're giving everyone, regardless of belief, a chance to bring something home to the table.

              You say that we agree on the goals. Nearly all impartial studies (and by "impartial" I mean not done by the Heritage Foundation, et al) show that abstinence-only sex education does not achieve those goals as well as comprehensive sex education does. And, because comprehensive sex ed isn't incompatible with any values at all, I see no reason not to teach it.

  •  Catholic (4.00)
    The girls who got pregnant in my Catholic high school were forced to leave high school (isn't that nice?) and had to have their babies.  Fortunately, in two of the three cases, I know things turned out more or less ok;  the families helped with the babies and the girls went on to get their GED and then to college.

    However, abortion was not an option, of course... and much of New Mexico is Catholic, and we're fourth on that list up there.

    I love the Republicans, yes I do.  "Protect" the baby until it's born, then forget it.  Social programs?  What social programs?  Kids don't count after they're born.

    It's not getting any smarter out there. -- Frank Zappa

    by Page van der Linden on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:01:19 PM PST

    •  Baltimore MD-- white people (none)
      Baltimore had far more white unwed and teen pregnancies than they did black.  The white girls were Catholic.

      "With Liberty and Justice for All"

      by ohshenandoah on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:18:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  sounds like my family - ahem! (none)
        we're not in MD any more, but past generations of ex-Catholic relatives of mine either getting pregnant before marriage, or else not ever bothering to marry at all, just common-law, all white, german-irish, been around there since forever, and...

        guess what, all over the place I know of big conservative Catholic families, all prolife, don't believe in sex-ed but do believe in female chastity and not talking about sex, all with kids having kids before they're ready for it.

        This, above all else, is what turned me against the whole "families should be teaching about sexuality" which was the position in our quadrant of the movement - yes, fine, but you're NOT and your kids are hurting for your cowardice, was my feeling. I'm bloody furious with the ostriches.

        "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

        by bellatrys on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:09:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  some contradiction in your statements (none)
      "Protect" the baby until it's born, then forget it

      the families helped with the babies and the girls went on to get their GED and then to college

      "Every man on that transport died..."

      by jethropalerobber on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:38:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow! (none)
    My state made the Top 10!! Wonder how the teens will celebrate...

    It would also be interesting to compare these numbers with the type of sex ed classes taught in the public schools - although I think we all know what the result would be. Don't they just teach that there abstinence in Texas?

    •  We're #1 We're #1 We're #1 We're #1!!!!!!!! (none)
      Oh wait, this is a bad demographic....

      nevermind...return to your regular blogging duties...

      Let the word go forth From this time and place To friend and foe alike That the torch has been passed To a new generation of Americans.

      by TheGryphon on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:07:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the rebuttal from the Red Religious Right (none)
    might be "these numbers are due to us trying your sex ed advice, obviously another approach is needed.  the fact you don't have as big of a problem means you can't see how badly we need another tactic."

    to which the "your problems are due to poverty" and other such rebuttals should be our answer.

    of course, i myself think abstinence education is nuts.  but i'm not too worried about reds having kids and overrunning things-- i'm willing to guess that enough red kids grow up and become blue due to small-town-disgust, moving to the city, etc.  are there any statistics or surveys on this?  someone on KOS could do a poll to see how many of us grew up in a Red household.

    Do, or do not. There is no 'try'. - Yoda

    by joewlarson on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:02:12 PM PST

  •  Define "red" and "blue" ... (none)
    I know that it corresponds to this years presidential vote.  However, the assumption being made here is that the policy makers in those states are also Republican.  This is not necessarily true.

    For instance, New Mexico and Arizona (#3 and #4) both have Democratic governors.  Massachusetts (#49) has a Republican governor.

    I'd like to see a more detailed analysis of this taking into account the makeup of the state legislatures as well.

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety -Benjamin Franklin

    by chuck19 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:03:32 PM PST

  •  adjust these numbers for race.... (none)
    and you will see a TOTALLY different picture.
    •  perhaps (none)
      On the other hand, and I should emphasize that I'm just eyeballing the census here, a couple blue states with minority populations above the US average rank very low (ie well) on this chart.  And a couple of red states with minority populations below the US average rank very high (ie badly).  So while I do agree that controlling for race might change the picture, it doesn't look like it would be the complete turnabout you appear to be expecting.
    •  Don't Know (none)
      I hope you are not arguing that, "If we drop African-Americans out of this and only count real Americans, the truth will be known."  I am actually curious about abortion rates for "white" Americans and "black" Americans.  Do you have data on this or is it just an "everyone knows" type of thing.

      Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community.

      by bink on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:24:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  no... (none)
        I think the argument is that a lot of people are using this as an excuse to beat up on Bush voters, who they have characterized as white, ignorant hypocrites--as if the "red" and "blue" states were somehow homogenous...

        If you adjusted this for "red" and "blue" voters you might see a different picture as well, as poor voters tend to vote for Democrats and also tend to have children earlier.

        Abortions go up under Republicans. Business is better under Democrats. Pass it on.

        by JMS on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:50:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is why (4.00)
    They see a big problem with "the country's" morals, and we may not.  Granted, I don't think the country is exactly 'Angelic', but I don't see us all going to hell, either.

    But if you look at the red states, this is the common theme.  They bang on all the things they have the biggest problems with, but then blame it on us and our value system.  Sex, drugs, alcohol, teen pregnacy, divorce rates, education, high school drop-out rates, etc.  Their faith-based solutions fail on all counts.  Ergo, they see a big problems where we don't.

    What they (the red staters in red states) fail to recognize is that we are dealing with our value issues, and somewhat successfully.  They are frustrated that their solutions aren't working and blame their problems on us lefties and our morals (or their perceived lack thereof).

    •  Interesting . . . (3.50)
      They feel that teen sex is a problem because they see more pregnant teens . . . that drug use is a problem because there's a meth lab problem in every rural county in the US . . . that divorce is a problem because they see more of it. Hm. So they have these problems and come into contact with them more frequently in their red states with red leadership and red elected officials at all levels. But they blame blue culture for it. Sounds to me they have a problem with laying the blame. But then, this administration is hardly known for properly assigning accountability.

      "Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican." -Lisa Simpson

      by Vestal Vespa on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:12:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This makes me wonder (4.00)
    if we might be looking at this the wrong way.  We assume (or at least I did, at first glance) that this again shows the red states have more than their fair share of hypocracy on the "values" front.

    However, could it be we are looking at it backwards?  Could it be just that something has gone intrinsically astray with rural, red state cultures, they recognize it as well, so they recoil with reactionary solutions to the symptoms, without taking a step back to look at the overall cultural problem?  I suppose in this light, it makes some sense that they complain an awful lot about "Hollywood" etc, so maybe its a question of their culture not being mature enough to handle more "edgy" content.

    Don't know, maybe I'm just being a condecending blue stater (at heart, anyway) but there might be more to this than just hypocracy.

    bloggers: we watch the watchmen.

    by Ugluks Flea on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:07:46 PM PST

    •  You're getting at an important part (none)
      of the story. What do the Red States have in common beyond "values" voters? They're rural. Access to services--to family planning clinics and to abortion providers--is significantly restricted in many of these states. It goes well beyond hypocrisy, beyond cultural problems to extend to the reality of a medical infrastructure that's lacking.

      All the snark that's fit liberal street fight

      by Joan McCarter on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:49:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  rural / urban divide (none)
        i live in the "red" part of a "blue" state. rural northern New York. (and I don't mean above 58th street, i mean 27 miles from the Canadian border, a part of NYS even New Yorkers aren't really sure exists)

        we are constantly struggling with finding ways to improve social services in this area and even to keep the ones we have. our erstwhile governor just cut the funding to community mental health programs. we have severe limitations in transportation, access to mental health, and medical treatment for people who have little or no insurance. and don't get me started on the holes in the Medicaid/Healthy NY/Family Health Plus system.

        if you happen not to live in the one large town and don't have a car that's reliable, then there is no way for you to get to any medical facility except for one of three satellite clinics which are part time general practice. unless you want to shell out for an ambulance and an ER bill.

        we don't have the local tax base to improve the services on our own, and if we "take" money from NYC's taxes then we are accused of being deadbeats. much like the discussion of deadbeat red states immediately after the election.

        outside a dog, man's best friend is a book. inside a dog it's very dark. Mark Twain

        by lizzerd on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:44:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  hang on, now (none)
          The "deadbeat" accusation was really a hypocrisy accusation: those people who railed the loudest against government programs and government spending were actually those who had the largest net gain from such programs, as measured by the flow of tax dollars.

          You wouldn't hear more than token complaints about the outflow of money to upstate from us rich, progressive downstaters if it weren't for the fact that we have to keep fighting to save programs like Family Health Plus from the likes of Joe Bruno and your state representatives up there in the boondocks. :)

          the spirit is restored by wounding

          by jd in nyc on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:26:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Fear (none)
      You're on to something.

      Rural America, North and South, is in pretty deep trouble in a lot of ways. It has disproportionately suffered because of agribusiness and the loss of manufacturing jobs. For the most part it hasn't received the benefits of technology-driven "knowledge industries" like software, financial services, etc. Pretty much anyone who can leave, does. Lots of military service, also lots of migration to the cities. The people who stay have a pretty gloomy future to look forward to, and they know it.

      And there isn't a damn thing the average Rural America voter can do about it.

      Small wonder that there's a backlash against the (perceived) causes.

      •  Fear breeds hate (none)
        Yoda was right. These people are looking for an excuse, any excuse, for their pitiable lives of quiet desperation, and we of the Party are happy to give them what they want: someone to hate.

        Hatred exists for the same reason as religion: because we as human beings have built into our souls a need for an explanation, a need for reasons why our pathetic lives of quiet desperation are so pathetic. The Party understands this. The Party feels your need. We give you what you want -- hatred, hatred of all things liberal, hatred of Michael Moore, hatred of brown people in the Middle East, a cleansing hatred that scours the heart and turns it to stone, that takes the weight of blame for the pathetic uselessness of your life off of your shoulders and places it on to the shoulders of others. Hatred is the backbone of the Party. I hate Islamo-fascists, liberals, and Michael Moore. Don't you hate Islamo-fascists, liberals, and Michael Moore too?

        Orwellianly Yours,
        Karl Rove O'Brien, Ministry of Truth
        (On detached duty from Ministry of Love)

  •  I hope that (3.60)
    we don't use this to rub in their red state noses. Though I understand the veiled contempt in your post, Kos (which I also feel - BELIEVE me - not only on this indicator but others), please know this - it is precisely BECAUSE they have these problems that moral values are such an issue for THEM.  They KNOW deep down that its them with the problem, but it is easier to externalize it - as most humans do.  They are uncertain about themselves, but YOU become the target.

    I believe that we get nowhere shoving this stuff in their faces.  It makes them even more defensive and what is the point anyway.  We already know that the south and some parts of the central US are deeply poor and have been disproportionately effected by the global and service sector economies.  The question is not, how to make them feel worse about themselves but make them feel that we have their backs - that we are, as a national community - all in this together.  Splintering and dividing is what the republicans have done successfully.  Progressives succeed when we work together and stand together united as one nation/tribe.

    In that spirit, while your intent is good - we already knew that we blue staters pay in more money to the Feds than we get back - but that is because they NEED it more - they are poorer,least educated and the most isolated. Our question is - how do we make uniting us work for us instead of finding some other way of dividing us or deepening the deivide.  All this does is deepen our resentment...sorry - that is not an ultimate solution for our success politically or culturally.

    •  Shame 'Em (4.00)
      I am sympathetic to your comments.  And I know that the Red State/Blue State theme is a false divide.

      But the whole Red State/Blue State myth was invented as a way to emphasize this whole make-believe Republican values "hegemony."

      By posting articles like this, we are taking back the dialogue and forcing people to eat the crap they tried to serve us for dinner.

      And, I think that shame can be a very effective motivator.  Want people to change their ways?  Shame them into it.

      I want the Republican Party to stop lecturing me about morality when their own beloved "Red State/Blue State" map shows that "their territory" is rotting with social ills.

      Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community.

      by bink on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:19:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I STRONGLY disagree (none)
        ..Shame will not do anything but make people more angry and defensive.  And for all this talk of being anti red state morality, who died and left YOU boss?  Why is it your obligation to "shame" anyone?

        I agree that shame is a powerful motivator - but not for change in a positive direction, but for anger, resentment and hatred.  If you want someone to stand with you, you EMPOWER them, you ask them to JOIN YOU ; that you NEED THEIR HELP.

        I am concerned that others below your comment echo your sentiment.  If that is how we so called progressives think, well, in my opinion, we have a hell of a lot to learn...

        •  CONFUSED (none)
          You seem to be confused about the dynamics of the situation..I live in a red-state, and people arent interested in solving any of these social problems because doing so requires too much sacrifice..IT FEELS GOOD to blame other people for your problems because it absolves you of any responsibility and requires little if any sacrifice...What you dont understand is , these people dont want our help because accepting help would in essence, be accepting responsibility,which they are CLEARLY unwilling to do...
          •  ..And your solution???? (none)
   to brand them as low lifes without any appreciation of the forces that got them there? What kind of liberal or progressive are you? Are blue staters now their "betters" in some sort of morality/responsiblity contest? Where do you get off holding others to some moral probity test? Some folks on Kos talk loosely about abhoring red state morality. The answer to that is certainly NOT to pull some of our own "blue state" "look-down-your-nose-at-those-irresponsible-lowlifes", huh?

            Generally speaking progressives tend to belief that there are structural (and some individual) reasons for poverty.  Our system has been rigged for a long time and has many wide disparaties in wealth caused by these anomalies.  You are basically doing the same thing as some of the old time rich folks did - blame the victim.

            I just think that its pretty disgusting to read the comments on this thread from so called liberals and progressives.  And some of you have had enough chutzpah to give me a low rating for sticking it to you too.  So be it!  

            Some of you are hypocrites - and you all know who you are...

            •   my,you really are confused (none)
              Forgive me if i am not living up to your lofty standards,but it appears you are confused by what im saying...You furthermore seem to be confused about human nature..All im saying is that the GOP has offered these folks a rather appealing OUT, if you will, to their percieved problem....BLAMING OTHERS..Im not blaming the victims,as you so astutely pointed out,im blaming
              the GOP, for manipulating these people, for having no intention, whatsoever,of solving these
              problems..You see, if you blame others, then you tend not to blame yourself..What the fuck is so hard to understand....Oh yeah, and who the fuck do you think you are ,questioning, my or anybody elses liberal credentials ..and you accuse ME of
              looking down my nose at peolpe..You have got to be kiddng me...PATHETIC
              •  Sorry (none)
                ..if I misunderstood you.  It is sometimes hard in written posts to get the right emphasis in the right way...seems obvious but is not all the time.

                I am no authority on liberalism.  I was challenging you or anyone though on the grounds that I believed at first reading, your post sounded boggoted agains rural, red staters.

                Here is my bias:  I very much believe that we must bring our nation together once more.  We are destroying what is left of our fabric which was already damaged.  The republicans don't care...they can win by having half of the population support them and playing them against the rest of us.  Our ideals necessarily are inclusive and support the weakest to the strongest...our ideals take the hit in a society without a sense of a community ethic or ideal.  We know our survival as a nation depends on relying on each other.  It pained me not so much to read YOUR comments, but many of the others on our so called progressive blog that seemed to emphasize very low opinions of red state people who are in every way our target constituency should our party recover - the poor and those struggling in the working class.  Why was it ok to talk about their morals and intelligence in such a despicable way - the very people that we would want to recruit to our side?

                So that was my context and why I was so aggressive.  I apologize.  I am no authority on anything - just a questioner and a person who knows that our country must look after our people and be respectful of every one of us.

                Thanks for listening.

                •  me too..(sorry) (none)
                  I admit, i am a wee bit irritated at the red staters, if you will, and am absolutely perplexed as to what to do about it. I mean WE are the ones who want to help these people..I think the problem, is that when we address these issues we are accusbed of snobbery,like we think we know better...I believe that these folks really dont think that they are part of the problem, they have been conditioned to believe that we are the problem ,and i cannot , for the life of me figure out what to do about it ...It really is extraordinarily ironic, dont you think?
                  •  Yes - very ironic (none)
                    ..but part of it is that they don't want to be "helped". Maybe that is the wrong context.  They want to "contribute" - to "help" - a more powerful and empowered context.  No one wants to be "helped" in this or any other country.

                    Our message must be I think, "we are all in this together".

      •  Shame (none)
        will never work.

         The only thing you could ever hope to gain by shaming someone is to fluster them while you are arguing with them, get them mad, make them lose their train of thought.  

        Beyond that, it is useless.

        Besides, I read somewhere that about half of all pregnancies, among married people, and unmarried, tennager and adult, about 1/2 of all pregnancies are unplanned.

        So, you better have a pretty specific way of shaming only the ones who "deserve" it, because human beings definitely tend to procreate no matter what the social mores are, and I think we all hate the self-righteousness that all serious shamers possess.

        And, if you are going in the shaming business, you better make sure all of the babies in your neighborhood are well taken care of first.

        •  Not so (none)
          Real shame is a very strong emotion, and it has pretty powerful effects. Shame is just a strong version of embarrassment, and if you really do feel ashamed of what you've done you may well stop.

          Shame is generally not an emotion you'd want to rely on, though, because it's debilitating. Shame induces feelings of inadequacy, and often doesn't lead to a personal transformation but instead a state of self-hatred...and that in turn leads to an externalization of the hatred to save oneself from misery...and that turns it right back around sooner or later to vilifying "others" like foreigners or city-folk.

          I think what you meant in your post was that these attempts to shame really don't achieve the intended effect in the first place, though. We don't have the power to shame the rural conservatives by pointing to performative contradictions. All this does is make them angry. But this is not because there is no such thing as real shame. It is because we are already "other" to the average Bush voter, and not within the circle of peers whose judgment matters, as soon as we speak as liberals or urban sophisticates.

          A final thought: human beings do NOT tend to procreate equally no matter what social mores are. You could not make a bigger mistake here. Look at the global relationship between education (particularly for women) and birth rates. It is one of the strongest correlations you will ever see for large, complex social phenomena. The evidence just doesn't get stronger that women who are educated and look forward to careers that require education have fewer children and start later than women who don't. There are all kinds of changes in social mores involved here. Just look for them.

          Feel ashamed, yet? :)

          the spirit is restored by wounding

          by jd in nyc on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:44:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think I conflated... (none)
            ...two arguments.

            The one I began with is that you can't shame voters out of their convictions. You can try, but it won't be very effective, especially among a group that already sees you as "elitist" in your politics.

            The second point, which I now see is not even related to the first is that even married,  very well educated, upper middle-class professionals sometimes have too much egg nog at the christmas party and have mischevious, just-this-once unprotected sex, in their uncles' garage, and that sometimes leads to "unplanned pregnancies."  

            Or so I hear.

            I guess I was trying to stick a finger in the eye of the illusion that education and money and class make us pregnancy proof, but I don't for a minute dispute that the more educated and higher economic class a woman is, the less likely it is that she will get (and remain) pregnant until she wants to.

             I know that is true.

            I just wanted to refute the corollary that those teens and adults (in both red and blue states) who do get unexpectedly pregnant are somehow stupid or inferior.

            Looking around at my well-heeled friends and family, anecdotally speaking, that is not true.

            Of course, maybe it is just true that Southerners are more sexually active.  

            I just didn't like the tone of a lot of the posts.

            All kinds of people have unplanned pregnancies, just ask around.

             Weary of the all South-bashing, I guess.  

            We did invent Jazz, Rock and Roll and the Civil Rights Movement, after all.

            •  LOL (none)
              Oh, I know about unplanned pregnancies. My well-educated and middle to upper-middle class family is full of them.

              But it's also full of people waiting until 32 or 36 (to pick two numbers out of thin air and not having anything to do with me and my brother), who go on to have a modestly-sized, planned family.

              That's the unusual part. Being a parent at 18 is common the world over, going back millenia.

              the spirit is restored by wounding

              by jd in nyc on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:48:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  RE: Shame Them (none)
        I agree...As nice as it would be, to get all touchy and feely with these folks, the bottom line is the fact that Republicans love that the RED STATES have these problems.If we were to establish a dialogue we would be accused of elitsm.." these liberal elites think THEY know better how to solve YOUR problems..Republicans understand this and accordingly manipulate these woefully uninformed people into assigning blame, rather than actually addressing the problem..IM sure Karl Rove is ,as we speak , relishing the fecundity of red state pregnancies, understanding that each additional pregnancy represents another oppurtunity to explain to these folks exactly whats wrong with America


    •  Also (none)
      In some parts of the country, like the Appalachian area of Ohio I live in, many girls get pregnant young and have for many years. This is sort of a cultural thing here.  For a lot of girls, this is all they have: their babies.  Their families rally around them, because that's the thing to do; you make a mistake but you support your children when all is said and done. You rejoice that you have a grandchild, and you make the best of it.  
      I worked for an OB/GYN. We had mothers who brought in their teenaged, unmarried daughters and wanted to know why they couldn't get pregnant. I'm not kidding.  
      •  Family Values (the actual family) and Pregnancy (none)
        It's not just Appalachia.  I grew up in NY, on Long Island, among the bluest of the blue.  

        It was a fairly mixed-income neighborhood, and one of my friends was from a lower-income family, her parents didn't have higher education, her older sisters got pregnant young.  So she had two abortions by the time she was 15 and a baby when she was 16.  I don't see she had a lot of better options, especially after the second abortion made her so sick.  As you say, her family rejoiced that they had a grandchild, and made the best of it.  

        In that environment, she was the exception rather than the rule, but it goes to stress the point that family/social norms and education/income levels have quite a bit more than geography to do with teen pregnancy levels.  

        Come to think of it, her dad was a rabid Rush Limbaugh conservative.  I wonder if that had anything to do with it...J/K

        I agree that the red state-blue state divide is overstated (we're all purple), but I do LOVE graphics like this anyway, because if conservatives are going to dish out the "moral superiority" crap, I want to throw it right back in their faces.  

        Until humans can solve their philosophical problems, they are condemned to solve their political problems over and over and over again. -Tom Robbins

        by KB on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:51:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  they need to suck it up (none)
      If the problem is with them, then they need to hear that message loud and clear.  Projection is not a sign of menatl health and until they get over their denila, they will not get better.  Hell yeah, rub it in their faces!
      •  They need to suck it up (none)
        That, too, would solve the problem

        If only Bill Clinton had set a more clear example of how to have sex without risking pregnancy....

      •  projection is a defense mechanism (none)
        and we all do it, and we all live in a state of denial to an extent. and the sooner we get over feeling morally superior, the better chance we'll have to 1) elect a true liberal and 2) solve the problems at the root cause

        outside a dog, man's best friend is a book. inside a dog it's very dark. Mark Twain

        by lizzerd on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:57:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  wrong attitude (none)
      the patronizing and sneering attitude towards red staters here is politically suicidal and counterproductive. the reason why these folks care so much about moral values is BECAUSE they know their communities are so fucked up. the GOP at least addresses their fears and concerns, even if their policies are boneheaded. the Democrats just offer a social program or two, but never address head on the concerns in family breakdown. i know when i watch tv and all i see are BET/MTV videos with half-naked hos, Girls Gone Wild ads, porn stars on Howard Stern and anything with Paris Hilton, i think are society is in the moral sewer and am with the Religious RIght. i just disagree on the diagnosis and the prescription. But Dems can't and shouldn't run away from  the fact that people are deeply concerned about these issues. so far, the GOP has had a monopoly on addressing them (except for lame-ass holy Joe, who doesn't provide any other framing than to blame Hollywood too...)
      •  HUH???? (none)
        Republicans DO NOT have a monopoly on addressing these problems..they have a monopoly on BLAMING..people for these problems...I think this graph clearly demonstrates that ther IS a divide in this country between folks {blue staters} who take responsibility for their problems and those {red staters}who blame people for their problems
        •  Resentment (none)
          ..makes poor policy in the long run.  It is not your or our obligation to point out other people's obligations to "take responsibility".  Do you actually believe your own bull? That red states have a majority of people who can't take responsibility for themselves?

          I hope that we donot adopt your resentmentful policies in reframing the debate! Wow, that will work: "We are going to make the red states take responsibility for themselves" - a surefire winner! What hooey!

        •  the GOP (none)
          has had a monopoly on the issue because Democrats are so terrified of addressing "moral values" for whatever reasons on their OWN terms (not in GOP-lite terms like Lieberman), therefore red staters never get to hear an alternative view on what could be ailing their societies.
  •  Additional indicators culled from SciAm. (4.00)
    Texas leads the nation with 24.6% uninsured. Minnesota is best at 8.7%
    Texas also leads in the percentage of infants not vaccinated with 25.2. Massachusetts is best at 9.3%


    ... Some states, such as Kentucky, have slashed long-term health care for the elderly. Others, such as Texas, are cutting back on preventive health care for children...

    From Scientific American, November 2004 issue, page 15.

    Thinking dangerous thoughts in the birthplace of democracy

    by Athenian on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:10:22 PM PST

  •  they turn to traditional values (4.00)
    Because they have these problems!

    many of us look at the red state problems and see them as hypocrites for pursuing moral values.  We should maybe turn it around and see the appeal to moral values as a reaction to the red state problems....

    It is not surprising that Red Staters are motivated by a desire to return to "traditional values."  Many red state communities are sick and need to get well -- they have high rates of divorce, teen pregnancies, unwed pregnancies, low rates of graduation and pursuit of higher education, etc.  It is natural and right that they want to fix those problems.

    But they are seeking answers in all the wrong places.

    the right offers false promises.  It fails to deliver on education and opportunities and those are the things which lift people up to make better, more responsible, choices about their lives.  

    And the  right sows seeds of fear and hatred by showing that "liberals" are the cause of moral decay in america.  But in fact those states where policies and populations are more "liberal" don't show the same kind or extent of problems you have in your communities.   SO maybe the problem isn't liberal values.....

    •  I made the same point (none)
      ..upstring.  This is nothing new and in fact there are other indicators such as income and education that mirror the same pattern. The question is NOT how to exploit this but how to unify all of us and impower them to make the necessary changes to improve this.
    •  Disappointed (4.00)
      ..It has surprised me (though it shouldnt I suppose), the bigotry just easily accepted about the red states.

      First, the data is not perfect and you have to understand that private physicians do not report teen pregnancy rates as a rule thus, states with more affluent populations probably under-report teen pregnancy rates.  There is no doubt that red state teens HAVE more births, but that doesnt mean that they had the most pregnancies.  The statistics are very tricky for many medical and social issues and we should respect that more rather than giving into our need to label them as ignorant hicks.

      As for betrayal - I truly believe that Democracts have let down poor and blue collar workers in recent years more than the republicans.  By not talking about the issues of class and economics effecting the working class, we have abandoned them to the manipulations of the republicans.  The republicans of course have no itention of fixing the economics that drive so many of the social statistics, but filled their heads with fear and resentment.  It was effective cause so many of the red staters had no recent experience with a democratic party that stood up for them.  True, some (not all) red staters are white racists - but those I believe got more purchase on the debate because again, the Dems could not point to any policies or stands that they had taken for the "little guys" in this country.

      So you see, while the Republicans have indeed exploited divisions, they would not have been able to if the Dems had been strong in their advocacy of key bread and butter issues.  They weren't and aside from Dean, I am not sure that the rest get it still...

  •  We need to turn this into (4.00)
    a story about breaking the cycle of poverty and increasing education and financial opportunities, IMHO. Teen pregnancies often lead to single young mothers or young married parents who drop out of school and have no means to increase their financial standing over time.

    In college I took a sustainable development class (all about third world countries, etc.) and what came across over and over was the best way to postpone pregnancies and to reduce the total number of children a woman had (a big problem in the days we worried about population boom) was to educate women.

    We need to focus on how improving education fixes this problem and helps the red (poorer?) states get better opportunities.

  •  a hypocrisy index -- seriously... (none)
    ... someone needs to compile an index of Red vs. Blue states on moral values.  By memory, the high teen pregnancy rates in Red states just adds to the higher rates of pornography use, smoking, DUI's per 1,000, domestic violence in Red vs. Blue.  

    And what was that figure, that number of Republicans (who were adulterers) leading the charge to impeach Clinton on the basis of adultery?

    Hypocrisy is a Red State value!

    •  hypocrites (none)
      Fucking hypocrites. Literally.
      •  Not so fast (none)
        ...these statistics are filled with noise and are not totally accurate.  Please have some skepticism and hold your bigotry in the light of that reality.  My post is upstring but don't take my word for it - there are others as well who have discussed the issues around these numbers and what they may actually reflect.  Blue states may just be richer and better able to cover their statistics.

        One thing is sure - these statistics have certainly allowed people here to give vent to a lot of bigotry on this blog and it is certainly something that we had better check out before "calling the kettle black" on the red states if you know what I mean.

        If we are progressives - if we actually hold to progressive ideals of equity, fairness and accountability, what are YOU doing to reflect that? Seems like the republican proficiency for dividing and conquering has infected US too.

        •  Wealthy? (none)
          Check the 'wealth' Vermont, which is low on the teen birth and teen abortion lists.

          And Maine has lower income yet, and is low on the teen birth list.

          There is more than one thing going on, surely,
          and acting like dismissive, patronizing, condescending 'elites' has not helped us in the past.  We need to be part of the solution...get the figures together, (in which case, I would check out what ME and VT are doing right, given that they are relatively poor), and propose solutions to the problems.

          Oh.  Isn't that what Dean did?
                   Success by Six
                   Medical coverage for children (think you can get your own birth control pills, in all likelihood)

          •  Relative (none)
            Vermont and Maine have higher per capita incomes than say, Mississippi and Alabama and higher levels of education.  Their state governments also operate quite differently and approaches to healthcare access differ.

            My point is not that rich states = lower teen pregnancy rates -though most people theorize that its true, but that these statistics themselves are very misleading.  The types of providers and access to different types of healthcare play a huge role in what is reported and what gets placed into the statistics.  There has long been a northern bias in the reporting of certain statistics. Therefore, before people get into a righteous tear about those damned red state moral low-lifes, they had better understand that they are basing that judgement on biased information.

            Also, just as you hint, is this what we should be about? Progressives win when we support the little guy, the non-elite - not just rich white people.

          •  No minorities (none)
            Vermont and Maine (and North Dakota for that matter) have very small numbers of minorities and they are rural small states with no major urban city.  I don't know how the statistics would look if we broke them down by city vs. rural, racially, or income-wise... but those differences would probably tell us more than comparing Maine to Louisiana and Oklahoma to New York.
            •  Just as likely to be due to child abuse (none)
              VT and ME do not encourage beating children.  Success by Six is very useful that way, because it is voluntary and always set up in the positive tone that almost all parents want to do the best for their kids, but don't always know how.  Every new parent gets a hospital visit, where they are asked if they want to participate in the program.  Overwhelmingly, most do. It's a good program.

              If you are an abused child, the one thing you want in your life is someone who really loves you.  First you find a guy...and whether he marries you or not, well then there's the baby.

              The Bible thumping churches are very positive on child beating.  I don't think it helps their teen age pregnancy statistics.

        •  frankly, in this day and age, I'll cop to a lot (none)
          of things.  I'll admit that I'm a bigot.  I hate Republicans.  Period.  Okay, perhaps the just plain stupid, or obviously misled ones I feel sorry for, but the rest of the lot can just f-off.    This includes my own family members.  I still have some love for them, but there is also hate there as well.  And as my excuse I'll cop to having been infected and now I'm hate-positive.  I admit it.  I can no longer just say, politely, "well, let's not talk about that at a family dinner."  I did my best to have "safe" political conversation--I brought along protection (a college education, an open liberal mind, an amusing wit)--but still, I wound up infected with hate.  

          And I know that I am not alone.  And the most troubling part for me lies in the possibility that I will no longer be able to channel this hate away from acts of militancy...

    •  MA has the fewest divorces per capitia (none)
      And yet the Red state freaks think denying non-heterosexuals equal protection under the law will somehow improve the institution of marriage, and they love to rail in code-modeTM against "Mass. liberals".

      Projection much you think?


      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:29:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Question (none)
        Has anyone checked for divorces per marriage as opposed to per capita?  Maybe my statistical background is just too curious, but there may be a few feminists in MA that aren't getting married in the first place.  I'd like to see what percentage of marriages end in divorce rather than how many in the state.  No marriages = no divorces and a great piece of rhetoric, but not what I think everyone has in mind.
        •  Not sure... (none)
          but I doubt there is a statistically significant trend along the lines you mention.

          I believe also the stat I was referencing is based on numbers of marriages that end in divorce as that is usually the divorce rate stats that are normally tracked.

          I mention the per/capita to show it is base don population and not just raw number totals, in which case California would lead in ANY categorically of any stat you want since it is simply the most populous state.


          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:37:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Divorce (none)
            The one I've seen peddled all around liberal sites is per capita.  I think I saw a per marriage list on a conservative site that was different (MA was not on top) and more mixed.  Just wondering if anyone had such a list handy since it would be a better indicator of the success rate of marriages.
            •  these are only a few states, (none)
              because i was doing the math by hand. but if you really want to, go the the CDC or look up the National Vital Statistics

              This is 2000 data, because that's what i found that was all year data.

              A new and useless statistic to mull and or argue about
              Divorce per Marriage
              MA 50.26% (18,597d/36999m)
              NY 38.76% (62,794d/161984m)
              MS 72.81% (14,355d/19715m) incidentally i took a look at Jan through May of this year and it's on the order of 88% so far
              NM 63.64% (9203d/14462m)
              WV 59.51%, TX 42.18%, IL 45.70%, AL 52.28%, NC 56.21%, PA 51.71%

              i'm not sure what if anything this tells us about anything. because in Dec 2000 in MA according to the records posted on the CDC 1845 people got married (or were issued licensed) and 3009 got divorced. which is 163%, or something. in PA that month 4006 people married, and 3858 got divorced (96%). was it just a really bad month to be married? was that the month that everyone's court paperwork finally went through, i don't know. and down in MS that month 3106 people tied the knot, and 1187 cut it. that's 38% about half what the figure was for the year.

              divorce and marriage are two unrelated activities. you have to be married to get divorced. but you don't have to be in the same jurisdiction that you got married in. you getting married does not make it more or less likely that someone else will get divorced, and you getting divorced does not make it more or less likely that someone else will get married. 9you getting divorced does not make it more or less likely that someone else will get divorced either, so i kind of think the whole blue states are better because we have a low divorce rate is kind of a smoke screen too, but that's just me.) so we can tie the two numbers together and have some fun, but it'll be meaningless fun.

              lizz's second rule of statistics: every one of them can be manipulated. or as my guy said "There are three kinds of lies, lies, damn lies and statistics."  

              outside a dog, man's best friend is a book. inside a dog it's very dark. Mark Twain

              by lizzerd on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:24:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  can we please let the Clinto myth go? (none)
      Clinton was not impeached for adultery.

      "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

      by bluestateLIBertarian on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:03:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's the wimmenfolk in dogpatch (none)

    Daisy Mae always did have nice child-bearing features.

    "Somehow 'we told you so' just doesn't say it"

    by Rp on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:14:29 PM PST

    •  It's a typical day . . . (none)

       . . . in Dogpatch, USA.


      "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

      by BenGoshi on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:37:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems to be backward (none)
    It would seem that the states with the problems would be more concerned about moral values.  You don't fix problems by easing up on the rules, and I suspect that is what they fear from a more liberal approach.
    •  Accually it is right on target. (none)
      With more liberty, education and self responsibility comes more educated and self constrained people.  Repub's want the government to tell them what to do because they cannot think for themselves.  They believe that lies are the only way to persuade people when in fact people will often make the correct decision given real facts and information.  When the government lies to the people, the people will do the complete opposite when they find out the truth.

      - Legalize drugs.

  •  High Pregnancy Rate ... (none)
    And this also helps explain the 51%.
  •  What's ironic is... (none)
    ...Oregon has ZERO restrictions on abortion and a servicable sex-ed curriculum that isn't the nutball abstinence only bullshit and we are down with the rest of the blue states in lower teen pregnancy rates.

    Bang goes another Fright-WingTM myth of correlation between abortion on demand and full sex-ed being the bane of society when in fact it demonstratively improves the very problems they constantly go ape-shit over... unwanted teen pregnancies and hence abortion.


    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:18:00 PM PST

  •  18 and 19 year olds (none)
    Why are 18 and 19 year olds included in this report?
    •  Key Word (none)
      Because people who are eighTEEN and nineTEEN are TEENaged.
      •  That makes zero sense. (4.00)
        The implication is that these WOMEN are children.  They aren't and it isn't clear to me why they should be included because of the arbitrariness of the naming convention of the numbers that make up their age.  There should be a rational economic and social reason for it.  Are these WOMEN married?  If so, then why are they included?
        •  Well,... (none)
          In Georgia you can marry at 16.  So I say that georgia should only report the pregnancies of 15 year olds.  Furthermore, you can marry at 15 if you are pregnant (which pretty much covers all reports for Georgia).  So we should just report a big fat 0 for Georgia.

          The bottom line is that if a 19 year old is pregnant then it is a sign of bad judement, plain and simple.  I am more worried about the people who plan on getting pregnant at 19 than the ones who accidentally get pregnant at 19.


          --jamie "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" - Thomas Jefferson

          by jamie ahmad on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:20:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's pretty judgemental (4.00)
            As someone who had a kid at 21 and got/gets almost as much judgemental bullshit about my life decisions as someone who had a kid at 16 or 17 this sort of judgemental attitude about the "right" age to have a kid pisses me off.  A 19 can choose to be pregnant for a wide variety of reasons some of which may or may not be signs of bad judgement.  Of course so can 29, 29, or 49 year olds but they get much less crap for it because the assumption isn't that they are automatically awful at parenting and stupid.  

            In the struggle against evil, there is no shame in defeat -- only in not fighting. -Tolkien

            by Sedge on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:30:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  response (none)
            The bottom line is that if a 19 year old is pregnant then it is a sign of bad judement, plain and simple.

            at 19 my kid sister was happily married and pregnant. deliberately.

            at 25, she's now a college graduate, happily married, and a mother of three. deliberately.

            you're a fucking idiot, plain and simple.

            and what's more you are just as bad as the theocrats always judging people over how they decide to live their lives.

            "Every man on that transport died..."

            by jethropalerobber on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:09:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  and... (none)
        are they including 10-12 year olds?  There is no "teen" in the number.  Are they excluded because of this artifact?  Were the adults (18-19 yos) included to inflate this Reagan era report to maximize the shock value?
        •  Teens/Adults (none)
          Hey!  I am not justifying anything, I was just making an observation and an inference about why 18 & 19 year old women were included in a report that was titled "Teen Parent Rate."

          Since this chart shows parents, not pregnancies (as many have observed), we should probably conclude that it is merely counting live births and comparing that number with population.

          Any purported count of teen pregnancies, particularly if ages under 15 are included, should be viewed with a critical eye because the reporting is not going to be as reliable as live birth and population counts.

        •  It's not a Reagan-era report (none)
          In fact if they included data in this chart from the decade under Reagan-Bush policies, they'd reveal that birth rates went up from 29.4 in 1980 to 44.9 in 1992, for all unmarried women 15-44 years old (including a huge surge in Murphy Brown moms).

          The data used as the source for this chart focuses primarily on the 90s, with chart after chart showing the steep declines in birth rates across the board in every state from their peaks in 1992-3 to the current numbers for 2002.

  •  Following The Example (none)
    <sarcasm>of Mary, who conceived our Lord as an unwed teenager</sracsm>
  •  Barefoot and pregnant... (none)
    seems to be the way they like things in the South.  Revs. Falwell and Dobson would heartily concur.  
  •  over 50%? (none)

    if Jenny isn't pregnant... she's a rebel!

    OH WAIT, that's per 1000.

    All right then.

  •  it's not just teen pregnancy... (none)
    If you spend any time rummaging through government reports, you'll begin to notice a rather shocking trend in several "red states," a trend that casts doubts on the veracity of "moral values" in those areas. For instance, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's "STD Surveillance," in 2002, Mississippi ranked 3rd in the US in the number of reported chlamydia cases, well ahead of states like Connecticut at 24 and Massachusetts at 44. In that same year, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi ranked in the top 20 states reporting gonorrhea cases, and in the top 10 states reporting syphilis cases. And since 1990, Mississippi has consistently had one of the highest infant mortality and child death rates in the country, easily surpassing such morally degenerate states as New York, California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. And let's not even talk about how in 2001, Mississippi ranked second in the nation for deaths by firearms, or how in 2002, Tennessee placed sixth on the list of violent crime offenses.

    What truly amazes me is that Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and several other red states receive far more in federal expenditures than they pay each year in taxes--a number which has been steadily increasing since 1993--even though their massive social problems aren't getting fixed! To my mind, this is the sort of rampant hypocrisy we should be pointing out.

  •  Red State/Blue State ... (none)
    As much fun as the numbers are for snark (and I use them as such) -- I have to wonder what it would look like if we could dig below the state numbers ... urban/suburban/rural; abortions; married/unmarried; etc.

    I mean, if it is simply that daughters of the Confederacy like to have wild unprotected sex more than everyone else ... I guess I can understand why dads in the south have guns and preach abstinence, and are cranky and irrational, besides ...

    •  Odds are (none)
      That the primary relationship isn't politics, but money.  Red states tend to be lower income.  I'm just guessing here, but I'll bet that within any given state the teen pregnancy rate is higher among lower income households, and lower in higher income households.  What worries me is that so many low income people vote Republican.  I've always held that if you don't earn at least $100,000/year you're too poor to vote Republican.
  •  They hate us for our freedom (none)
    Hey, forget Islam and the terrorists, it is "Conservatives" that hate us for our freedom, and our penchant for supporting others who want to be free.  I think we should collectively start using the rhetoric of the wingnuts against them, using their own words.

    Birth control is immoral, and there's living proof of it in Red States that profess that abstinence-only education results in lower teen pregnancy rates...see?

  •  Teen Pregnancy and Victimization (none)
    I've been pushing for a while to change the abortion discussion from "choice" v. "life," with abortion a mere voluntary (and blithely taken) birth control method to one discussing the people that get abortions.  Teen pregnancies are one example, specifically the VAST percentage of teen pregnancies by adult males.

    If you really break down the abortion debate, people fall into one of three camps- (1) abortion on demand, anywhere, anytime; (2) abortion never, murder is murder; and (3) abortion in particular cases, such as rape, incest, gross birth defects, life of mother, etc.  This last category, (3), is ripe for expansion if handled correctly.  Teen pregnancy gives us that opportunity. (And no, I'm not of the (3) camp, but recognize that we need to move some percentage of the anti-abortion people to our side of the equation to win elections, and am willing to start with small wins and work my way up).

    Our goal must be to make the (3) people understand that abortion must remain legal because it's not something that just happens to irresponsibly rutting "other" people, but to them and theirs as well.  The teen pregnancies are ripe for this for one simple reason.  There aren't very many "teen pregnancies."  There are a whole lot of "teen girl, adult male pregnancies."  What does this mean?  It means our little girls are being impregnated by adults- callous, base, licentious, lustful, manipulating grown up men. Just say it out loud once or twice, don't they sound like victims now?  Even if the act was voluntary, how much of a chance does a 14 year old have against a smooth-talking 22 year old with a car and a few bucks in his pocket?  How informed is she, and how much negotiating power does she have?  Here are a couple of statistics to start with:

    70% of babies born to teenage mothers are fathered by adult men; only 30% are fathered by teenagers. (National Center for Health Statistics, 1992; California Center for Health Statistics, 1993)


    19% of pregnant teenagers had partners 6 years older or more (Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1994)

    These facts alone change the conversation just a little, and might help move some of the people in category (3).  I suggest this is a more important part of the abortion conversation than more (ultimately irrelevant, as the chart was live births, not pregnancies) red state/blue state sniping.

    •  thank you for bringing this up (none)
      another element that contributes to the "teen girl/ adult male" problem is this:
      Fundamentalists stress obedience and compliance among children and women-- submit to the patriarch!  That means that the girls don't HAVE the skills to turn away a manipulative older man.

      "With Liberty and Justice for All"

      by ohshenandoah on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:32:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This table is misleading (4.00)
    It contains data on teen births, not teen pregnancies.  A table of teen abortions would look just as bad for us as this table looks for them.

    Here is data on teen pregnancies for 2000:

    North Dakota    42    Bush
    Vermont    44    Kerry
    New Hampshire    47    Kerry
    Minnesota    50    Kerry
    Maine    52    Kerry
    Utah    53    Bush
    South Dakota    54    Bush
    Iowa    55    Bush
    Wisconsin    55    Kerry
    Nebraska    59    Bush
    Montana    60    Bush
    Pennsylvania    60    Kerry
    Massachusetts    60    Kerry
    Idaho    62    Bush
    West Virginia    67    Bush
    Rhode Island    67    Kerry
    Kansas    69    Bush
    Connecticut    70    Kerry
    Virginia    72    Bush
    Indiana    73    Bush
    Alaska    73    Bush
    Missouri    74    Bush
    Ohio    74    Bush
    Michigan    75    Kerry
    Washington    75    Kerry
    Kentucky    76    Bush
    Wyoming    77    Bush
    Oregon    79    Kerry
    Colorado    82    Bush
    Oklahoma    86    Bush
    Louisiana    87    Bush
    Illinois    87    Kerry
    Tennessee    89    Bush
    South Carolina    89    Bush
    Alabama    90    Bush
    New Jersey    90    Kerry
    Maryland    91    Kerry
    New York    91    Kerry
    Arkansas    93    Bush
    Delaware    93    Kerry
    Hawaii    93    Kerry
    Georgia    95    Bush
    North Carolina    95    Bush
    California    96    Kerry
    Florida    97    Bush
    Texas    101    Bush
    Mississippi    103    Bush
    New Mexico    103    Bush
    Arizona    104    Bush
    Nevada    113    Bush
    District of Columbia    128    Kerry

    Red state kids do get pregnant more frequently: the rate is 87 per 1000 in red states versus 81 per 1000 in blue states.  This table also fails to account for illegal abortions and self-abortions, which are probably higher in red states.

    Data taken from here(pdf)

    •  Why how dare you (none)
      post actual facts. You interrupt the flow of hate.

      Why the more advanced superior people were tryin to teach we ignorant people in the majority of the states in the nation how to think and live and what is wrong with us!

      The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

      by cdreid on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:31:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bartles & James (none)
    Somehow I get the feeling that the wine cooler lobby is behind all of this.
  •  This is exactly why we need to talk about culture. (none)
    The culture of personal responsibility is very important in these red states because they see higher rates of social problems than the rest of the country.  IF we engage in the debate about teen pregnancy, absenteeism, drop out rates, domestic violence, alcoholism and drug abuse (as Clinton did successfully in his 2 campaigns for the Presidency), we'll end up with a blue electoral map.  

    These people turn to God, because personal behavior is a big component in all of these social ills.  Opportunity is another component.  A safety net is a third component.  We do well with the last two, and we are virtually silent on the first.  That's why we lose elections in Red America.  We're like a baseball team that has a great starting pitching staff, good hitters, but no bullpen. Can't win without all 3.    

  •  Here's More info, lovely! (none)
    From an older post on Patridiot Watch:

    Red Rate Per 1000 Residents: 4.9
    Blue Rate Per 1000 Residents: 4.25

    Red Rate per 1000 Residents: 4.5
    Blue Rate per 1000 Residents: 3.6

    Red Rate Decrease 1992-2000: 3 percent
    Blue Rate Decrease 1992-2000: 8 percent

    Patridiot Watch
    The best blog ever written by Poppy McCool.

    by poppymccool on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:04:00 PM PST

  •  'teen parent' != 'teen pregnancy' (none)
    Kos, I'm all for this site and everything you do, but the logic in this post is deeply flawed. You cite the chart as demonstrating that teen pregnancy is higher in red states, but the actual data demonstrates that teen parenting is higher.

    It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that abortions amongst teens are more common in blue states, and so it follows that red states would have the higher teen parentage rates cited in the above table.

    I'm not saying that teen pregnancy rates aren't higher in red states, just that the data you're citing doesn't support it, and that misrepresenting data hurts our common cause.

    •  That chart includes married and unmarried (none)
      The chart used in this diary is the overall birth rates for females ages 15-19, regardless of marital status.

      Additionally, the 15-17 age group has about 1 birth for every 3 births in the (adult-status) 18-19 age group, though none of that is reflected in the posted chart or commentary.

      The single mother births are given in a separate chart in the sourced data, see table 19 for unmarried births in the 15-19 age bracket.

      Lastly, teen births have dropped dramatically from 1990 to 2002, in every state on the map. Instead of attacking Bush-voting states and laying the current situation on their shoulders, this board would be better served to hold this massive amount of data up as proof that Clinton's policies WORKED.

      But no, this out-of-context snippet of data makes a convenient mallot to use to bop the current red states over their heads (regardless of whether their state health and education boards are red or blue in 1990 or 2002), call them stupid and uneducated, and attack their cultural tenets as backwards oppressive living standards.

  •  These are the facts because the blue states kill (none)
    Wanna get the number of abortions in the blue states?  Can't deny that teens are getting pregnant and that is bad, but don't try act like teen pregnancy happens less in blue states.  Red states just don't kill there unborn children.
    •  There is not a direct correlation between (none)
      low teen pregnancy rates and high abortion rates. The abortion rate in Texas is higher than VT or PA's, which have low teen pregnancy rates.

      Maybe the kids in TX just like to have sex. Perhaps if they were educated about sex in public schools, they could lower both the teen pregnancy and the abortion rates.

    •  Yes, They Do (none)
      Lived in one of the reddest states far longer than I should have. I loved it there.
      The "good" people in town always knew which family doctor would kindly relieve them of the emabarassment.
    •  there there (none)
      their their
    •  Get back to me after you read this (none)

      Click on Georgia.  Now click on Vermont.
      You have to scroll down until you get to this:
      United States: historical abortion statistics by state

      •  Correlation problem (none)
        Georgia has a large urban city and a high proportion of African-Americans.  As noted up thread, African-Americans are more likely to get pregnant as teenagers and more likely to get abortions.  Comparing VT and GA is not making a good comparison.  Try GA and CA or VT and ND.  The emphasis on red state vs. blue state is really overshadowing where societal problems are located.  Poor urban areas and poor rural communities need assistance (governmental or non-profit or religious depending on your preference) whether they are in GA or VT.  It so happens that GA has more of these communities and thus has higher incidents of family breakdown, abortion, teen parenthood, etc.
    •  Blue States Rates Dropping Faster than Red States (none)
      Red Rate Decrease 1992-2000: 3 percent
      Blue Rate Decrease 1992-2000: 8 percent

      The number of abortions is higher in Blue States because more people live there.  But the trend is that in Blue States with their horrible sex education the rates are dropping faster than your abstinence only Red States.

      Patridiot Watch
      The best blog ever written by Poppy McCool.

      by poppymccool on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 09:43:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm So Stupid (none)
    that I can't understand why folks would profess a love for any fetus that transcends its mother's desires and yet can't wait to end its life when it becomes a bank robber or a terrorist.
  •  Snort (none)
    Like, I am SO surprised to see Texas and Mississippi taking the worst two places in the nation in something once again.

    Not to mention nine out of eleven Confederate states, and KY and OK too, before you find even one Kerry-voting state that's as bad.  Florida and Virginia being the exceptions, and they being the two states with significant regions outside the hookworm belt.

    All we are give back our pants!

    by AdmiralNaismith on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:15:02 PM PST

  •  dangerous, focus on personal responsibility (none)
    I think it's dangerous to conflate social problems in so-called "red states" with arguments about failures of conservative social approaches to problems such as teen pregnancy.

    Using "teen pregnancy" to discuss failures in conservative states recalls political frames that Republican's have used to ensconce "family values" in the lexicon of american politics.  In a post concerning the "clash of civilizations" I discussed how conservative "framing" helps them control political argument.  "Teen pregnancy" functions within a "family values/strict father family" frame.  Every time we recall these issues, regardless of negative tone, we only serve to legitimate the frame (in conservative tone) as a point of debate.  Advantage, conservative.

  •  Confusion abounds (none)
    There are two arguments being confused here and other places that such stats have been brought up.  One argument is false and the other might have merit.

    First, you cannot so easily deduce individual-level behavior from aggregate-level data in large, mixed populations like this.  In other words, to take the oft-cited IQ data, we do not know whether it is the "stupid" people voting Bush just because there might be lower average IQs in the red states and the "smart" people voting Kerry with higher average IQs in blue states.  (And I'm not even going to get into a debate about the quality of the data.)  We might make snarky comments about it, but I have a feeling that too many people actually believe those snarky comments.

    Same goes with these data -- this table doesn't say one doggone thing about the voting patterns of families with teen pregnancies (even for those old enough to vote).  Yet, reading all these comments, I get the sneaking suspicion that way too many people are making precisely that leap.  It's simply lazy reasoning.

    On the other hand, there is a legitimate argument which concerns not the individual behavior of the Bush voters, but whether those same voters are willing to make the kinds of public policy choices which might work to solve problems like teen pregnancy which occur at a higher rate in their states.  That is a discussion worth having.  It is closely related to the well-known phenomenon that federal tax money tends to flow from blue states to red states, whereas those red states tend to be unwilling to make the hard choices to fund their own programs.

    Let's get this debate right.  One version is snarky, silly and false; the other can be turned into a real political tool by the Dems.

  •  This gets us nowhere (none)
    (said in post but restated)

    Dont you get it? The red staters would say, "break down the teen and ask who they or thier parents vote for. Its the Kids who accept the blue state culture, those kids who watch MTV, listen to rap, and dont go to church who get knocked up. Thats why we vote for Bush and Co. because we reject there evil ways." Sorry Kos, this means nothing and does not prove a thing about true morals.

    •  Bull$hit (none)
      Cuz the TENNAGERS in the Blue States not only are living in the 'Blue State' Culture, but are also propagating it.  Silly me, seems like the Blue Staters 'culture' actually results in less pregnancy.

      I live in the South and if there's one thing that is pretty much a license to print money down here it's this:


  •  Colonial era (none)
    I wish I had a link, but it's just a memory.  Colonial "out-of-wedlock" pregnancies were said to be at just about modern rates.

    "Whatever it is, I'm against it." -- Groucho

    by moltar on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:50:22 PM PST

  •  This Works to Republican's Favor (none)
    This graph fits nicely into the Republican Domination Strategy.

    Those "heartland" and Southern kids get pregnant.  They can't afford the child so they turn to the church for help.  The church takes them in and gives her barely enough for her and her child to survive (thanks to faith-based initiatives).  She feels a deep sense of gratitude for the church.  The church asks that she inherit their values in order to keep getting money.  Girl obliges out of guilt and because there are no other options.  Rinse and repeat and what do you know?  She's a surrogate of the church and in the next election she'll vote Republican AGAINST HER OWN INTERESTS!  

    Those Religous Right Rethugs LOVE seeing kids making mistakes.. It gives the perfect opportunity to slide in and guilt them into adopting their values system and thus shaming them into voting Republican.

    Don't get marginalized. Get even.

    by jmgotham on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:54:42 PM PST

  •  umm, no, you are completely wrong. (none)
    please take down this article or retitle it. this is teen births, not teen pregnancy. the teen pregnancy chart looks strikingly different. the difference? abortion.

    anyways, don't you think it's kind of odd that they're opposed to abortion despite their high teen birth rate?

    Join the battle against cosmic evil!

    by gzt on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:54:53 PM PST

  •  Good discussion (none)
    here from yesterday, as well.  

    In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

    by a gilas girl on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:59:19 PM PST

  •  Red State Teen Pregnancies (none)
    I think I have the reason for North Dakota being far down on the teen pregnancy list. They have a saying there, "There's a pretty girl behind every tree in North Dakota."
  •  Tilting at liberal windmills (none)
    Democrats should hit the source of our division head on.  Red State conservatives believe that Democrats should engage in a debate of the fine points of the Republican propaganda machine.  The people who subscribe to this notion live in Red America.  They are easily identified by their bumper stickers, the frequent use of words that end with "ism" and the storehouse of bizarre anecdotes about their fellow Americans they can cough up to "prove" that their theories apply to all 450 million Americans and all of our countries problems.  "Did you hear about the man in California who....?"  "Did you hear about the college students in Missouri who....?"

    These are modern Don Quixotes.  They rise each day to battle "liberal" windmills.  When they open their mouths, they make known that they depend entirely for their information on conservative talk radio and the cable TV shout shows.  The issues they raise as relevant are examples of abysmal misinformation. Take the Liberal Media.

    In this past election cycle, the largest single contributor to Bush/Cheney was Viacom.  Viacom is the media conglomerate that owns Paramount, Touchstone, Simon and Schuster publishing, MTV, Comedy Central, and CBS (of Dan Rather and Janet Jackson of the wardrobe malfunction) among others.  The chief executive officer of Viacom who answers to his board of directors, endorsed President Bush on the news program 60 Minutes.  In doing so, CEO Rowland said:  "There is no question, John Kerry would be better for America as a whole, but George Bush is better for Viacom."  Other large contributors to Bush/Cheney included Disney (ABC), GE (NBC), and Ruppert Murdock's News Corp. (Fox), Clear Channel Communications, and the list goes on.  The decision-makers of the big media supported the Republican ticket.  The myth of a "liberal media" bias exists only in the world of talk radio and cable TV pundits such as Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly.

    The "Pro-Abortion" myth -- same thing.  A myth that exists only in the world of Republican propaganda.  No one is FOR abortion.  Democrats must rethink all issues in terms of exposing RNC propaganda for what it is and hammer it home.  Everyone of the so-called social issues is a chimera.

  •  This is a losing argument, consider abortion rates (none)
    Which is what the red-staters are really concerned about.  Frankly, I think its not very "progressive" to be pointing at teen pregnancy as

    State     1996
    California     39
    New York     37
    Florida     27
    Delaware     26
    Rhode Island     24
    Massachusetts     21
    Oklahoma     10
    Indiana     10
    Maine         9
    North Dakota     9
    New Hampshire     8
    Kentucky     8
    Utah         8
    Mississippi     7
    West Virginia     6
    South Dakota     6
    Idaho         4
    Wyoming     2

  •  Comparison with other countries. (none)
    Here's an article by British lefty George Monbiot, showing that countries with strong sex education programmes have lower teen pregnancy rates and higher rates of STDs.

    Note also the paper published by the British Medical Association which he quotes at the end of the article:

    The result, a paper published in the British Medical Journal shows, is that abstinence programmes are “associated with an increase in number of pregnancies among partners of young male participants.”15 You read that right: abstinence training increases the rate of teenage pregnancy.

    The article citation is: Alba DiCenso et al, 15th June 2002. Interventions To Reduce Unintended Pregnancies Among Adolescents: Systematic Review Of Randomised Controlled Trials. British Medical Journal 324:1426.

  •  Slightly Deceptive (none)
    Because teen marriage rates in these states are also much higher.  So, it's not quite the disparity that you might like.

    What am I doing on DailyKos? I'm Running for the Right...

    by RFTR on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:48:22 PM PST

    •  true (none)
      but maybe that is why red states have higher divorce rates, considering you are getting married at 15-19. MA has the lowest divorce rate in the country.

      George W. Bush: The Dan Quayle Presidency we never had -on a bumper sticker.

      by JP2 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:56:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  or (none)
      rather, maybe girls are getting pregnant and then having their fathers force them to marry the baby's daddy, which leads to an unhappy marriage, and more divorces. I dont know, but I do know red states haev higher divorce rates. Maybe they just worry about Billy and Tommy getting married and arent focusing own thier own marriage. I dont know.

      George W. Bush: The Dan Quayle Presidency we never had -on a bumper sticker.

      by JP2 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:02:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where is the divorce per marraige stat? (none)
        I know divorce per capita is lowest in MA which has been peddled all around liberal sites.  But they have less marriages there too which would partially explain having less divorces.

        Do you have statistics on divorces per marriages, kinda a success rate of marriages?

        •  um here (none)

          2.4 per 100 marriages compared to 4.1 in Texas.

          If you dont like the Boston Globe, Im sure you can look up the Barna Group. George Barna is a conservative evangelical I think so no bias.

          More from the Barna Group:

          Area % are or have been divorced
          South 27%
          Midwest 27%
          West 26%
          Northeast 19%

          The "Northeastern Libruls" apparently stay married.

          I guess ppl in the Bible Belt do enter into marriage earlier, thus there are more marriages, but that's not necessarily a good thing either(that is, entering into marriage early).  

          George W. Bush: The Dan Quayle Presidency we never had -on a bumper sticker.

          by JP2 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:55:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Less education, early marriage (none)
            The situation in the Red states is no different from the situation in any third world country, except that the Red-staters have a choice as to whether or not to live in this condition.

            What they choose:

            Less eduction and more religion = early marriage and early pregnancy = too much responsibility during youth = frustration later in life = divorce.

            In liberal Massachusetts people choose to get an education and so postpone marriage to do this. Unhindered by religious resrictions, they can enjoy sex without rushing into marriage. They can then get married after experiencing different relationships and growining in maturity, as well as becoming more financially stable.  This leads to stronger marriages and less divorce.

            •  well (none)
              not necessarily less religion in New England. That might be part of it, but there a lot more Catholics there than in the South and divorce is harder to get for a Roman Catholic. So although it happens(Kerry's divorced for instance) ppl wait until they are absolutely sure to get married.

              George W. Bush: The Dan Quayle Presidency we never had -on a bumper sticker.

              by JP2 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:15:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah (none)
                I'm an example of the fact that there can be some pretty strong religion up here (CT) too.

                But I'd still say that there's a reason it's called the Bible Belt.  There's a lot of folks up here who go to church every week, and so forth, but it's more tradition than anything else for a lot of them.

                What am I doing on DailyKos? I'm Running for the Right...

                by RFTR on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:58:11 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  the article points out (none)
          reasons for the lower divorce and I think early marriage has a lot to do with higher levels in redder states. MA has a higher % of high school graduates than  any other states(so Bush left the children behind in his own state too!). Higher family income in MA than Tx which keeps down divorce. Guess those taxes actually do some good. Surprise!  

          George W. Bush: The Dan Quayle Presidency we never had -on a bumper sticker.

          by JP2 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:03:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Can you get an abortion by state graphic? (none)
  •  Who cares (none)
    I am way way way to the left on this issue.
    As far as I am concerned, Abortion is just the last form of birth control. Government has no business what-so-ever making any choice or creating any barrier to it, unless they are going to fund 100% of the cost of the kids that will be produced, without raising taxes or cutting services.

    Rather be concerned about those already born.

    Makes me laugh that the Right whine incescantly about welfare queens and the like, yet seem only to happy to forward a policy to create more and more of them.

    This has nothing to do with the culture of life, it has everything to do with putting a woman in her place, which is subservient to a man...there aint a woman I know who would go for that, nor would I expect them to.

    It's time we started framing this issue in those terms, instead of trying to defend pro-choice. Put them on the defensive.

    When I see a fundie church membership, all of them, standing outside an adoption clinic, adopting 2 apiece, then they can come talk to me.

    I am a Reform Democrat

    by Pounder on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:16:25 PM PST

  •  Missing the Point (none)
    As a blue citizen of a red state featured prominently on the list, I must observe that trying to outflank the right on "moral" issues this way is a non-starter among the "moral majority" crowd.  The reason is twofold.  One, those who are moralizing with red do not see themselves as fundamentally the same people as those represented in the high statistics.  The pregnant teenagers, in their view, are black, hispanic, poor, or just plain not-like-them (no matter how poor, black, hispanic, or pregnant they themselves might be).  And that leads into the second point:   Red moralizers do not see it as their problem to be addressed by government in a tangible way.  Sure, the religious right talks alot, but they still believe down deep that they have a right to hold on to their tax dollars, make sure their own daughter doesn't get pregnant, and leave the rest to do the same.  It's a lethal rhetorical beachhead that the right has claimed:  holed up in their homogenous circle, claim that the government has a duty to protect them from lifestyles (nominally) unlike theirs, without actually claiming any responsibility for the mayhem outside the foxhole.

    I also very much agree with the posts that suggest that this an unnecessarily divisive issue.  We should be focusing on finding compromise.  But even if you do not agree with that view, I can say from experience that this teen preganacy thing is unlikely to get a true red-stater riled up.

  •  But at least... (none)
    ...none o' them girls are gonna go queer and start marryin' each other!
    Bring on the toys!  Toys don't make babies. It's just as safe as abstinence...just more fun! Enjoy yourself, Florida (my state, just instituted more abstinence only sex ed requirements for 3 MORE counties, all because a couple of parents complained their kids learned about b/c).  What a bunch of sanctimonious lunatics, am I right? Teens are horny, they have sex, give them some fucking condoms!  If you don't want your kids to learn it, have them stay home that day, don't deny others the right! Isn't that against the establishment and freedom of excercise (or something) clauses: afterall, claiming abstinence is the ONLY way worht discussing is supporting religous beleif, and not letting other children learn other forms of birth control is imposing your beleifs on I right?  I guess it doesn't really matter, the people in power have the last word and considering that --what is it--2/3s(?) of states only teach abstinence, they people in power are clearly morons

    if a guy wants to enjoy our cookies, then let him defend the bakery...never fuck an anti-choicer (-susan jane gilman)

    by morgie5912 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:19:33 PM PST

    •  Look at the reverse (none)
      If your children learn abstinence in school, you can supplement it with safe sex education and free condoms from your own wisdom.

      However, if safe sex education is taught in school those parents who don't want their children taught that sex is acceptable outside of marriage can't unteach their children.

      Regardless of how I or you want to raise our children, having safe sex education in school imposes a viewpoint on all children.  Teaching nothing would be best.  Let parents do the controversial teaching.

      •  Where is the line? (none)
        First off, this is a strawman.  Teaching sex ed does not teach that sex out of marriage is acceptable.  What it does do is accurately and realistically teach what the risks of having sex are and how you can help mitigate those risks.    

        But on a more general point, I am curious about your idea of parents doing the controversial teaching.  Is it just with sex?  Or should schools stop teaching anything that anyone might disagree with?  How about evolution?  Or maybe a discussion of the Crusades?  Or our historical treatment of American Indians?  Why even bother mandating education at all?  After all, parents can teach their kids what they think is important and that should be sufficient.

  •  With these fanatics (none)
    you have to go the OTHER way.. we should demand all Jesi be covered from top to bottom on the cross because his loin cloth shows a "bulge" . And how come Jesus is always a hunk who has major abs and looks like he has been spinning for years.....doesn't this "entice" young, impressionable choir boys?.....and the term " virgin" needs to be dropped in regard to the Virgin may cause people to ask things like "what is a Virgin" and then the word penis will have be mentioned, and then all hell will break loose. And speaking of penises, we should demand that any CHURCH that gets caught diddling the kids automatically has the real estate associated with that churched SEIZED and confiscated. Tax exemtpions.... we shoujld demand any church convicted in a sex scandal should loose its tax exempt status.. why should the American public finance pedohilic institutions,.... I think GW should be asked this question at one of his rare press conferences...lets hold them up to their own moral pontifications.... once they back down, you keep pushing forward.
    Attack the bastards where they are vulnerable.
  •  11 of the top 25 states had Dem govs in 2002 (none)
    including Mississippi, while 16 of the bottom 25 states had Republican governors in 2002, including MA.

    How does that figure into the red-state/blue-state divided issues?

  •  So Markos (none)
    You've joined the hate crowd too?

    It's a little disheartening when you consider that it's likely that 50% of Kos users are "evil red staters". It's even more disheartening when you realise that your now well debunked statistics in reality paint a picture FreeRepublic and Stormfront would crow about.

    You know markos... Evil 'coloreds' having babies. Blacks... hispanics......

    You see most social problems directly relate to income level. Birth rates correlate Directly to income level. Not just in america, but all over the world. In effect Markos you are posting that if only the majority of the country (because most states folks ARE "evil red states" at this moment) would become more like... lilly white new england.. why this problem would go away. Your anger at this election ,at Chimpy, at the neocons and the far right have lead to you posting misleading stats that if you look closer... pretty much say red staters are evil because we have lots of... shock of shocks.. minorities.

    Using teenager pregnancy as a weapon is repulsive in itself of course. Strikes amazingly close to exactly what the far right did. You know.. disgusting welfare mothers. Evil poor people. Lazy blacks and hispanics.

    It's vile, and repulsive. You've not only managed to insult a majority of the Nation markos. Not only managed to insult approximately 50% of democratic voters who btw live in "red states". Youve insulted your own family. Yourself. Your friends. The Base of the democratic party.

    This repulsive hate is getting out of control. Is this your vision of the future of Kos and the Democratic party? A party and blog of ignorant hatred of people you dont know based on facts that arent? Because if it is... you're in the wrong party Markos and friends. We have a party about hatred. About ignorance. About lies and deciet. About blaming victims to make yourself feel better. It's called the Republican Party.

    And those of you pushing this intolerant idiocy would fit right in.

    The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

    by cdreid on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:44:52 AM PST

    •  i got nothing against hate (none)
      hate of what is truely hateful can change the world for the better.

      but hate is not what this thread is about - this thread is about bile. it's just a bunch of sad sacks eating their livers over those poor, stupid, backward red states to whom, now that they broke our hearts in the election, we must make it clear that we never loved them anyway - that no one ever loved them.

      "Every man on that transport died..."

      by jethropalerobber on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:31:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, are you a red state? (none)
      Which one are you?  Texas?  Virginia?  

      I'd like to call you by name, because if I could, I'd like to point out, Mr. State, that Markos didn't say he hated you.  He said that you will have to work out your own social problems before you can impose your solutions elsewhere.

      I submit that if you think this is hatred, you're a very fortunate individual, or state, because you have no idea what it's like to be hated.

      •  Our social problems? (none)
        High crime rates? Oh wait that would be blue states like California and New york.

        Racism? Hmm south central had the riots. NYC police seem to gun down or anally rape a black man every few days..

        Pollution? I seem to recall dukakis standing in front of one of the most polluted bodies of water in the nation making an environmental speech.. it wasnt in the south. The rivers in NY are toxic. LA citizens cant go outside on certain days because they wont be able to breathe.

        Who's social problems do "we" need to solve again?

        The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

        by cdreid on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:05:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's my point (none)
          I'm very interested in looking into red state solutions for social problems in which they have a better handle on it than we do.  If red state cities are less violently criminal than blue state cities, I want to look into why.  I think blue state policies should have less say when they're failing.

          Red state policies in the areas of divorce and teen parenthood and infant mortality, however, are social problems in which they are failing and therefore, their solutions should not be adopted and should be pointed out as failures.

          •  This stuff isnt geographical (none)
            Thats my point.

            The south has its problems. So does the midwest, the north etc etc. They are Local problems.

            LA and NYC have huge racial problems. Those problems imho are caused by the California and New York City governments. Not the people. A heavy handed elitist governance of the "masses". Yet .. the south and midwest get accused of having racial problems? It's illogical. We do.. but theyre nothing compared to the problems in the 'blue state utopias'.

            The south is about to deal with a problem the north has had (and for the most part failed to deal with). Industrial pollution. American industry moved south en masse during the 80's and 90's. As did quite a bit of the rustbelt population. And the south is seeing the beginnings of the pollution problems that same industry brought to the north. Whether we deal with it and how is mostly a southern problem.

            On crime rates. Crime problems are local and state problems. Almost all law enforcement is local. Agencies like the FBI etc are huge beauracracies that for the most part have budgets that far outweigh their usefullness.
            The reason i can leave my doors open at night are cultural. The south is a gun culture. You break into someones house at midnight you are Likely to get shot dead. In nyc that isnt so. In the south if twenty late teens hang on a corner stopping cars and acting suspiciously... The neighbors dont just call the cops they go over and chase them off. In LA i imagine that would get you killed.

            My point, and anger at all this ignorant "redstater" hatred is that it is just that. It's no better than ignorant repulsive racism. And id have a little reticence to knock someone saying that on his ass as i would doing the same to someone who called someone an "n" in my presence.

            We lost the election for multiple reasons. None of them had anything to do with "red state ignorance" or "the ungreatful poor and minorities" or whateve the hatred-du-jour is. We lost because our party stands for nothing but keeping its ruling class in power and priviledge. We lost because the party abandones you, and me, and the Jeffersonians, and the FDR democrats, and the Libertarians, and the NAACP, and the Real feminists who fight for equality rather than outlawing hte missionary position, etc etc.

            Our party abandoned everything it ever stood for. And all it has left is we diehards. Whom they view as pocketbooks and useful idiots. We will win by kicking this incompetant spoiled aristocracy out of power. Not by attacking 50% of the democratic base, spouting vile hatred at poor religious working mothers, ungreatful blacks, lazy youth etc etc.

            The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

            by cdreid on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 03:07:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you're not being objective (none)
              I mean that in the nicest possible way.

              First, taking an attack on your state personally is certainly an old custom dating back to the civil war at least, but it's really not very productive.  

              I am perfectly capable of despising the way a state does business without despising the people in it--failure to distinguish these two things bespeaks hatred inside the person who cannot distinguish.

              Texas, for example, is a huge failure when it comes to criminal justice.  I can point this out ceaselessly, and I can rightly take-to-task a culture in Texas that promotes these failures.

              In a democracy, government is a reflection on its citizens--the citizens in Texas who keep supporting a rabid execution system are not to be coddled so that the Democrats in Texas can feel better.

              I'm sorry that you keep thinking that talking about the problems in red states is a personal attack on you, or any one person, or that you see it as hatred.  I'm not going to stop the comparisons so long as they are leading to more objective conclusions about policy--to do otherwise would be intellectually dishonest.

              I know it must be very hard to be a Democrat in a red state right now and I'm sure it's easy to take all of this personally, but that's a victimization problem that I'm not sure how to address.  

              Best to you, and I look forward to more interesting conversations with you on other topics.

              •  These attacks (none)
                werent on "red state government" or .. whatever it is you are claiming they are. They were literal attacks on the voters in those states. The citizens. Attacks claiming "red staters" .. that is the majority of the nation, are ignorant, illogical uneducated etc etc. But laying that aside..

                It isnt the red states that have the problems. Yes Texas government has built a 24/7 death machine. It's wrong from our (anti death penalty people) position. But that is a moral decision by the people of that state. If you look closely it's mostly the Blue states that have the problems everyone seems to desire to pin on the red states. Crime , pollution, etc etc. How people living in LA, New Jersey, NYC etc can seriously say that Fla, NC,SC etc have crime problems etc etc  boggles the mind. Its not even like the statistics on all this arent easy to find.

                The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

                by cdreid on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 11:59:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  higher rates of abortion in blue states... (none)
    ...are nothing to be proud of.

    also, i hate to tell all you yuppies, yippies, students, and dinks out there, but there are still people in this country you get married and start a family right after high school (18 or 19). it's cultural, as in multi-cultural.

    this chart is divisive classist garbage, just like the one which shows that (big surprise) wealthy blue states pay more into the govenment than they get back. that's called progressive taxation - democrats are supposed to favor that.

    democrats can't go 10 minutes without citing "what's wrong with kansas" and then turn around and ridicule red-staters for the effects of those same economic disadvantages that are supposed to make them run to us.


    "Every man on that transport died..."

    by jethropalerobber on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:13:34 AM PST

    •  There is a difference between speech and action (none)
      You are absolutley correct that Democrats should be in favor of a progressive tax system that would lead to wealthier states paying more and sending money to the poorer states.  The thing is that most Democrats would not seriously think of changing the system to correct this problem.  What they have done instead is to point out this fact as an example of how the "red" states talk about a certain set of morals or policies or whatever, but then act in the opposite way.  

      If Republicans want to talk about how unfair a progressive tax system is or how immoral the rest of the country is, then it is only fair to throw out facts and figures that show the hypocrisy of their statements.  

      •  is it hypocracy? (none)
        because the flow of federal dollars is not from blue states to red states it's from wealthy people in all states to poor people in all states (corporate welfare aside).

        so throwing up these charts and charges you are not really attacking "republicans" you are just attacking poor people. you know, the ones who every good liberal will tell you are just too stupid to realize they're supposed to vote for us.

        "Every man on that transport died..."

        by jethropalerobber on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 08:50:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've been in favor of it all my life (none)
      Until the impoverished vote to both take my money, kick me in the face for it, tell me they aren't taking it, and then use it to foist upon me a system that undermines the very values that made me pay the money in the first place.  

      That's the point of the red-state welfare discussion.

      •  the "impoverished" voted kerry by 63-36 (none)
        see the exit polls.

        <$15,000     63%-36%
        $15-30,000   57%-42%
        $30-50,000   50%-49%
        $50-75,000   43%-56%
        $75-100,000  45%-55%
        $100-150,000 42%-57%
        $150-200,000 42%-58%
        >$200,000 or 35%-63%

        income level was just as good a predictor of candidate preference as was "frequency of church attendence" (which got ten times the press coverage).

        "Every man on that transport died..."

        by jethropalerobber on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 09:01:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Income level is meaningless (none)
          Income level got no coverage because it is a meaningless stat.  Standard of living is much more meaningful since the cost of living varies widely from state to state and even within states.  (I would live much better making $40K while living in the Atlanta suburbs than $60K living in NYC)  Because of those variations you cannot really correlate income level to standard of living.  Frequencey of church attendance on the other hand has the same meaning across the entire nation so it is worthy of attention.  
  •  If they chose different teen years... (none)
    ..., say, 13-16, the red states would be doing even worse.
  •  The real reason... (none)
    ... for the distinction between red and blue states is:

    blue state water causes increased sterility.

  •  You fucked up this tag.... (none)
    It's not PREGNANCY rates, but PARENTING rates.  Ask someone who's had an abortion (or one who's given birth) if there's a difference.  GWB took 30 out of the 36 states with the lowest abortion rates, while JFk carried 12 out of the 15 with the highest (including the District of Columbia).  Let's do some math before throwing this crap around.

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