Teen pregnancy rates are officially at an all-time low.
Yep, the number of teens getting knocked up has dropped consistently since 2007 and now, new stats released by the Office of National Statistics show that the number of pregnancies among under 18s is at its lowest since records began five years ago.
In particular, the numbers for England and Wales have fallen 45% over the last nine years. Pretty promising, we know. But why now?
Well, Professor David Patton, an economist at Nottingham University has a VERY interesting theory, and it’s all to do with social media…
Facebook first became public around the same time stats began to fall. Professor Patton goes on: “It does potentially fit in terms of timing.
“People appear to be spending time at home – rather than sitting at bus stops with a bottle of vodka, they are doing it remotely with their friends.”
So, while they’re sat at home scrolling through Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, they’re missing out on a whole load of sexual opportunity that might’ve been there otherwise. In the words of Professor Patton, teens are less likely to be hooking up at a bus stop like in the “good ol’ days”. LOL.
Claire Murphy from the British Pregnancy Advice Service adds: “The plummeting level of teenage drinking, for example, may be reducing the likelihood of unprotected sex, and teenagers are also increasingly socialising online, limiting the opportunities for sexual activity.”
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The UK is still way behind its neighbours, though. Alison Hadley, who leads the government’s strategy to reduce teen pregnancy told the BBC, “England continues to lag behind comparable western European countries, teenagers continue to be at greatest risk of unplanned pregnancy and outcomes for some young parents and their children remain disproportionately poor.”
Behind or not, we’re taking this as very, very good news. Long live Facebook!