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At first, you may not think that there is a link between condoms and politics, but there is a closer relationship than you might think.
In this morning's Chicago Tribune, there was an article about a pilot program that is an attempt to reduce teen pregnancy in Chicago, which is currently among the highest in the nation. Initially, 2 schools provided free condoms
to students who had completed sex education classes, and the program will eventually encompass 24 schools.
The United States government, incidentally, is the world's largest donor of condoms. and the majority of the condoms made in America are made in Alabama, which is a very religious red state.
Unfortunately, it's extremely difficult to separate politics and religion, and it's also very difficult to separate discussions of sex from either one.
Space doesn't permit printing the full chart, but the top two lines look like this:
teen pregnancy..... religious ...... poverty ...... uninsured ..... red/blue .... obesity ... h.s. grad. rate ... % bachelor degree
Alabama.. 42 ...........48 .............. 47.............. 14.8 .............red .......... 33.........82.1................... 22
Alaska..... 37 ............9 ...............13 ............. 19 ............... red ...........25.7 .....91.4 .................. 26.6
The links below will help you to do some comparisons:
teen pregnancy - lower number is lower rate
religious - lower number is less religious
poverty rates - lower number is less poverty
red/blue - party carried last 4 Presidential elections
The state that has the lowest rate of teen pregnancies
(New Hampshire) has a higher "consent age" than most of the country (18) and it also requires comprehensive sex education training, starting in elementary school. If pgr happens to read this, he'll be delighted to know that New Hampshire
(the 2nd least religious
state) also has the lowest poverty rate
in the entire country.
In contrast, Mississipp
i has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country. It has a "consent age" of 16, and it requires no sex education in its schools. When sex education DOES occur, it focuses on abstinence rather than birth control. In addition, Mississippi has the highest obesity rate
in the country, as well as the highest poverty rate
. It's also the "most religious"
state in the nation.
Mississippi, unfortunately, has other priorities
, which are detailed in the link below:
If you are a logical person, you would assume that states that limit access to birth control and abortion (which is precisely what "red states" typically do) will have a higher teen pregnancy rate, and that is EXACTLY what happens. In spite of their best efforts, though, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, and Florida (all of which are either red or red leaning states) are among the top 25 states for abortion rates.
97 % of the services provided by Planned Parenthood are not abortion-related, but the red states are determined to shut down as many abortion providers as they can. In 2013, 22 different states passed a record high 70 different anti-choice laws. In the entire state of Missouri, there is exactly ONE provider of abortion services, and the Republican-controlled legislature has just introduced 32 different bills
that are designed to shut it down. Texas and Mississippi (both of which have very high teen pregnancy rate) have managed to close down a number of abortion provider locations, and Arizona just passed a bill (currently being reviewed by a U.S. District Court) that would limit the use of RU-486.
9 of the 10 states with high teen pregnanc
y rates (in the top 10) are "red states".
9 of the 10 states that are the most religious
are "red states".
9 of the 10 states with the highest poverty
rates are "red states".
11 of the 16 states that have uninsured
rates over 15% are "red states".
8 of the 12 states that have obesity
rates over 30% are "red states".
8 of the 10 states with the lowest high school graduation rate
are "red states" (Texas
is the worst in the country)
8 of the 10 states that have the lowest % of college graduates
are "red states" (West Virginia
is the worst here). In contrast, 6 of the 10 states that have the highest percentage of college graduates
are blue states.
I wasn't able to find a state by state analysis of which states had the highest FOX "news"
viewership, but it's worth noting that FOX is the most influential in Montana, Texas, and Mississippi
, all of which are red states.
In the movie Animal House
, Dean Vernon Wormer criticizes "Bluto" Blutarsky (John Belushi) for being "fat, drunk, and stupid".
To their credit, the red states only fall into 2 out of 3 of those categories (fat and stupid). The vast majority of the "drunkest states in America" are blue states. pgr will be delighted to know that New Hampshire is officially the drunkest state in the nation.
In case you're wondering, Utah is the LEAST DRUNK state in the nation. Since the Mormons (58% of the population of the state) don't use tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, or illegal drugs, that's not much of a surprise.