The Teen Birth Rate Just Hit An All-Time Low Thanks To Reality TV

by Stacey Leasca

Only 22 states and Washington, DC require sex education in schools. Out of those 22 states, only 13 require that the curriculum in sex education classes be "medically accurate."

Essentially, in America, we are sending millions of teens out into the world without basic sex education that could help curb the spread of disease and teen pregnancy. But, luckily for all of us, kids aren't dumb and will pick up sex education from anywhere they can.

According to newly released data by the National Center for Health Statistics, the teen pregnancy rate has hit a historic low in the United States.

In fact, the teen birth rate in 2014 was 42 percent lower than the teen birth rate in 2007.

So what gives? If we aren't teaching kids how to prevent pregnancy in schools, how are they learning about the birds and the bees?

Teens are apparently learning about sex and sex education from the last place you'd give credit to -- MTV.

Bill Albert, a spokesperson for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, told Buzzfeed, MTV shows "Teen Mom" and "16 and Pregnant" help to show teens the truly unglamorous side of pregnancy and motherhood. Albert added,

Young people tell us that these shows are far more sobering than salacious.

Beyond the influence of these shows, statistics also show that teens are making better choices in contraceptives and are even waiting longer to have sex.

Every two years, the CDC asks teens about their sexual activity as part of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.

In 1991, the year the system began, 54 percent of teens admitted to having sex at least once. In 2013, the last time the survey was taken, that number dropped to 46.8 percent.

So congratulations, America. Even though you won't help your kids learn about safe sex, at least you can live with the knowledge that they are teaching themselves (and being more responsible than you were).

Citations: 4 reasons why America's teen birth rate just hit an all-time low (Vox), The Number Of U.S. Teenagers Giving Birth Has Reached A Historic Low (Buzzfeed)