ParaPundit: Lower Drinking Age Means More Teen Pregnancies
Shared by Jing
I'm learning more about drinking age right now, and in particular what I'm woundering about is: Does girl's have a brain that drink while their pregnant?
As I was reading in my Google Reader, this blog post caught my attention because it says that drinking can cause more teen pregnancies. I would disagree because teens these days can drink irresponsibly. Also i would say that would be their problem.
The quote I chose here is basically saying if the drinking age is lowered there would be a increase in birth rates. If the facts are true then it's true but there are things that can be used to prevent pregnancies.
I think this is strong and weak because yea it might lower the chance of drinking for women but it will remain the same for males. It makes me think if hte drinking age is 18 then girl's would still continue their preganancy increase today. For guys this wont effect them since they don't get pregnant.
The team examined birth records and survey data on alcohol use for the years 1978 to 1988, a period when state minimum drinking age laws were in flux. Fertig said the consensus among researchers is that a higher minimum drinking age reduces fatal car crashes and alcohol consumption among young adults, but there is little data on how drinking age laws influence infant health. The researchers found that a drinking age of 18:
- Increases prenatal alcohol consumption among 18- to 20-year-old women by 21 percent;
- Increases the number of births to 18- to 20-year-olds by 4.6 percent in white women and 3.9 percent in 18- to 20-year-old African-American women;
- Increases the likelihood of women under age 21 having a low-birth weight baby by 6 percent (4 percent for white women and 8 percent for African-American women); and
- Increases the likelihood of premature birth by 5 percent in white women under age 18 and by 7 percent in African-American women under age 18.
Fertig noted that in many cases the impact of a reduced drinking age disproportionately falls on African-Americans. The researchers found that a drinking age of 18 increases the probability of an unplanned pregnancy by 25 percent for African-American women, for example.
A radical libertarian would say that the government should make no laws about use of addictive and mind-altering substances. But I'm more utilitarian. Society has to actually work. Teen girls with marginal self control shouldn't be getting pregnant while on alcohol and also drinking while pregnant and we need to prevent them from doing this for the rest of us. They impose external costs by their behavior.
Teen girls who get pregnant while drunk are probably dumber than those who maintain more control and refrain. Our problems are with the dumber people and policy should be set more to encourage better behavior by the dumber people than for the convenience of those who have the most self control.