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Teen Births Drop, But Black Males Still Need Guidance

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report stating that teen births fell to its lowest level ever in 2005.

The report, "Births: Preliminary Data for 2005," includes figures from over 99 percent of birth certificates filed in the U.S. and reveals that between 2004 and 2005, the birth rate for teenagers aged 15-19 fell 2 percent, to 40.4 births per 1,000 - a 35 percent decrease from the peak of 61.8 births per 1,000 in 1991.

The decline in teen childbearing was especially pronounced for non-Hispanic Black teens ages 15-17 - the birth rate for this group fell 6 percent in 2005 compared to 2004 and 59 percent since 1991. In total, there were 421,123 births to females under age 20 in 2005.

"The decline in teenage childbearing has been documented across all race and ethnic populations, but most impressive has been the decline in these rates for non-Hispanic Black teenagers," said Brady Hamilton, a researcher at CDC's National Center for Health Statistics and lead author of the report.

While pregnancies among Black teenage girls are lessening, increased sexual activity remains a concern among Black boys.

"We still need to do more to encourage young Black males to either abstain from having sex, or use protection," says Mybrotha.COM Senior Editor Clark Solomon.

"The drop in teen births is obviously great news and we must commend organizations like the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the Ad Council for getting into schools and influencing that positive trend. But our young men still possess sexual desires and many will eventually act on those desires. They're overexposed to sex and sexual imagery in the media, and that alone increases the chances of them pursuing sex, " says Solomon.

According to the statistics, abstinence and the use of birth control among teenage girls has increased -- resulting in a decrease in teen pregnancies.

"Of course this doesn't mean that boys will stop trying. We just need to make sure they're smarter about using protection, or be really smart and not have sex at all," Solomon stated.

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