Fewer teenage pregnancies - survey

2011-02-01 13:14
Johannesburg - Far fewer teenagers are giving birth at present than two decades ago, the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said on Tuesday.

Between 1987 and 1989 there were 124 births per 1 000 teenagers, but only 58 in 2008, the SAIRR said in a statement following the release of its latest South Africa Survey.

The research also found no link between teenage pregnancies and child-support grants.

In 1998 there were 81 births per 1 000 teenagers, between the ages of 15 and 19.

In 2008 there were 58. Between 1998 and 2008, births per 1 000 decreased by 28%.

"This can be attributed to increased access to contraceptives," said institute researcher Nachi Majoe.

According to the survey, in 2003 there were nearly 20 000 pupils who fell pregnant. Over the following two years, this figure decreased by 25%.

The decrease in pregnancy was similar to the trend in births and could also be attributed to access to contraceptives and changes in sexual behaviour.

"The number of child-support grant beneficiaries increased substantially over the years. However, the overall decrease in births per 1 000 teenagers and pupils who fell pregnant shows that there is no direct correlation between the number of teenagers who fell pregnant and the number of grant beneficiaries.

"This data contradicts the view that the child-support grant is an incentive for teenage pregnancy," Majoe said.

Read more on:    sairr  |  health

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