Lower Drinking Age Ups Pregnancies, Or Does It?

pregnantbellyHere’s a study that gives you a whole lot of faith in humanity (yes, that’s sarcasm for you).

Researchers at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and the University of Georgia in Athens, have determined a lower drinking age is tied to more unplanned pregnancies. So that country singer was right – tequila really does make her clothes fall off.

Looking at data from before the federal drinking age was hiked to twenty-one (from the late seventies and early eighties), they admit there might be other reasons for the hike in unplanned pregnancies (like, oh, I don’t know the pre-AIDS scare “we don’t need no stinkin’ condoms” habits of young people?).

But the study’s authors are still trying to tie a direct link between the younger drinking age and increased risk premature births and lower birthweights (five and six percent higher respectively).

From RedOrbit: “It is always possible that other factors besides drinking age laws are causing the effects we see, but we don’t see similar birth weight and prematurity effects for women over 21,” researcher Tara Watson.

Interesting, but according to what I’ve always heard, teens are more likely to give birth prematurely period. Ditto lower birthweights. And that’s based on data from 2003-05, a decade and a half AFTER they hiked the drinking age. And researchers who came up with THOSE findings cite plenty of other factors like smoking during pregnancy (more prevalent among teens).

So why bring up drinking at all? Because our prudish society is still dominated by a fear that teenage girls are going to drink a little, lose their inhibitions and get freak nasty? And we have to blame teen pregnancy on something?

Fortunately for us they raised the drinking age, because now our girls have been saved from themselves.  Now they’re growing up and having babies all by themselves.

Image: RedOrbit

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