Wednesday, December 25, 2013

virgin births on the rise all across the u.s.

care2 | A new population analysis says that a significant number of women from all over the United States are claiming that they have fallen pregnant without having sex. What does this study tell us about these women, and why so many are claiming virgin births?

Researchers at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that a small but significant number of young women (o.5%) are claiming to have fallen pregnant without having sex or IVF fertility treatment.

The analysis, published recently in the British Medical Journal, involved data collected from 7,870 women and girls aged between 15 to 28, as part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (1995-2009). The study is specifically designed to span the time between adolescence into adulthood. Due to its large scale sampling methods, it gives us representative data of the entire U.S. population.

The study involved young women self-reporting on a variety of things, including their history of vaginal intercourse and pregnancy, as well as their knowledge of birth control methods, and their religious affiliation. The data was gathered through regular questionnaires that the young women would fill out on a laptop rather than in a face to face interview (though an assistant was on hand in the room should the women need it).

The subjects’ parents were also quizzed about how much they discussed sex and birth control, and their school’s administration was also asked about what role sex education played in the curriculum.
What the researchers found was that the women who claimed to have fallen pregnant without having sex shared some similarities.

About 31% of the women claiming to have had a virgin pregnancy had signed a chastity pledge, compared to only 15% of the women who admitted to having sex.

What’s more, the 45 self-described virgins who got pregnant and the 36 who later gave birth also said that their parents had rarely talked to them about sex or birth control, if at all.

The study found that the women claiming to be virgin mothers were on average two years younger than their non virgin counterparts (19.3 years as opposed to 21.7 years). Also, around 28% of the virgin mothers had parents who claimed they couldn’t discuss sex and contraception with their daughters because they themselves didn’t have enough knowledge. That’s compared to just 5% among the women who became pregnant and admitted to having sex.