Immaculate Conception by Francisco de Solis, 1682.
Researchers are finding strong correlation between teenage birth rates and the prevalence of religious beliefs in particular states within the US. The lack of contraception ~ not the lack of abortions ~ appears to be the reason.
"Our findings by themselves do not, of course, permit causal inferences. But, if we may speculate on the most probable explanation, we conjecture that religious communities in the US are more successful in discouraging the use of contraception among their teenagers than they are in discouraging sexual intercourse itself," says Joseph Strayhorn, an adjunct faculty member with Drexel University and the University of Pittsburgh.Researchers used data from the Pew Forum's US Religious Landscapes Survey and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to examine state-level effects of belief on teen birth rates.
"The magnitude of the correlation between religiosity and teen birth rate astonished us,” Strayhorn said. “Teen birth is more highly correlated with some of the religiosity items on the Religious Landscapes Survey than some of those items are correlated with each other."The religiosity of a state was determined by averaging the percents of respondents who agreed with the eight most conservative opinions possible in the Religious Landscapes Survey, such as ‘There is only one way to interpret the teachings of my religion’ or ‘Scripture should be taken literally, word for word.’”
Click here for the ScienceDaily article.