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Birthrates Since World War II, New Attitudes Toward Sexuality
wedlock births, new attitudes, teenage pregnancies, unmarried couples, fertility
While these new technologies offered more effective control over fertility, new attitudes toward sexuality in the 1950s stressed impulsiveness, innovation, and experimentation—all of which discouraged the use of birth control devices, especially among young, unmarried couples. One result was that teenage pregnancies and births outside marriage soared in the 1950s. Teenage pregnancies declined in the 1960s and 1970s, surged again in the late 1980s, and then declined sharply in the 1990s. By 2000, teenage birth rate was down to 49 births per 1,000. Out-of-wedlock births, once comparatively rare, increased dramatically after World War II, and more than a third of all infants in the United States are now born outside of marriage.
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