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The Societal Context Adolescent sexuality is not a new phenomenon in the Un3 ted States, but the issues are different tony than they were in the 1960s. Endunng social changes during the past 20 years have had signiEcant effects on many subgroups in our society. Adolescents, at a formative stage of development and stnv3ng to identify their niche In the world, are espec~aDy responsive to their societal context. The experience of growing up ~ the 1980s has changed since the 1960s and even the 1970s. Being the parent of an adolescent has also changed. Among different racial, ethnic, socioeco- nom~c, regional, and religious subgroups there is substantial variation in the patterns of adolescent experience and the behavior of their parents. The heterogeneity of the U.S. population makes it difficult to briefly descnbe the Impact of society on its m3iw~ua] members. Yet to under- stan`] the changes In teenage sexual and fertility behavior descnbed ~ the previous chapter and the specific determinants of individual sexual behav- ior and decision making discussed ~ the next chapter, it is useful tO exanune the changing societal context of adolescence. Of particular ~m- portance are several demographic changes, economuc shifts, and legal changes. These include changes In patterns of family life, changes ~ the status of women and nones of adult sexual attitudes end behavior, changes In youth culture, changes in law and social policy, and technological changes that have altered employment patterns, household labor, and the use of leisure time, especially television. Evidence of these changes is presented as background for examining the behavior of AmencaD adoles- cents In the 1980s, not as a delineation of the social causes of adolescent pregnancy and childbearing. 75

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76 ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY PREGNANCy AND CHILDBEARING FAMILY CHANGES Family Structure Although a sizable proportion of teenagers still live in two-parent families In which the father is the primary earner and the mother is a homemaker, most do not. Since the mid-1960s, and especially since 1970, patterns of family structure and labor force participation in the United States have shifted dramatically More teenagers than ever before live in single-parent families, usually female-headed. And more teenagers than ever before have either two parents or a sole parent who works outside the home. Between 19~9 and 1983 the number of female-headed families in the Unuted States more than doubled. Both the rate of first mamage and the remarriage rate declined at the same time that the divorce rate doubled Since the mid-1960s, separation add divorce have become the leading causes of single parenthood. For blacks, however, the rise in femaie- headed households and single parenthood began In the mid-1940s and increased more steeply after the m~-1960s. Despite the declining youth pop~anon following the post-WorId War I! baby boom, the proportion of children under age 18 living in families headed by the mother also nearly doubled, Mom roughly i! percent to nearly 20 percent (Bureau of the Census, 1984b). The impact of these trends has been felt differently by different subgroups of the population. While most white and Hispanic chidden and teenagers have continued to live with two parents, more than half of aD blacks have not (Bureau of the Census, 1984b). Since 1970, the rising rate of births outside mamage has been another factor contnbut~g to the Unceasing number of teenagers in s~ngle-parer~ families. The relative prominence of these factors varies dramatically by race. Although mantal disruption is still the leading cause of single parent- hood for both races, cl~dbeanng outside marriage, particularly among adolescents, has become a significantly greater cause of single parenthood among blacks than among whites (U.s. Congress, House, 19851. The dramatic nse in s~gl~parent, femal~headed families has been paralleled by an increase ~ absent fatherhood. Although proportionately more fathers in the United States live with rather than apart from their children, the number of absent fathers has increased in recent years, especially among younger men Based on an analysis of data from the Nanonal Longitudinal Survey (NLS), it appears that among the cohort of

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THE SOCIETAL CON1-EXT 77 men who were 1~21 in 1979, the number of absent fathers increased threefold between 1979 and 1983, from 320,000 to over 1 million. In 1983, one-third of aD fathers ages 18-25 lived apart from at least one of their children Herman, 19851. However, there are dramatic racial and ethnic differences in the level and pattern of absent fatherhood among young men. More minority members than whites become fathers at young ages. By age 2~2;, 48 percent of blacks and 43 percent of Hispan- ics had become fathers, compared with 28 percent of whites in 1983. Yet more young Hispanic fathers were living with their children in that year than either whites or blacks, about one-third compared with less than one- quarter and one-fifth, respectively. Across race groups, the proportion of fathers ages 2~25 who had their first child before age 19 was higher for absent fathers than for those living with their children (Lerman, 1985~. Pattems of Mamage In part, the growth in childbearing outside mamage over the past 15 years reflects changing patterns of marnage. The average age of marriage has risen for the population as a whole. In 1960 the median age at first mamage wasjust over 20 for women andjust under 23 for men; in 1983 it was just under 23 for women and over 25 for men (Bureau of the Census, 1984b). This pattern appears to be even more pronounced for blacks than for whites and Hispanics. At every age proportionately fewer black women were married In 1983 than in 1970, and at every age propornon- ately fewer black women were married than white and Hispanic women. The same appears to be true for men (Bureau of the Census, 1984b). Changing patterns of marriage reflect changing values and attitudes about the Importance of mamage in general, and in particular the ~mpor- tance of marriage tO legitimate a birth. Many pregnant women, both adults and adolescents, seek abortion, delay marriage for months or even years after the birch of a child, or do not marry at all. Between 1960 and 1982 the percentage of premantally conceived births that were legitimated by marriage declined substantially. Although the downward trend was significantly sharper for blacks, increasing numbers of white women also rejected marriage as a response tO nonmantal pregnant (O'Connell and Rogers, 1984; U.S. Congress, House, 1985~. Research on the relationship between marriage and fatherhood is scarce. Nevertheless, analyses based on NI,S data suggest that the mantal status of young fathers, both those who are living`mth and those who are

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78 ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY PREGLiAAiCY; Amp CHILDBEARING living apart from their children, differs sharply by race and ethnic origin. Young black fathers, regardless of whether they are living with their children, are significantly less likely than whites and Hispanics to marry the mothers. Although most white and Hispanic fathers marry either before or after the birth of a child, most young black fathers do not. However, the marital and residential status of fathers, especially young black fathers, appears to shift over time Herman, 198;~. Patterns of Women's F::mploymer~t and Unemployment Since the mid-1960s and especially since 1970, the number and percent- age of U.S. children and teenagers with working mothers has risen steadily, from approximately 45 percent in 1960 to approximately 62 percent In 1985. Among children ureter 18 in female-headed families, the proportion is even higher, with about 66 percent having mothers in the paid labor force (personal communication with staff of the Bureau of Labor Statistics). White single-parent mothers are more likely than either blacks or Hispanics to be working or looking for work outside the home, and divorced singI-parent mothers are more likely than never-marIied mothers tO be In the labor force. Although school-age children have always been more likely than very young children to have working mothers, the late 1960s and the 1970s saw a dramatic increase in the Confer and proportion of young people of all ages with mothers In the labor force. As more and more mothers havejoined the labor force, more have also become unemployed. In 1985 the annual unemployment rate for moth- ers of school-age children (6-17) was 7.l percent compared with 5 percent in 1970 and 5.3 percent in 1960 (personal communication with staff at the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Unemployment is significantly higher among blacks and somewhat higher among Hispanics than among whites. It is also higher for single-parent mothers than for mamed mothers. This does not suggest that mothers with a husband present are better able to get and hold a job; instead, it probably reflects racial, age, and education differences among the different groups (Kam- erman and Hayes, 19821. Kamerman and Hayes (1982) highlight the shifting pattern of U.S. labor force participation during the past decade. Most notably, the dramatic increase in the number of mothers who are working outside the home represents a Fundamental change in the activities an] orientations of American women. it iS attributable in part tO the population growth

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THE SOCIETAL CONTEXT 79 over the three decades following World War II and in part to the dramatic increase during the 1960s and the 1970s in the proportion of women who chose (or were obliged) to seek paid employment. Chang- ing patterns of maternal employment are undoubtedly linked to broader changes in social, cultural, ideological, and economic conditions in this nation. The economic growth of the 1960s increased the number of available jobs. There were growing social and legal pressures tO ensure women equal access tO the workplace. The spread of the feminist move- ment gave a focus and rhetonc to women's aspirations. Rising rates of inflation significantly increased the COSt of living, and additional income was needed tO maintain many households. Factors such as the declining income and rising unemployment of young men, especially blacks and Hispanics, have also undoubtedly contributed (O'Neid, 19801. Many young men without skills joined the ranks of the hard-core unemployed in the shift to a postindustrial economy, with its emphasis on jobs that require specialized skills and education. In sum, these factors provided major incentives for women to enter the job market and to stay in it. Regardless of the motivation for women to go to work, however, their employment has been accompanied by changes in the patterns of mar- nage, family structure, and family size, and their earnings have brought about changes in the patterns of family income (Kamerman and Hayes, 1982~. It seems likely that these changes have significant implications for adolescent development. First, adolescent girls increasingly have work- mg women as role models. The attitudes of young women, as wed as those of many young men, about work and housework, gender roles, and women's status relative to that of men may be influenced by the women they see in the workplace. Second, adolescent girls are increas- ingly aware of adult women who are living independently of men, whether as a result of divorce, a decision not to marry, or because marriage was not an option. Depending on a young woman's social reference group, her attitudes about the desirability and manageability of a woman's living independently as a single parent may be more or less . . positive. Family Income For nearly three decades following World War Il. the United States enjoyed a period of steady economic growth. However, beginning in 1973, the economy entered a decade of stagnation due in part to the

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80 ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY PREGNANCY ARID CHILDBEARING worldwide of] price increases of 1973-1974 and 1979-1980 and a sudden (an] still unexpiaine6) slowdown in the growth of worker productivity (Levy and Michel, 19851. The effects of the slowdown are ewdent in the patterns of family income. Between 1947 and 1973, median faTnily income (in 1984 dollars) increased steadily, from $14,000 to $28,000 Even dunog the 1960s, a decade that saw a dramatic and rapid growth in female-headed families, median family income never went more than three years without reaching a new high. Since 1973, however, median family income has remained below $28,000, and in 1984, the most recent year for which such data are available, the figure stood at $26,400 (Bureau of the Census, 1985b; Levy and Michel, 1985~. The net result of this stagnation has been that the average American family was little better offm 1984 than it was in 1970. Some families, especially black and Hispanic families headed by women, were more likely to be in poverty. Regardless of race and family type, children with mothers in the labor force were in families with higher median incomes than children of nonworking mothers. For all two-parent families with children in 1983, the median income was $34,670 if the mother was in the labor force, and $23,580 if she was not (Bureau of the Census, 1985b). The median income of married-couple families rose more than that of any other family type from 1960 to 1983. Although the earnings of wives in black and Hispanic families are not substantially lower than those of their white counterparts, white children in two-parent families benefit from higher median family incomes. This is largely because the average earn- ings of white husbands are higher. Children in single-parent families maintained by women are maten- allybetter off if their mothers are in the paid labor force than if they are not. However, on average they are not as economically advantaged as those living with both parents, regardless of the mothers' work status. This is because, on average, men tend tO earn more than women at all job levels. In 1984, among children in single-parent families in which the mother worked, the median family income was $12,800, significantly less than halfthe median income of all marred-couple families (bureau of the Census, 1985b). It was higher for the families of white children (including teenagers) than it was for the families of blacks and H~spariics. In general, the earnings of single mothers are the most important source of income tO the* families, providing on average between 60 and 70 percent of all family monetary resources (MasIiick aIld Bane, 1980~. The median income in single-parent families in which the mother did not work was only $S, 880 in 1983 (Bureau of the Census, 1984b).

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THE SOCIETAL CONTEXT 81 SOCETAL CHANGES Poverty Status In 1984, just under 5.5 million young people between the ages of 14 and 2l, approximately 18 percent of all those in this age group, lived in families below the poverty level. The proportion of children in poverty, although significantly Tower than in 1960, has risen since 1980. Not surpnsingly, those In families headed by single mothers are far more likely than those in two-parent families to be poor 54 percent com- pared with about 12.5 percent (Bureau of the Census, 1985b). Black and Hispanic youth are far more likely to live in poverty than their white counterparts. Among minority children in single-parent families, the proportion in poverty is even greater. Approximately two-thirds of all blacks and Hispanics under age 18 living in female-headed families were below the poverty level in 1984 (Bureau of the Census, 1985b). A major source of support for the nation's poor families with children is federal cash assistance programs, such as Aid to Families With Depen- dent Children (AFDC) and, to a lesser extent, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and such noncash programs as food stamps, Medicaid, public or subsidized housing, energy assistance, and free or reduced- price school meals. Approximately 62 percent of all female-headed fami- lies with children received means-tested benefits in the first quarter of 1984: 35 percent received cash assistance and 61 percent participated In noncash programs. The proportion of blacI; female-headed families re- ceiving these benefits was even higher: nearly 80 percent, with more than 45 percent receiving cash benefits and nearly 80 percent partiapat- ing In noncash programs (Bureau of the Census, 1985b). The social and economic conditions of some minority children, espe- c~aDy ~rnddle-ciass blacks, improved throughout the decade of the 1960s, undoubtedly as a result of the civil rights movement and the war on poverty (Wilson, 1981~. Dunug the 1970s, however, the general cir- cumstances of most minority young people did not continue to improve. The stagnant economy was accompanied by a dwindling federal com- m~tment to social reform. The marital, employment, and income differ- ences between white and minority parents became more pronounced; these differences affected their adolescent children as well. White teen- agers, particularly those In two-parent, mici~e-cIass families, became materially better off; their educational and occupational opportunities increased, and they had reasonable prospects for a secure future.

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82 ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY PREGNANCY AND CHILDBEARING Many minority young people, however, became less advantaged. Poverty and unemployment grew, not only among their parents, but also among young people themselves (Freeman and Holzer, 1985). Be- tween 1964 and 1978 there was a widening gap between the employ- ment-to-popuiation ratios of white and black teenagers. While employ- ment rates for whites were nsing, those for black females were not rising as fast, and those for black males were falling (Betsey et al., 19851. Job opportunities increased for individuals with advanced education and specialized skills and expenence, while the number of places in the job market for those with little education and employment training de- creased. More Snooty families with teenagers became single-parent families during the 1970s, and more became dependent on public assis- tance. Young people from homes that depended on welfare benefits fared worse in the job market chart those from homes that did not (Freeman and Holzer, 19851. The declining position of young black males in the job market has increasingly been cited as an explanation for the growth in black, female- headed families. Over 20 years ago the Moynihan report (1965) pre- sented data showing that black family instability was sensitive to unem- ploynnent rates between 1951 and 1963. More recently, black researchers have argued that dramatic drops dunng the 1980sin the number of employed young black men per 100 black women are associated with higher rates of single parenthood and absent fatherhood (Wilson and Necker:~an, 1985~. Regardless of race, absent fathers generally come from more economically disadvantaged homes than do other young men. In addition, their early school and employment experience is typically below average. Overall, however, young black absent fathers are not substantially different from the* peers in terms of performance or standardized tests, early poverty status, presence of their fathers in the home, and success in school. In contrast, white absent fathers look very different from other young white men. They are much more likely to come from poor families, and their abilities, school perfo~ance, and work experience are generally much below average (Lerman, 1985~. The declining position of many disadvantaged youth dunug the 1970s significantly affected their self-perceptions and their attitude;. Young blacks, in particular, tended to become more pessunistic about their immediate arid future prospects, more disillusioned about the value of education and employment skills, more doubtful about the Lability of marriage, and more dissatisfied with society in general (Chilman, 1980a;

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THE SOCIETAL CONTEXT 83 Auletta, 1982; Anderson, 19781. This pessimism similarly affected blue- collar white youth (Rubin, 19761. Moreover, these changing social and economic patterns appear to be related in fundamental ways to changing patterns of family formation and changing attitudes about sexual behav- ior, marnage, and childbearing. Women's Roles arid Norms of Sexual Behavior During the 1960s and 1970s, many traditional American values and behavioral norms were called into question, among them the roles of women and the nature of male-female relationships. Modern efforts for equal rights for women began in the mid-1960s, as other dimensions of social change were developing, such as the card rights movement, the antiwar movement, student revolts, and the hippie counterculture. When the women's movement began, the U.S. birth rate was already beginning to fall. The expanding economy offered more jobs, and women, especially those with special skills, were needed in the work force. Improved household technologies and conveniences, from the dishwasher to disposable diapers and TV dinners, reduced the amount of time many women spent doing housework. Although the women's movement per se did not command broad national support, it was influential as part of a constellation of factors that, taken together, caused many women to view their roles and status differently. In addition, the introduction of biomedical contraceptive technolo- g~es dunug the 1960s (i.e., the pip and the mtrautenne dewce) enabled women to control their own fertility without the knowledge or cooper- ation of they male partners. The new forms of contraception made it possible for sexual intercourse to be largely independent of pregnancy. The use of sterilization as a form of fertility control also grew ~ popular- ity dunng the 1970s, partly Tom concern about the side effects of the pilD and partly because of the development and increased availability of simple, safe, and less expensive methods of female sterilization. Between 1969 and 1978, approval of surgical methods of contraception for both men and women more than doubled among marned women, with vasectomy regarded somewhat more favorably than female sterilization. Since then, approval of both male and female methods of sterilization has remained fa=ly steady at around 70 percent. Among mamed women 30 and older, stenlization is the most common method of contraception, regardless of family size. Among those under 30, only women with two

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84 ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY PREGNANCY AND CHILDBEARING or more children prefer sterilization to the pill. By 1982, however, 21 percent of all U.S women of reproductive age relied on sterilization (12 percent on female and 9 percent on male sterilization) to regulate their fertility (Forrest and Henshaw, 1983~. An evoinog focus of the women's movement in the 1970s became equality of sexual expression. The findings of Masters and Johnson spurred many women to reject the traditional double standard concern- ing maTe-female sexual relations and to advocate the "right" to expect sexual fulEliment from their partners. Women, it was argued, could and should enjoy sex as much as men. Sexual attitudes and behavior increas- ingly became the focus of egalitarianism in gender roles (Reiss, 19731. As the popular author Reuben (1970) wrote, "an active and rewarding sexual life, at a mature level, is indispensable if one is to achieve his [or her] fuL potential as a member of the human race." At the close of the 1960s, Yankelovich found in his Youth Attitude Survey that a growing majority of college women thought that women should be free to initiate sexual relations an] that concern with women's sexual satisfac- tion was the most important quality in a man (Yankelov~ch, 19741. By 1973 that attitude had spread to working-cIass youth as wed. Premarital intercourse, abortion, and homosexual relations were wewed as morally acceptable by a majonty of both college and noncollege youth (Yanke- lonch, 1974~. For aminontyofyoung people, favorable altitudes about sexual freedom extended to "open marriage," "group sex," and "group marriage," although there is no evidence that these practices were widespread (Chilman, 1980a). The incidence of premantal sexual activity increased rapidly in the 1960s and into the mid-1970s. Cohabitation also became more prevalent (Glick, 197~. Among never-mamed women ages 18-19, for example, the percentage living with a man rose from 0.2 percent in 1970 to 2.5 percent in 1980 (Sweet an] Bumpass, 1984; Alan Gut~macher Institute, In press). As in the case of attitudes toward premantal intercourse, studies of attitudes toward cohabitation show that by the mid-1970s most college students had come to accept such arrangements In the context of a strong, affectionate, and preferably monogamous relation- ship Uessor and lessor, 1975) Cohabitation did not replace marriage among older teenagers, however, nor did it compensate for the decline in the proportion of this age group who married. The total percentage of 18- to 19-year-old women who were currently warned or cohabiting in 1980 was lower than the percentage who were currently married in 1970

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THE SOCIETAL CONTEXT 83 (Alan Guttmacher Institute, in press). Moreover, Macklin (1981, cited in Chilman, 1980a) concluded that there is no single typical cohabitation relationship; they range broadly from those that are rather casual to those that are highly committed and directed toward marriage. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, as premarital intercourse and co- habitation became more accepted, separation and divorce increased. Whether growing sexual freedom among women actually caused or contributed to marital dissolution has not been documented. Neverthe- less, divorce rose among all age groups dunng this period, not just among young, childless couples. As a result, many more adolescents than ever before were experiencing the breakup of their parents' mar- riages and living for some period dunug their formative years in singie- parent families. Simultaneously, the rate of first marriages declined and childbearing outside marriage increased, particularly among adolescent women. For many women, especially poor and black ones, marriage came to be regarded as neither a social necessity nor an economic possibil- ity (Ladner, 19721: high unemployment rates among young black men posed a barrier to establishing economically viable and stable marriages. In addition, as one scholar suggests, black women have had a strong orientation toward employment for several generations, and this, co~n- bined with declining employment among black men, may have made them less disposed toward marriage (Kenkel, 1986~. In 1973, the legalization of abortion added another dimension to women's growing sexual freedom. With the legal right to decide whether to give birth once pregnant, women gained even greater con- tro] over their social and economic destinies. Surveys in the early 1970s showed that people who were most likely tO support the legality and availability of abortion were white, Protestant, and with higher income and education levels (reported by Chilman, 1980a). Nevertheless, federal funds to help corer the costs of abortions for eligible poor women receiving Med*aid benefits (many of whom were black) were also made available in 1973, thus extending this freedom of choice to those who were unable lo purchase it on their own. By 1977 the abortion rate for black women was more than double that of white women, and it has remained disproportionately high into the 1980s, despite ruts iI1 Medi- caid fending for this procedure (Henshaw and O' Reilly, 1983~. The women's movement addec] yet another dimension tO the growth of sexual freedom. Led primarily by white, middIe-cIass women in the 1960s and 1970s, its message reached white women more readily than

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86 ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY PREGNANCY; AND CHILDBEARING black women; as a result, whites were more significantly affected by it than blacks. As Ladner (1972) discusses, blacks and whites did not approach the women's movement with the same sociocultural realities and attitudes. Most black women had always needed tO work outside the home and to assume responsibility for the economic support of their families. They had traditionally played a major, often dominant role in family decision making. Nonmantal sexuality for both men and women had long been accepted in the black community (I~adner, 1972; Moore et al., 1986~. Although adolescent pregnancy has never been viewed as desirable, there is a tradition of acceptance when it occurs and a strong value placed on keeping the child. Black teenage mothers have typically found support and assistance from their families and kin network (Wil- liams, 1977, ated in Moore et al., 1986; Stack, 1974; Hofferth, 1981~. Therefore, although rates of nonmantal sexual activity, abortion, and childbearing outside marriage increased among blacks dunng this pe- nod, the most Fanatic increases were among whites. The women's movement has been aimed at changing the c~rcum- stances of adult women. Nevertheless, itS influence has been strongly felt among adolescent women as well over the past two decades. {t has helped to raise educational and occupational aspirations for many, and it has demonstrated that being a homemaker, wife, and mother is not the only available role for women. The women's movement encouraged many young women to recognize that they need not be passive and dependent in their relationships with men and urged them to pursue every opportunity to use their talents and energies as active, intelligent Spirituals, equal tO their male counterparts. Moreover, it challenged many tra~itionai moral values axed indirectly encouraged young women to seek enjoyment an] fulfillment in sexual expression. Changing atti- tudes about premantal intercourse, contraception, abortion, childbear- mg, and marriage became manifest In the actions of teenagers as well as adult women, and they reached a peak In the mid-1970s. The early 1980s have seen the emergence of a new conservatism, both economic and social. In the wake of the sexual liberalism of the 1970s, the "new morality" has become a source of growing and vocal contro- versy. Many people sharply disapprove of adolescents' involvement in behaviors that had become accepted norms for adults. They attribute the rise in adolescent pregnancy to a disintegration of moral values. Efforts to limit adolescents' access to family planning services and to abortion services by requiring parental consent reflect the belief held by many that

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THE SOCIETAL CONTEXT 87 programs and policies that appear to legitimate premarital sexual activity among young people exacerbate and perpetuate the problem. The data beanug on these assumptions are examined in Chapter 6. Youth Culture The teenagers of the early 1960s were the first wave of the postwar babyboom. Their childhood years during the 1950s were largely charac- tenzed by peace, prospenty, convention, and rising levels of matenal comfort. In contrast, their teenage years were fraught with social un- rest, revolt, and disillusionment about a society whose technological developments and prosperity failed to solve the problems of hunger, poverty, and social injustice and created many new problems, including urban decay and a shrinking market for unskilled labor. The unrest was exacerbated by a controversial war in Southeast Asia. The youth movement and student revolts of the 1960s were actually a series of interrelated movements for social change. Opposition to the Vietnam War gave rise to protests against the mulitary drain. Concerns about growing racial inequities stirred protests against segregation schools, neighborhoods, churches, and places of employment. Disillu- sionment with a society that seemed not to hear the concerns of some of its young people libeled protests against academic censorship and in favor of student free speech on campuses across the country. And growing alienation in a society that apparently valued matenalism, standardiza- i~on, and conformity led to the emergence of the hippie counterculture, which fostered free self-expression and the cultivation of alternative life- styles, including drug use and sexual freedom. Although many older people who were deeply concerned about the condition of society were also attracted to these movements, they were largely dominated by the young. As scholars have observed, the effect of these movements on some young people was a rejection of traditional values (such as the meets of self-discipline, achievement, deferred gratification, and Tong-term com- m~tment to goals) and confilsion about what values should replace them (Chilman, 1980a; Pane} on Youth of the President's Science Advisory Committee, 1974; Coleman, 1961; Douvan and Adelson, 1966; Kenis- ton, 1968, 1971; Flacks, 1970, 1971~. Alienation and conflict between generations as weD as between socioeconomic and ethnic groups, ever present in our society, became erred more pronounced. DisiDusionment

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88 ADOLESCENT SEXUALI7) PR EG.~ANCY AND CHILDBEARING with the value and relevance of education led to an increasing tendency for young people to drop out of school (Bachman et al., 1971; Panel on Youth of the President's Science Advisory Committee, 19741. And impatience with an old moral order that appeared to lack sincerity, authenticity, individualism, and free self-expression became increasingly widespread. Adolescents in the 1960s seemed to reject the world of growing public and priorate bureaucracy, standardization, materialism, and consumerism that their parents had helped create in the aftermath of World War Il. They sought to replace it with a more natural, humanistic, indiv~dualis- tic, and classless society (Mahier, 1977; WestLy and Braungart, 1970~. In fact, however, the college-age activists of the 1960s were a small minor- ity of the total university student population perhaps as small as 5 percent (Flacks, 1971~. Their vocal protests and demonstrations drew the attention of university administrators, Scientists, journalists, po~iti- cians, m] the public, many of whom behaved as though they were a more representative group (Hill and Monks, 1977~. Indeed, some ob- servers argue that the rebelliousness of 1960s activists is less significant for the attention it drew to the gap between themselves and their upper- m~le-ciass parents than it was for the attention it drew to the gap between the values of socially and economically advantaged young peo- ple and those of less affluent, more conservative subgroups of the popula- tion, regardless of generation (Hill and Monks, 19771. In contrast, the teenagers of the 1970s were young children during the turbulent decade of the 1960s. By the time they became teenagers, the Vietnam War was over, and the nation was rocked with revelations of corruption at the highest levels of government and the corporate world. The counterculture that flourished in the affluence of the 1960s faltered under the pressures of the inflation, recession, and unemployment of the early 1970s. And the campus rebellions died out as the fenror to change society faded (Eisenstad~t, 1977~. Among many young people a renewed interest in educational achievement, career, and family replaced political activism. As Chilman (1980a) reports, by 1973 the majority of young people (pnmarily m~ddle-ciass and upper-middIe-cIass) expressed sai~s- faciioI1 untie their personal lives and future prospects. Most accepted the conventional life-styles of their parents and felt that society was essen- tially healthy and its problems manageable (Chilman, 1980a), although among some teens attitudes about drug use and sexual freedom contin- ued to reflect the liberalism of the 1960s. There was, however, little faith

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THE SOCIETAL CONTEXT 89 among many young people in the political system as a way of promoting social well-being (perhaps influenced by the Watergate revelations), and few were motivated to become politically involved. The proportion of eligible young voters (18-20 years old) who went to the polls declined between 1972 and 1976 (Bureau of the Census, 19856~. As the decade of the 1970s progressed, the economic conditions of the country worsened dramatically. Inflation soared, unemployment reached new heights, and for many young people the prospects of assured prosperity faded. Minority young people in particular were adversely affected by the economic decline of the mid- and late 1970s, as unemployment among those 16-19 reached a 20-year high in 1975 (Bureau of the Census, 19853~. Rates of poverty, which had declined in the late 1960s, increased with rising unemployment. The growing number of female-headed families were especially at risk of being poor, particularly if they were young and black. Approximately half of all black teenagers growing up in the 1970s lived in single-parent families, many became single parents themselves at young ages (Bureau of the Census, 1984b), and virtually all were poor. Apathy, alienation, and hopelessness became prevalent attitudes among many young blacks in the mid- and late 1970s. Similarly, among white, blue-collar youth, perceptions of inescapable deprivation and dwindling prospects of re- warding jobs, happy marriages, and adequate income became prevalent (Rubin, 1976~. The economic decline of the late 1970s and its associated social prob- lems opened the door to the new conservatism of the early 1980s. Although the seeds had been SOWN in the previous three decades, eco- norn~c conservatism, as well as moral and religious conservatism, began to flourish and found new expression in the political arena (Nisbett, 1985; Glazer, 1985~. Excesses of personal indulgence and governmental waste were blamed for the declining position of the IJnited States in the world market, in the arms race, and in technological development. They were similarly blamed for social problems ranging from criminal vio- lence to adolescent pregnancy. As a result, the traditional Protestant work ethic began to gain new populanty. In education there was re- newed interest in basic skills and enhanced math and science programs; in social welfare there was a push to cut programs in order to reduce public COStS and tO discourage long-term dependence; and in public policy generally, there was a movement tO transfer authority and respon- sibility from government back tO individuals, families, and communi

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90 Al)OLESCENT SEXUALITY; PREGNANCY AND CHILDBEAR1~G ties. Religious fundamentalism began to gain new populanty, calling for a more traditional code of personal morality to curb the sexual liberalism that became widespread during the 1960s and i970s. It reaffirmed the importance of the nuclear family as the primary social, economic, and . . . . . cu. aura lnStltUtlOI1 In society. Iromcally, as one observer has noted, although neoconsenratives cam- pa~gned for less federal government involvement in family life, private business, and local communities, the sweeping thrust of the Reagan administration has been interpreted by many to be more government involvement, through proposed laws and constitutional amendments that cover sexual behavior among consenting adults, abortion, Baby Doe cases, school prayers, and contraception (Nisbett, 1985~. We have yet to realize the full effect of the conservatism of the early 1980s whether it will create a stronger goal orientation among young people, whether it Wit] actually result in reduced levels of premantal sexual activity, abortion, and childbeanug outside marriage, whether it will foster high rates of early mamage reminiscent of the 1950s- or whether it Will have no effects at all in these areas. It also remains to be seen whether the values and approaches of the 1980s wig draw together or further differentiate young people of different racial, ethnic, and . . . . socioeconomic groups ~ our society. Technological Charge: Television Beginning in the 19SOs, U.S. society has expenenced dramatic tech- nolog~cal changes that affect virtually every aspect of daily life. Commu- nications, travel, and household tasks, as well as commerce, Plushy, and defense, have all been revolutionized by Ilew tech$lolog~es. Perhaps none has been more influential, however, than the television. By 1960, 87 percent of American households had a television; by 1970, 95 percent had at least one television, and a majority had more than one (Bureau of the Census, 19853~. Since the 1960s, television has been a significant vehicle for transm~- img information, commu~cai~ng ideas, an] influencing culture. Pro- gramming for education, news, and entertainment has greatly ex- panded, and the Neilsen Company estimates that the average Amencan-owned television set is on for seven hours each day (Bureau of the Census, 19856~. For adolescents growing up in the 1960s, the 1970s, and now in the 1980s, telension is a predominant aspect of their lives. Analysts at the Center for Population Options estimate that by the time

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THE SOCIETAL CONTEXT 91 most young people reach 17 or 18, they will have spent 15,000 hours in front of a television set, compared with 11,000 hours in school (unpub- lished CPO memorandum, 1985~. Television Hewing undoubtedly affects adolescents' knowledge and attitudes in many areas, including sexuality. Studies show that both explicit and implicit sexual behavior in television programming in- creased dramatically dunug the 1970s (Orr, 1984a). Sexual references are present in virtually all types of programs, including situation comedies, mystery and adventure shows, and family dramas. The incidence of implied or explicit sexual acts are most frequent, however, on soap opera senes, which are aired in the afternoon and increasingly during prime time in tbe evening. In these programs, sex is made to seem romantic and desirable, especially when it is illicit. More often than not, sexual refer- ences are to intercourse (either discussion of or the act of) between unmarried partners (Greenberg et al., 1981~. In addition, sex is com- monly linked with prostitution and violence, and sexual relationships are rarely portrayed as "warm, Soaring, or stable" either inside or outside marriage (National Institute of Mental Health, 1982~. Homosexual relationships are not the frequent subject of television programming, but references to homosexuality are increasingly common (Lowry et al., 1981~. Contraception is almost never mentioned or referred to, and the negative consequences of an uniIltended pregnancy are rarely portrayed. Abortion and childbearing outside mamage are generally presented without reference to their negative dimensions and consequences. Television advertising of all kinds of products, from cars to milk, also contains sexual innuendos and overtones. Advertisers commonly use physically attractive and seductive young women (and, increasingly, young men) to display their products, with the implication that buying them will make the purchaser more sexually desirable (Alan Guttmacher Institute, in press). Their message is aimed pnmanly at adolescents and young adults. Yet television advertising may be as influential for what it does not 30 as for what it does. While a variety of persona care products are advertised, iDclud~g douches, sanitary napkins, and tampons, adver- tising of nonprescnption contraceptives is essentially banned by broad- casters (advertising of prescription methods is prohibited by the federal government) (Alan Guttmacher Institute, in press). Television pro- gramuning and advertising in general provide young people with lots of clues about how to be sexy, but they provide little information about how to be sexually responsible.

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92 ADOLESCENT SEXUALITY PREGNANCY AND CHILDBEARING We know little about how and how much teenagers learn about sex from the unrealistic picture of it that is presented by television. How- ever, it is difficult to believe that it does not influence their attitudes (if not their behavior) to some extent, in light of the amount of time young people spend watching and the frequency of their exposure to sexual references and innuendos. The literature on the effects of teiewsion violence suggests that the child's environment has a great deal to do with how he or she interprets the messages that are transmitted and how he or she acts on them (National Institute of Mental Health, 1982~. Undoubt- edly the same is true of sex on television. Since 1980 television technology has taken a new turn with the introduction of the video cassette recorder. Although there is no existing research on the impact of this new technology on young people, it seems likely that historians a decade from now will find that it has been a predominant influence on them. With the development of the VCR has come the introduction of rock video productions- prerecorded cassettes that combine rock music by popular performers with dramatic interpre- tations of the lyrics. Lyrics are frequently sexually suggestive, and often the dramatic portrayals include explicit and implied sexual references, violent sexual acts, homosexuality, and aggressive male domination of women. Rock video cassettes are aggressively marketed to teenagers, and they have been extremely lucrative for the manufacturers. The prospect of their increasing popularity and influence throughout the decade is high. Many observers believe that television has affected the course of Amer- ican life during the twentieth century more than any other single devel- opment. Indeed, it has enormous potential to influence values and norms across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups in effect to alter the course of events and to change culture. Yet it remains for researchers to discover the long-term effects on human development and behavior for a generation of young people who have never lived without a TV. CONCLUSION The process of adolescent development, while constant and predict- able in many aspects, is significantly influenced by the historical and social context in which it takes place. As Eider (1980) suggests, adoles- cent experience is shaped directly by histoncal events for example, the Vietnam War, the women's movement, advances in contraceptive tech- nology, and the legalization of abortion and i: is shaped indirectly by

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THE SOCIETAL CONTEXT 93 the life histories that young people bring to this stage of development for example, their race, socioeconomic status, family circumstances, cultural niche, and personal experiences. Socioculturai factors have important effects on individual de~relop- ment. Social status as it is mediated by race, ethni~ty, income, religion, and geographic residence shapes cultural values, which in turn affect the way individuals new themselves and are newed by others. Culture evolves from the life history and experiences of a group and the group's attempt, over time, tO adapt to its environment (Chilman, 1980a). The developing indinclual is unbued with the values, norms, beliefs, and expectations of his or her social reference group (Elder, 1980~. In this way, societal attitudes about sexuality influence teenagers' developing attitudes, behaviors, and sexual identities. The 1960s and the 1970s gave rise tO changing attitudes and norms of adult sexual behavior. While controversy continues about the extent to which adult normals should apply tO adolescents, the prevalence of nonmarital sexual activity and cohabitation, the availability of biomedical contraceptives and abor- tion, and the growing acceptance of childbearing outside marriage have undeniably influenced adolescents. Changing attitudes and behavior related tO sexuality have been paral- leled by pervasive changes in other areas of adolescent behavior as well, particularly licit and illicit drug use and normative transgressions in general. A Ante variety of research indicates quite compellingly the covariation that is found among sexual activity, alcohol use, drug use, and delinquency during adolescence (Ensminger, Vol. Il). In addition, it suggests that for many young people, sexual permissiveness is not an isolated phenomenon but instead one component of a complex pattern of interrelated behaviors. Such findings have unportant implications for understanding sexual behavior within the context of the adolescent's life as a whole, as well as for understanding the nature of the culture in which that behavior is embedded. Culture fundamentally affects sexuality and fertility by creating ~ral- ues, normals, and expectations about sexual relationships, sex roles, sex- ual behavior, marriage, and parenting. The historical events of the 1960s and 1970s dramatically altered the social, economic, and cultural context of adolescence. Different subgroups in American society were differ- ently affected. This social context of adolescent development has directly and indirectly influenced national trends in sexuality and fertility as well as individual sexual behavior and decision making among teenagers in the 1980s.

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