One of the big areas of research in sociology is social problems. To me, one of the most interesting things about social problems is the difference between perception and reality. Often, people panic about problems that really aren’t that big – especially if they involve teenagers and sex. According to one organization, 90% of adults think that teen pregnancy is more important than any other problem facing America today. And the media is full of terrifying (to adults) stories about the rise of the hook-up culture.
Actually, teen pregnancy rate in the United States is less than half of what it was 20 years ago. And public health campaign about the cost of the “epidemic of teen pregnancy” may do more harm than good.
What about the hook-up culture? To learn more about teenage sexual behavior in general, check out this article on FiveThirtyEight.com: Are American Teenagers Getting More Promiscuous?
Associate Professor of Sociology