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A Second Look at the US Teen Pregnancy Rates

Evidence for a Predominant Natural Law Or a Looming Crisis?


Why Have Teen Pregnancy Rates Dropped A new study shows how to reduce them even more.
By Darshak Sanghavi| Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at 11:30 AM ET

This is a follow up of the companion article on Teen Pregnancy Rates and is aimed at clarifying any deficiencies in the earlier presentation. The fundamental reason why the ratio y/x cannot be used to predict a rate of change (e.g., the number of pregnancies, y) is discussed here, see http://www.scribd.com/doc/102000311/ALittle-Known-Mathematical-Property-of-a-Straight-Line-Strange-but-true-there-isone
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Table of Contents
No. 1. 2. 3. Topic Summary Introduction US teen pregnancy data analysis 3.1 Testing for Type I Behavior (1972-1980) 3.2 An INVERSE Type I Behavior (1980-1987) 3.3 Type III Behavior (1990-2008) Brief discussion Appendix II: Bibliography of related articles Page No. 3 4 5 8 11 16 20 24

4. 5.
.

The child is the father of the man


- William Wordsworth in The Rainbow http://quotations.about.com/cs/poemlyrics/a/The_Rainbow.htm
My heart leaps up when I behold A Rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began; So is it now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me die! The Child is father of the man; And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety

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1. Summary
It has not been widely appreciated that the ratio y/x is NOT a constant, even on a PERFECT straight line, if the straight line does NOT pass through the origin. Hence, if a simple linear law, y = hx + c, with a nonzero intercept c, describes the relationship between the variables x and y of interest to us (e.g., teen female population x and number of teen pregnancies y, in the problem to be discussed here), the ratio y/x = m = h + (c/x) can either increase or decrease as x increases depending on the numerical values of the constants h and c. This gives rise to three types of linear laws, which may be referred to as Type I (h > 0, c < 0, y/x increases with increasing x), Type II (h > 0, c > 0, y/x decreases with increasing x), and Type III behavior (h < 0, c > 0, y/x decreases with increasing x). All the three types of behavior (and their inverses, which refers to the case of decreasing x) are indeed observed when we analyze a variety of problems where huge volumes of (x, y) data are being compiled and reported on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. More importantly, this fundamental property of a straight line means that the ratio y/x is NOT the same as a rate. The true measure of the rate of change is the slope h and y/x = m = h if and only if the intercept c is zero, which is rarely the case in most problems we must deal with (outside, perhaps, physics and chemistry) in the real world. The application of these ideas to the teenage pregnancy problem is discussed here. We observe Type I behavior and its inverse (1972-1990) and also Type III behavior (1990-2008). Type I behavior and its inverse imply a natural increase, or decrease, in the number of pregnancies with increase, or decrease, of the female population. The Type III behavior, observed in more recent years, however, signifies an unnatural decrease in pregnancies with increasing female teen population. This provides, perhaps, the clearest empirical evidence of the effectiveness of social policies aimed at reduced teen pregnancies. However, the appearance of Type I behavior, and its inverse, must also be taken into account and their effect analyzed and understood more carefully, vis--vis the recent favorable trends and dramatic reductions in the teen pregnancy rate.

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2. Introduction
The difference between the rate and the ratio has been discussed in a recent article, see Ref. [1]. Quite surprisingly, it has not been generally recognized that the ratio y/x is not a constant and will keep on increasing or decreasing, even on a perfect straight line, depending on the numerical values of h and c in the linear law y = hx + c which is often seen to be the law relating two variables x and y of interest, see link given below. 1. http://www.scribd.com/doc/102000311/A-Little-Known-MathematicalProperty-of-a-Straight-Line-Strange-but-true-there-is-one Published August 4, 2012. 2. http://www.scribd.com/doc/101828233/The-US-Teenage-Pregnancy-Rates-1 Published August 2, 2012. We usually encounter three types straight line relationships when we analyze the large volumes of x and y data, such as we find in Table 1, being compiled and reported, on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis to describe a variety of problems of interest to us. Table 1: Selected values of the US teenage (ages 15-19) pregnancy data Year 2008 1990 1980 1972 Female Population, x 10,805,000 8,656,000 10,381,000 9,988,000 Total pregnancies, y 733,010 1,012,260 1,151,850 949,630 Ratio y/x 0.06784 0.11694 0.11096 0.09508 Pregnancy rate 1000(y/x) 67.84 116.94 110.96 95.08

If our empirical observations on x and y (Table 1 for example) reveal a simple linear law y = hx +c, it follows that the ratio y/x = m = h + (c/x) can either increase or decrease as x increases giving rise to the three types of behavior given below. Type I (slope h > 0 and intercept c < 0), increasing y/x as x increases Type II (slope h > 0, intercept c > 0), decreasing y/x as x increases Type III (slop h < 0, intercept c > 0), decreasing y/x as x increases
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This important, but little known, mathematical property of a straight line obviously has a number of implications which we must pay attention when we use chose to use ratios to describe a rate. Perhaps, the most important of all is that the ratio y/x h as x , i.e., the slope h of the straight line is the maximum (Type I) or the minimum (Type II and Type III) value of the ratio y/x as the independent variable x (or the stimulus function) increases and the dependent variable y (or response function) either increases or decreases. Hence, before we can draw firm conclusions, based entirely on the behavior of the ratio y/x, often referred to as the rate, we must also understand the nature of the underlying x-y relationship. The true rate of change of y as x increases or decreases (e.g., pregnancies as population increases, or profits as revenues increase, and so on) can be estimated only by using the slope h. The ratio y/x = m = h if and only if the intercept c = 0 and the straight line passes through the origin (0, 0) of the x-y graph. Notice that the female population went up between 1972 and 1980 and also between 1990 and 2008 but decreased between 1980 and 1990. However, the number of pregnancies y went up between 1972 and 1980 but went down between 1990 and 2008. With this background, we will now take a second look at the US teenage pregnancy problem, which has already been discussed in some detail in Ref.[2] above. The purpose here is to clarify the difference between the rate and the ratio within the context of the important and fundamental mathematical property of a straight line as just discussed.

3. The US Teen Pregnancy Analysis


The current accepted definition of the pregnancy rate is as follows. It is defined as the ratio y/x where y is the total number of pregnancies in the relevant age group (say 15-19 if we are interested in studying the problem of teenage pregnancies) and x is the female population in the relevant age group. The ratio is multiplied by 1000 (like multiplying by 100 to determine a percentage) to arrive at a rate per 1000 of the female population.
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Table 2: Complete listing of US pregnancy data 1972-2008


Year 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Female population, x (in 000s) 9988 10,193 10,350 10,466 10,582 10,581 10,555 10,497 10,381 10,096 9,809 9,515 9,287 9,174 9,206 9,139 9,029 8,840 8,656 8,407 8,389 8,496 8,689 8,929 9,193 9,425 9,641 9,762 9,826 9,844 9,905 9,960 10,094 10,249 10,389 10,731 10,805 Total pregnancies, y 949,630 980,000 1,022,210 1,058,150 1,069,440 1,107,290 1,112,760 1,148,430 1,151,850 1,109,540 1,077,120 1,039,600 1,002,370 1,000,110 982,450 974,580 1,006,010 1,015,790 1,012,260 969,280 931,400 917,800 908,910 889,080 878,990 861,070 855,420 836,290 821,810 780,200 742,430 723,980 718,040 712,610 742,990 749,180 733,010 Pregnancy rate, 1000(y/x)
95.08 96.14 98.76 101.10 101.06 104.65 105.42 109.41 110.96 109.90 109.81 109.26 107.93 109.02 106.72 106.64 111.42 114.91 116.94 115.29 111.03 108.03 104.60 99.57 95.62 91.36 88.73 85.67 83.64 79.26 74.96 72.69 71.14 69.53 71.52 69.81 67.84

Data source: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/USTPtrends08.pdf US Teen Pregnancies Trends since 1972; Table 2.1 Ages 15-19

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As an example, and with reference to Table 1, in 2008, the latest year for which figures are available, the female population x, in the 15-19 age group, was 10,805,000 and the corresponding total number of pregnancies y was 733,010. Hence, the ratio y/x = 0.06784. Multiplying by this by 1000 gives the rate per 1000 which is 67.84. This is the lowest rate since the peal observed in 1990 when the pregnancy rate was 116.94 per 1000; see also the graph in Figure 1. This illustrates how this pregnancy rate has been decreasing after reaching its peak in 1990. There is also a smaller, less pronounced peak in 1980.

120.00

Teen pregnancy rate, 1000(y/x) [Calendar year]

110.00

100.00

90.00

80.00

70.00

60.00 1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

Time t [Calendar year]


Figure 1: The US teen pregnancy rate, 1000(y/x), as a function of time t in years. There is a peak in 1990 and two smaller peaks at 1980 and 1985. Notice that the pregnancy rate was decreasing from 1980 to 1987 (with a blip in 1985) and has also been decreasing since 1990. It was increasing between 1972 and 1980 and also between 1987 and 1990. According to the property of a straight line just discussed, only the Type I behavior will yield an increasing pregnancy
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rate with increasing female population, x. Type II and Type III behaviors will lead to a decreasing pregnancy rate with increasing female population x. Hence, let us test the teen pregnancy data to see if we indeed observe this Type I behavior.

3.1 Testing for Type I behavior (1972-1980)


As seen in Figure 2, the total pregnancies seem to increase with increase female population following a linear law, y = hx + c. Indeed, a nearly PERFECT linear relation is observed between 1980 and 1987, to be discussed in next section.
1,300

Total pregnancies, y [in 000s]

1,250
1,200

1,150
1,100 1,050 1,000 950 900 850 800 9,500

Type I y = 0.515x 4190 = 0.515(x 8142.5)

Type I y = 0.328x 2364 = 0.328(x 7206)


9,700 9,900 10,100 10,300 10,500 10,700 10,900 11,100

Female population, x [in 000s]


Figure 2: The x-y pregnancy diagram (for 1972-1980) reveals a Type I behavior. Two Type I lines are deduced here by considering the (x, y) pairs for 1972 and 1980 (higher slope h = 0.515) and 1973 and 1977 (lower slope h = 0.328). The intercept c < 0 for both these lines which means that we are observing a Type I trend with the total pregnancies y and the pregnancy rate y/x increasing as the female population x increases.
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The numerical values of h and c were deduced using the (x, y) pairs for 1972 and 1980. This yields y = 0.515x 4190 = 0.515 (x 8142) with the slope h = 0.515 with the intercept c = -4190. This is Type I behavior since h > 0 and c < 0. It provides an upper bound to the data. The Type I equation also implies that there is a cut-off or a critical value of x = x0 = - c/h, below which the number of pregnancies y = 0. How do we justify this choice of h and c?
1,200,000

1,150,000

Total pregnancies, y

1,100,000

1,050,000

1,000,000

950,000

900,000 90.00

95.00

100.00

105.00

110.00

115.00

Teen pregnancy rate, 1000(y/x) [Calendar year]


Figure 3: The total pregnancies y increase as the teen pregnancy rate increases (1972-1980). A second Type I line can be added if we consider the data for 1973 and 1977, y = 0.328x 2364 = (x 7206). This again confirms the Type I behavior. This new Type I line passes through more data points whereas the first one provides the upper bound. One could use linear regression analysis to fix the slope h and intercept c, but this will NOT change the main conclusion here: the teen pregnancy rate is influenced by the size of the female population, x. The
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higher the population, the higher is the total number of pregnancies and the higher the pregnancy rate, y/x. This is further confirmed by the plots prepared in Figures 3 and 4. Changes in the pregnancy rate must, therefore, be viewed not only within the context of social policies but also within the context of natural laws such as the corresponding changes (increase or decrease) in the size of the female population and how this affects the pregnancy rate. It should hardly be surprising if we find that an increase in the female population is accompanied by an increase in the total pregnancies (Figure 2) or that an increase in the total pregnancies (Figure 3) and the female population (Figure 4) are accompanied by an increasing in the pregnancy rate or vice versa.
112.00

Teen pregnancy rate, 1000(y/x) [Calendar year]

110.00 108.00 106.00 104.00 102.00

100.00
98.00 96.00 94.00 9,900 10,000 10,100 10,200 10,300 10,400 10,500 10,600 10,700

Female population, x [in 000s]


Figure 4: An increase in the female population x is accompanied by an increasing teen pregnancy rate (1972-1980). Notice also the curving back of the graph (1979 and 1980 data) which means an unnatural increase in the pregnancy rate with a decrease in the female population. Effective social policies (such as sex education, promoting abstinence, access to contraception even for teen males and
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females) should actually lead to a decreasing pregnancy rate even with increasing female population. Here we see the opposite trend, albeit for a very brief period.

3.2 An Inverse Type I Behavior (1980-1987)


As noted earlier, the teen pregnancy rate decreased very slowly between 1980 and 1987 (with a small blip in 1985) and then much more dramatically since 1990. A careful study of the data in Table 2, however, shows that both the female population and the total pregnancies decreased during this period.
1300

Total pregnancies, y [in 000s]

1200

INVERSE Type I y = 0.143x 330 = 0.143(x 2311)

1100

1000

900

800 8,500

9,000

9,500

10,000

10,500

11,000

11,500

Female population, x [in 000s]


Figure 5: The teen female population (ages 15-19) decreased between 1980 and 1987 and the total pregnancies also decreased yielding a positive slope h and thus what may be called an INVERSE Type I behavior. Notice the PERFECT linearity. Interestingly, the change in teen female population (ages 15-19) is x = (x2 x1) = (9,139 -10,381) = - 1242 and the change in the number of teen pregnancies y =
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(y2 y1) = (974,580 1,151,850) = -177,270. Since both x and y are negative, the slope of the line joining these two points on the x-y graph, h = y/x = 177,270/ (-1242) = 0.143 > 0, is positive. Notice the PERFECT linearity observed here. The decreasing pregnancy rate between 1980 and 1987 is thus due to the fact both the population and the number of pregnancies decreased simultaneously. Although one usually associates a Type I trend with increasing x and y values, here we witness a Type I trend with decreasing x and y values. The Type I slope observed is much smaller than the earlier slopes and the cut-off value x0 = - c/h = 2311 is also greatly reduced.
1300

Total pregnancies, y [in 000s]

1200

Type I y = 0.143x 330 = 0.143(x 2311)

1100

1000

900

Type I y = 0.328x 2364 = 0.328(x 7206)


8500 9500 10500 11500 12500

800 7500

Female population, x [in 000s]


Figure 6: Composite plot illustrating both up and down movements along Type I lines between 1972 and 1987, up between 1972 and 1980 and down between 1980 and 1987, yielding both an increasing and a decreasing pregnancy rate with increasing and decreasing female population and corresponding changes in the total teen pregnancies.

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In other words, it appears that a Type I behavior can result in either increasing or decreasing pregnancy rates. The trend in Figure 5, for 1980 to 1987 might be called an INVERSE Type I. When x and y increase together, the pregnancy rates increase. Likewise, when x and y decrease together, maintaining a positive slope h, the pregnancy rates decrease. A composite plot revealing both these up and down movements along the two Type I lines is presented in Figure 6.
112.00

Teen pregnancy rate, 1000(y/x) [Calendar year]

111.00

110.00

109.00

108.00

107.00

106.00 9,000

9,200

9,400

9,600

9,800 10,000 10,200 10,400 10,600

Female population, x [in 000s]


Figure 7: Decreasing teen pregnancy rates between 1980 and 1987 were also accompanied by a decrease in the teen female population, suggesting the dominant influence of a natural law at work rather than the effectiveness of social policies or pregnancy prevention programs, per se. Thus far, the discussion seems to suggest more of a natural law at work rather than any active benefits due to social policies aimed at reducing teen pregnancies. The Type I law, y = hx + c = h(x x0) indicates that there will always be a cut-off number x0 = -c/h, that must be exceeded before teen pregnancies are manifested. In other words, a certain number of teenagers will NOT get pregnant due to various cultural reasons, which include the current social norms (such as sex education,
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commitment to abstinence, availability of contraception, and so on). When this critical number x0 is exceeded, it appears that the total number of teen pregnancies simply increases a fixed rate h = y/x as the female population increases. The higher the teen female population x, the higher is the number of teen pregnancies y, and vice versa. There is simply an up and down movement along the Type I lines. This is also confirmed by the relationship between the female population x (the independent variable, of the stimulus function) and the pregnancy rate y/x (the dependent variable, or the response function), as seen in Figure 7, and the resulting increase or decrease in total pregnancies, as seen in Figure 8 for the time period (1980-1987) being studied here.
1,200,000

Total pregnancies, y

1,150,000

1,100,000

1,050,000

1,000,000

950,000 106.00

107.00

108.00

109.00

110.00

111.00

112.00

Teen pregnancy rate, 1000(y/x) [Calendar year]


Figure 8: Decreasing teen pregnancy rate between 1980 and 1987 (due to reduced teen female population) is manifested as a decrease in the total pregnancies, suggesting the dominant influence of a natural law rather than the effectiveness of social policies or pregnancy prevention programs, per se.

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1,020

Total pregnancies, y [in 000s]

1,010

1990
1,000

990

980

a
970 8,600 8,700 8,800 8,900 9,000

1987
9,100 9,200

Female population, x [in 000s]


1,020,000

Total pregnancies, y

1,010,000

1990
1,000,000

990,000

980,000

1987
970,000 106.00 108.00 110.00 112.00 114.00 116.00

b
118.00

Teen pregnancy rate, 1000(y/x) Figure 9: The x-y pregnancy diagram for 1987-1990 showing an unnatural increase in total pregnancies with decreasing population and therefore an increase in the pregnancy rate. (This is the INVERSE Type III relation, i.e., increasing y with decreasing x, as opposed to the normal Type III behavior seen in Figure 10.) The brief period of increasing pregnancy rates between 1987 and 1990 is analyzed in Figure 9. A decrease in the population, as we seen earlier, should result in a natural decrease in the total pregnancies. Instead we see an unnatural increase
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in the total pregnancies y with decreasing female population (Figure 9a). The increase in the pregnancies, coupled with the decreasing population, resulted in the increasing pregnancy rates (Figure 9b).

3.3 Type III Behavior (1990-2008)


The dramatic decrease in the pregnancy rates in recent years, since the peak in 1990, is considered next. An increase in the female population x should lead to a natural increase in the total pregnancies y. Here, however, we see the first clear evidence for an unnatural decrease in the total pregnancies with increasing female population, Figure 10, along with the decreasing pregnancy rate.
1050

Total pregnancies, y [in 000s]

1000 950

Type III y = -0.069x + 1512.5 = -0.069(x 21,835)

900
850 800 750 700 650 600 8,000

8,500

9,000

9,500

10,000 10,500 11,000 11,500 12,000

Female population, x [in 000s]


Figure 10: Type III behavior (1990-2008) with total pregnancies falling, rather unnaturally, instead of rising (falling the natural law), with increasing female population. The Type III equation, y = -0.069x + 1512.5 = -0.069(x + 21,835) is deduced from the data for 1992 and 1999. (A very slightly different Type III
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equation, y = -0.061x + 1441, deduced from the 1992 and 1998 data, was used in the earlier article to describe the same trend.) The total pregnancies decreased at an even higher rate after 1999 and have increased slightly since 2005 but are still lower than the one million plus in 1990.

The pregnancy rate is plotted, for the first time in the discussion so far, as a dependent variable on the y-axis of the graph in Figure 11 since it is clearly influenced by factors other than natural laws. This is, perhaps, the clearest empirical evidence for the effectiveness of various social policies that are aimed at reducing teen pregnancies (NOT pregnancy rate, y/x, but absolute number of pregnancies, y!)

120.00

Teen pregnancy rate, 1000(y/x) [Calendar year]

110.00

100.00

90.00

80.00

70.00

60.00 600 700 800 900 1000 1100

Total pregnancies, y [in 000s]


Figure 11a: The teen pregnancies decreased and the pregnancy rates also decreased (even as the female population has increased) between 1990 and 2008.
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120.00

Teen pregnancy rate, 1000(y/x) [Calendar year]

110.00

100.00

90.00

80.00

70.00

60.00

600

700

800

900

1000

1100

1200

Total pregnancies, y [in 000s]


Figure 11b: The teen pregnancies increased and then decreased and the pregnancy rates also increased and decreased (with changes in the teen female population) between 1972 and 2008.

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1200

1100

Pregnancy rates, y/x Per 10,000

1000

900

800

Pregnancies, y (in 000s)

700

600 1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

Time t [Calendar year]


Figure 11c: The number of teen pregnancies y, expressed in thousands, yields numbers in the range of 600 to 1200, as seen in the above graph (red squares). If the pregnancy rate is also re-scaled and defined as pregnancies per 10,000 females (as opposed to the current definition, per 1000 females), we again get numbers in the same range (diamonds). For example, for 1995, the pregnancy rate is 99.57 or approximately 100 (current definition). The re-scaled value is 995.7 or approximately 1000 (see arrow). With this re-scaling, it is now easy to see that the actual number of pregnancies, y and the pregnancy rate y/x have been going up or down in tandem. Specifically, after the peak in the pregnancy rate in 1990, both the absolute number of pregnancies and the pregnancy rate have been decreasing steadily.

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4. Brief Discussion
The number of teen pregnancies y is shown here to be related to the size of the female population x by the simple linear law, y = hx + c, where the constants h and c can be readily deduced from the empirical observations on x and y. Both Type I and Type III behavior, and their inverses, are observed, see summary in Table 3. Of these, only the Type III behavior implies an unnatural decrease in the number of teen pregnancies even as the teen female population has increased, especially since the peak in the pregnancy rate observed in 1990. Table 3: Summary of Observed Trends with Brief Comments Figure No. Trend Comment

2 and 6

Type I

Inverse Type I

10

Type III

Inverse Type III

A natural law; pregnancies increase with increasing population. Minimizes, if note negates the effect of socio-political policies. Natural law; pregnancies are decreasing, a desirable effect but this may be primarily due to decreasing population. Social policies may NOT be a dominant factor. Unnatural DECREASE in pregnancies with increasing population; desirable effect and suggests social and political factors may be a significant contributing factor. Unnatural INCREASE in pregnancies with decreasing population; implies ineffectiveness of socio-political factors.

We also observe both up and down movements along the straight line segments with a positive slope h (with a negative intercept c on the y-axis) and also along straight lines with a negative slope h (with a positive intercept c on the y-axis). In three of the four scenarios highlighted here, by considering different time periods,
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the decrease (or increase) in the pregnancy rates shows an important population size effect which cannot be overlooked, see also comments in Table 1. A synthesis of the two dominant trends, the INVERSE Type I and the Normal Type III, both yielding a decreasing pregnancy rate, with decreasing female population, is presented in Figure 12. The apparently chaotic movement on the x-y pregnancy diagram (see Figure 2 in the companion article) may be seen as a transition between these two dominant trends, both yielding a decreasing teen pregnancy rate, y/x.

1300

Total pregnancies, y [in 000s]

1200 1100 1000 900 800 700 600 8,000

Inverse Type I y = 0.143x - 330

Type III y = -0.069x - 1513

9,000

10,000

11,000

12,000

Female population, x [in 000s]


Figure 12: The composite plot illustrating the transition from the INVERSE Type I behavior to the Type III behavior. The rest of the data can be viewed as a transition made between these two dominant trends.

Both liberal social policies (e.g., sex education, ready availability of contraceptives and condoms), as well as conservative policies (teaching abstinence as opposed to
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accepting sexual activity as a fact of teenage life and promoting instead the use of birth control methods by teens), no doubt, play a role since we observe both up and down movements with positive and negative slopes h. Nonetheless, the size effect may also be a far more important overlooked effect. Specifically, the two UNNATURAL trends highlighted in Table 3, viz., increasing pregnancies with decreasing population (INVERSE Type III) and decreasing pregnancies with increasing population (normal Type III) need more careful investigation. Perhaps, the most important finding of the analysis presented here might be that aggressive social policies (either liberal or conservative) may NOT be as effective as is widely believed. The natural effect of the population size in determining the total teenage pregnancies must also be taken into account. The welcome and dramatic decrease in pregnancy levels witnessed in recent years might just be the reflection of a general (and unavoidable) increase in awareness about these topics among the teenage population, akin to other technological advances that have made even young kids computer savvy, internet proficient, and skilled in the use many modern devices (mobile phones, GPS) and media tools that were unheard of two or three decades ago. Finally, based on studies of similar problems where the Type I, Type II, and Type III linear laws are observed, Type III behavior is usually unsustainable and cannot continue indefinitely since extrapolations, both forward and backward, based on the Type III equation yield unreasonable results, see discussion in the article A Little Known Mathematical Property of a Straight Line. In the profits-revenues problem, sustained Type III behavior implies that the company reports increasing revenues but decreasing profits and decreasing profit margins. This is obviously an untenable situation and usually leads to a bankruptcy (General Motors), merger (Air Tran with Southwest Airlines), or the more recent innovative scenario that is now emerging with Best Buy- a proposed takeover by the founder (who wants to buy back the entire company and make it private; the founder was also the CEO and stepped down only recently). Best Buy can also be shown to reveal a Type III behavior.

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Thus, the situation we are observing with the US teen pregnancy rates MAY ALSO turn out to be similarly UNTENABLE. It is certainly highly unnatural to witness such a HUGE decrease in the absolute number of teen pregnancies with increasing teen population. If the general analogies invoked here hold water, a crisis may be looming and medical professionals and sociologists and, of course, parents with teenagers, should take heed. Even something as outrageous as teenage male impotency issues deserves our attention. Why is the teen pregnancy rate going down, year-after-year, and the absolute number of pregnancies going down (by 198, 390 from 1992 to 2008) when the teen female population is growing (by nearly 2.5 million since 1992)? It would be crazy to think that all of this is due to some new found morality or the widespread practice of abstinence, or the magical benefits of sex education. When the female population increases, the number of pregnancies must go up! That is the natural law. Everything else is unnatural, especially the unimaginable and sustained plunge in the teen pregnancies since 1990. Medical professionals are urged to study the implications of the three VERY BASIC x-y graphs (click here) presented in Figures 7 to 9 of the companion article, which is simply a graphical representation of the data referenced in Dr. Sanghavis Slate magazine article (from Guttmacher Institute). This is nothing more than a BOLD suggestion being offered by a non-medical professional whose only qualification, if any, is an entire career spent on leading R & D problems, including advanced space materials research. It is always the unusual that is worthy of our attention and usually leads to new insights upon careful investigation.

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5. Appendix I: Bibliography
Related Internet articles posted at this website Since the Facebook IPO on May 18, 2012
1. http://www.scribd.com/doc/95906902/Simple-Mathematical-Laws-GovernCorporate-Financial-Behavior-A-Brief-Compilation-of-Profits-RevenuesData Current article with all others above cited for completeness, Published June 4, 2012 with several revisions incorporating more examples. 2. http://www.scribd.com/doc/94647467/Three-Types-of-Companies-FromQuantum-Physics-to-Economics Basic discussion of three types of companies, Published May 24, 2012. Examples of Google, Facebook, ExxonMobil, Best Buy, Ford, Universal Insurance Holdings 3. http://www.scribd.com/doc/96228131/The-Perfect-Apple-How-it-can-bedestroyed Detailed discussion of Apple Inc. data. Published June 7, 2012. 4. http://www.scribd.com/doc/95140101/Ford-Motor-Company-Data-RevealsMount-Profit Ford Motor Company graph illustrating pronounced maximum point, Published May 29, 2012. 5. http://www.scribd.com/doc/95329905/Planck-s-Blackbody-Radiation-LawRederived-for-more-General-Case Generalization of Plancks law, Published May 30, 2012. 6. http://www.scribd.com/doc/94325593/The-Future-of-Facebook-I Facebook and Google data are compared here. Published May 21, 2012. 7. http://www.scribd.com/doc/94103265/The-FaceBook-Future Published May 19, 2012 (the day after IPO launch on Friday May 18, 2012). 8. http://www.scribd.com/doc/95728457/What-is-Entropy Discussion of the meaning of entropy (using example given by Boltzmann in 1877, later also used by Planck to develop quantum physics in 1900). The example here shows the concepts of entropy S and energy U (and the derivative T = dU/dS) can be extended beyond physics with energy = money, or any property of interest. Published June 3, 2012.
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9. The Future of Southwest Airlines, Completed June 14, 2012 (to be published). 10.The Air Tran Story: An Important Link to the Future of Southwest Airlines, Completed June 27, 2012 (to be published). 11.Annies Inc. A Single-Product Company Analyzed using a New Methodology, http://www.scribd.com/doc/98652561/Annie-s-Inc-A-SingleProduct-Company-Analyzed-Using-a-New-Methodology Published June 29, 2012 12.Google Inc. A Lovable One-Trick Pony Another Single-product Company Analyzed using the New Methodology. http://www.scribd.com/doc/98825141/Google-A-Lovable-One-Trick-PonyAnother-Single-Product-Company-Analyzed-Using-the-New-Methodology, Published July 1, 2012. 13.GT Advanced Technologies, Inc. Analysis of Recent Financial Data, Completed on July 4, 2012. (To be published). 14.Disappearing Brands: Research in Motion Limited. An Interesting type of Maximum Point on the Profits-Revenues Graph http://www.scribd.com/doc/99181402/Research-in-Motion-RIM-Limited-WillDisappear-in-2013 Published July 5, 2012. 15.Kia Motor Company: A Disappearing Brand http://www.scribd.com/doc/99333764/Kia-Motor-Company-A-DisppearingBrand, Published July 6, 2012. 16.The Perfect Apple-II: Taking A Second Bite: A Simple Methodology for Revenues Predictions (Completed July 8, 2012, To be Published) http://www.scribd.com/doc/101503988/The-Perfect-Apple-II, Published July 30, 2012. 17.http://www.scribd.com/doc/101062823/A-Fresh-Look-at-Microsoft-After-itsHistoric-Quarterly-Loss Microsoft after the quarterly loss, Published July 25, 2012. 18.http://www.scribd.com/doc/101518117/A-Second-Look-at-Microsoft-After-theHistoric-Quarterly-Loss , Published July 30, 2012. ****************************************************************
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19.http://www.scribd.com/doc/100984613/Further-Empirical-Evidence-for-theUniversal-Constant-h-and-the-Economic-Work-Function-Analysis-ofHistorical-Unemployment-data-for-Japan-1953-2011 Single universal value of h for US, Canada and Japan in the unemployment law y = hx + c, Published July 24, 2012. 20.http://www.scribd.com/doc/100939758/An-Economy-Under-StressPreliminary-Analysis-of-Historical-Unemployment-Data-for-Japan, Published July 24, 2012. 21.http://www.scribd.com/doc/100910302/Further-Evidence-for-a-UniversalConstant-h-and-the-Economic-Work-Function-Analysis-of-US-1941-2011-andCanadian-1976-2011-Unemployment-Data Published July 24, 2012. 22.http://www.scribd.com/doc/100720086/A-Second-Look-at-Australian-2012Unemployment-Data, Published July 22, 2012. 23.http://www.scribd.com/doc/100500017/A-First-Look-at-AustralianUnemployment-Statistics-A-New-Methodology-for-Analyzing-UnemploymentData , Published July 19, 2012. 24.http://www.scribd.com/doc/99857981/The-Highest-US-Unemployment-RatesObama-years-compared-with-historic-highs-in-Unemployment-levels , Published July 12, 2012. 25.http://www.scribd.com/doc/99647215/The-US-Unemployment-Rate-Whathappened-in-the-Obama-years , Published July 10, 2012. **************************************************************** 26.http://www.scribd.com/doc/101828233/The-US-Teenage-Pregnancy-Rates-1 Published August 2, 2012. 27.http://www.scribd.com/doc/101982715/Does-Speed-Kill-Forgotten-USHighway-Deaths-in-1950s-and-1960s Published August 4, 2012. 28.http://www.scribd.com/doc/101983375/Effect-of-Speed-Limits-on-FatalitiesTexas-Proofing-of-Vehciles Published August 4, 2012. 29.http://www.scribd.com/doc/102000311/A-Little-Known-MathematicalProperty-of-a-Straight-Line-Strange-but-true-there-is-one Published August 4, 2012.

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About the author V. Laxmanan, Sc. D.


The author obtained his Bachelors degree (B. E.) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Poona and his Masters degree (M. E.), also in Mechanical Engineering, from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, followed by a Masters (S. M.) and Doctoral (Sc. D.) degrees in Materials Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. He then spent his entire professional career at leading US research institutions (MIT, Allied Chemical Corporate R & D, now part of Honeywell, NASA, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), and General Motors Research and Development Center in Warren, MI). He holds four patents in materials processing, has co-authored two books and published several scientific papers in leading peer-reviewed international journals. His expertise includes developing simple mathematical models to explain the behavior of complex systems. While at NASA and CWRU, he was responsible for developing material processing experiments to be performed aboard the space shuttle and developed a simple mathematical model to explain the growth Christmas-tree, or snowflake, like structures (called dendrites) widely observed in many types of liquid-to-solid phase transformations (e.g., freezing of all commercial metals and alloys, freezing of water, and, yes, production of snowflakes!). This led to a simple model to explain the growth of dendritic structures in both the ground-based experiments and in the space shuttle experiments. More recently, he has been interested in the analysis of the large volumes of data from financial and economic systems and has developed what may be called the Quantum Business Model (QBM). This extends (to financial and economic systems) the mathematical arguments used by Max Planck to develop quantum physics using the analogy Energy = Money, i.e., energy in physics is like money in economics. Einstein applied Plancks ideas to describe the photoelectric effect (by treating light as being composed of particles called photons, each with the fixed quantum of energy conceived by Planck). The mathematical law deduced by
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Planck, referred to here as the generalized power-exponential law, might actually have many applications far beyond blackbody radiation studies where it was first conceived. Einsteins photoelectric law is a simple linear law, as we see here, and was deduced from Plancks non-linear law for describing blackbody radiation. It appears that financial and economic systems can be modeled using a similar approach. Finance, business, economics and management sciences now essentially seem to operate like astronomy and physics before the advent of Kepler and Newton.

Cover page of AirTran 2000 Annual Report

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