THE FOG ZONE

The FOG ZONE

Whether you use or don’t use birth control, it doesn’t matter

Why haven’t we seen a dramatic fall in the number of unplanned pregnancies given the remarkable advances in contraception over the past half century?

It’s really sad.  In the past 50 years there has been no fall in the percentage of pregnancies in our nation that are unplanned. It was 50% unplanned 50 years ago and 50% of all pregnancies in our nation today are still unplanned today.  There has been no improvement at all in this most discouraging statistic.

A national survey of 1,800 unmarried men and women age 18- 29 developed and fielded by the Guttmacher Institute for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, found that that 38% of men and 44% of women believe that:  

“It doesn’t matter whether you use birth control or not; when it your time to get pregnant it will happen.”

Everyone interested in teen pregnancy in the United States should read and study the report called THE FOG ZONE: How Misperceptions, Magical Thinking, and Ambivalence Put Young Adults at Risk for Unplanned Pregnancy, published by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. It was written by Kelleen Kaye, Katherine Suellentrop, and Corinna Sloup

Suggested citation: Kaye K, Suellentrop K and Sloup, C. (2009) The Fog Zone: How Misperceptions, Magical Thinking and Ambivalence Put Young Adults at Risk for Unplanned Pregnancy.  Washington, D.C.  The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Robert A. Hatcher MD, MPH
Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia

Thanks for reminding us of this issue, Bob…

Bill Foege used to say that fatalism was the main enemy of public health…I might extend that phrasing to include the human condition…if we feel our life is pre-determined, why take any actions to improve it?

Also, Kristin Lugar’s pioneering research 3 decades ago found the main factor differentiating those who were pro-choice or anti-abortion was the degree of fatalism they held about life…

How do we get individuals to feel they can control their lives through their own personal choices?  And societies to learn they can move in positive directions collectively?   We need a universal optimistic Facebook page for “Free Will”…

Willard Cates, Jr. MD, MPH

President, Research

Family health International