According to this CNN article,
The declining teen birth rate is a well-documented trend in the United States. Between 1991 and 2008, the rate dropped steadily at an average of about 2.5% a year. In the past four years, it has dropped even more dramatically at a rate of about 7.5% per year. […]
“The results of our analysis indicate that exposure to ’16 and Pregnant’ was high and that it had an influence on teens’ thinking regarding birth control and abortion,” the researchers write. […]
Kearney said that while she and Levine did a lot of “fancy economic work” to make sure their conclusion was right, the most compelling evidence came from the teens’ social media language. “The text of the tweets are phenomenal: ‘This reminds me to take my birth control.’ ‘Watching 16 & Pregnant, going to take my birth control,’ ” she remembered reading.
So it seems (but I don’t have sufficient data to back this up) that it’s not necessarily a matter of teens having less sex, but having sex and trying to use contraception more often and possibly having more abortions.
So nothing to really scream for joy at it just yet. I’d like to see more data.
But it closes with a note of good news for parents who want to encourage their kids to put off early sexual activity:
And parents, Albert says, are often shocked to learn that teens say their parents have a major influence on their decisions about sex.