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Study: Adolescent males become 'abortion beneficiaries,' get better educations after sex partners terminate pregnancies


'Restricting access to abortion ... has far reaching damaging effects for partners and families'

Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

A new study by University of Utah researchers claims adolescent males become "abortion beneficiaries" — in that they get better educations — after their sex partners terminate their pregnancies.

What are the details?

The study — published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and led by Bethany G. Everett, an assistant professor in the school's sociology department — looks at "the social contracts at play and how abortions benefit individuals beyond the patient," the school noted in a news release.

"It is important that we recognize the stigma women who have abortions and abortion providers face, yet there are people — namely, their male partners — who reap the benefits of this emotional labor and about whom we never talk," Everett said. "What we found is that women's use of abortion during adolescence increases the likelihood that their male partners will graduate from college."

The term "abortion beneficiaries" was used by Katie Watson in "Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law and Politics of Ordinary Abortion," the release noted.

"One in four women will have an abortion by the time she is 45 years old, and in almost all cases there is a male partner," Everett said. "Restricting access to abortion will not only negatively impact women, but has far reaching damaging effects for partners and families."

More from the release:

In the U study, the researchers analyzed data on men who reported a pregnancy before the age of 20 that ended in either a live birth or an abortion from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, collected in 1994. They then looked at follow-up data on college completion and income reported between 2007 and 2008 by the same group of men.

Of the men who reported a live birth, about a third completed any form of post-high school education and approximately 6% graduated from college.

Among men who reported a pregnancy that ended in an abortion, 59% completed post-high school education and 22% completed college.

Interesting discovery

However, researchers said the financial status of adolescent males who reported a live birth and lived with their children and males who reported an abortion were comparable — and better than males who reported live births but weren't living with their children, the release said.

"This could be driven by the fact that the men who have stable incomes are more likely to maintain a relationship with a partner and live with their children and have an extra push to be wage earners," Everett said.

The men who live with their children also may experience a "fatherhood bump" from employers who see them as more reliable and employable because of their parenthood, the release added.

"Given what we know about the links between education and future income, it is likely that the wage gap will widen as these men age, allowing men whose partners reported abortions to continue to reap financial benefits from access to abortion," Everett also said.

(H/T: Live Action)

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