Statistical information with reference to fertility patterns in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries reflect women marrying in their early twenties.
Census data of the nineteenth century shows evidence of few teen marriages, with the majority of women becoming pregnant in their twenties. Marriage before the age of eighteen was generally prohibited by state law for teens to marry without parental consent.
The majority of data on teen childbearing became available in the early 1900s when vital statistics information was published on a reg
The number of teenage births increased during the post-World War II period.
The paradox is that at this point, teen parenthood had begun to stabilize. Early literature does not reflect any negativism attached to teenaged childbearing, as long as the individual was married at the time of delivery.
Beginning in the fifties there are indications in the mass media and writings of various professionals on the “undesirable consequences” of teen marriages. Much of this negativism surrounding adolescent marriages and childbearing paralleled the dwindling teen job market and the expansion of educational training (high school and college).
Educational training on the secondary level was seen as the key to white collar jobs and the middle class. In the late fifties and early