Critical Reasoning Question 25: Teen Pregnancy

In 2001, a local high school implemented a new program designed to reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy.  The program, however, failed to produce the desired result.  It the program had been successful, the dropout rate for female students would not have increased substantially in 2001.

The argument in the passage depends on which of the following assumptions?

A.       The number of teen pregnancies nationwide increased in 2001.

B.      The number of teen pregnancies in 2001 was greater than the number of teen pregnancies in 1991.

C.      Teenage pregnancy is a leading reason that female students leave school.

D.      The program was mandatory of all female students.

E.       Most 2001 female dropouts were not pregnant at any time during the year.

Think you know the answer?

The correct answer is C.

This stimulus bins with the conclusion that a 2001 school program to reduce teenage pregnancy was a failure.  The evidence is that the female dropout rate increased during 2001.  The assumption must be that pregnancy is an important reason for a female to drop out of school.   (C) says this correctly.

A is out of scope, B is irrelevant, D is out of scope, and E provides a reason to doubt the conclusion.

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