Abstinence Fail: Most Teens 15-17 Have No Sex Education Before Sex, Give Birth to 1,700 Babies Per Week
According to a shocking new study by the Center of Disease Control, abstinence programs have had devastating effects and 83 percent of teens 15-17 now say they had no education about sex before having it for the first time.
Although teen pregnancy rates have dropped over the last few decades, teen girls between the ages of 15 and 17 give birth to 1,700 babies per week.
Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the CDC, says “Although we have made significant progress reducing teen pregnancy, far too many teens are still having babies. Efforts to prevent teen childbearing need to focus on evidence-based approaches to delaying sexual activity and increasing use of the most effective methods of contraception for those teens who are sexually active.”
The good news is the teen birth rate is down about 63 percent from 1991. More good news is that 73 percent of teens between 15 and 17 say they have not had sex yet.
The bad news is that the teens who are having sex have not received necessary information about it from either their school or parents.
Lee Warner of the CDC says “We are missing opportunities to deliver messages before teens begin to have sex.”
CDC’s Ileana Arias adds “We as health professionals have the duty to give young people necessary knowledge. The younger teen years, that is 15 to 17, are a critical time when a young woman can jeopardize her future by not finishing high school.”
Shanna Cox of the CDC notes that “teens who give birth are at increased risk of having a repeat birth while still a teenager.”
Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute told reporters that “When you look at the bottom 10 or so you generally are seeing states that have taken an approach mostly to increase access to family planning services, to look at sex education, to have a culture that is understanding of teen sexuality and trying to provide information or resources and the education that teens need.”
States with the highest teen birth rates include Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and West Virginia.