They also have concerns about confidentiality. Why not in the area of teen sexuality? Most are not planning on getting married anytime soon. Pediatricians feel the same way about educating children and adolescents. But a good deal of research shows that children pay close attention to what parents say about sex and to the behavior they model. In recent years, states have begun to mandate sex ed to include information about life skills for family communication, avoiding coercion and making healthy decisions. First, schools do not understand that sex is a special topic that requires special teaching.
After six months, participants were slightly less likely to have sex and slightly more likely to use birth control. During the s, sexually active teens used birth control, mostly condoms, around half the time. Social conservatives claim that abstinence-only sex education was a huge success proven by the falling rate of teen pregnancies nationwide. Teen sexual behavior and risk-taking is a serious problem with serious consequences. During the Presidency of George W. It had no impact on teen sex or pregnancies, except in Hispanic girls, who showed a slight decrease. Even so, a staggering number of these girls returned to our prenatal clinic within six months -- pregnant with their second or third child. Even when sex education is required, state policies still vary widely regarding the inclusion of critical information. Many more feel they are not ready for a sexual relationship. Granger said that in order to be comprehensive, sex education programs have to consider the whole student. According to Nash, including these skills is part of progressive trends across the country, where states have begun to require discussions of sexual consent, harassment and sexual orientation. However, public schools are the best opportunity for adolescents to access formal information. After four years, there were no significant differences, except among Hispanic youth, whose pregnancies dropped 2 percent. They tracked 35, teens at high schools in cities in 35 states. The CDC examined scientific evaluations from 66 comprehensive risk reduction programs and 23 abstinence-only programs. During the s, well over half of teens reported intercourse by high school graduation. In other words, comprehensive sex education classes are pretty much a bust. We need to educate teens whenever and wherever they are. Too often, sex ed teachers present sex as a problem that needs to be solved. First, schools do not understand that sex is a special topic that requires special teaching. Granger said that in her clinical experience, teens will make a decision to engage in sexual activity whether or not they feel adequately informed, leaving health professionals with an opportunity to promote sexual health literacy. Mainstream health professional groups, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine , have come out strongly against abstinence-only approaches and in support of education that promotes health sexuality. Health education during adolescence forms the foundation of knowledge and skills that are needed for many years to come. September 18, by Nursing USC Staff When only 13 states in the nation require sex education to be medically accurate, a lot is left up to interpretation in teenage health literacy. As a result of AIDS, parents of the s overcame their reticence and spoke up about contraception, particularly condoms, which prevent both pregnancy and HIV transmission. The legislation is part of a nationwide trend — albeit a slow and deliberate one — to transform disjointed sex education laws into comprehensive requirements that lead to better health outcomes for adolescents in public schools, according to Nash, who has tracked sex education policies for over a decade. Abstinence-only programs do not prepare young people for life — and they do a poor job of preparing them to avoid sex.
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