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Birth Control Article

Page history last edited by Naug 12 years, 4 months ago

Teen Sex Ed Covers the Birds and the Bees, Minus the Birth Control

by Mary Beth Sammons (Subscribe to Mary Beth Sammons's posts)
Sep 27th 2010 12:00PM

sex education contraception birth control


Here's the good news on the controversial teen sex front: It turns out nearly all U.S. teens are getting the lowdown about sex at school. Now, the bad news: These conversations about sex and sexuality often skip contraceptives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's report from the National Survey of Family Growth, 97 percent of American teens say they received some formal sex education before the age of 18. But only two-thirds say they have been schooled in birth control methods, with boys left in the dark more than girls -- 62 percent of males compared with 70 percent of females received instruction on methods of birth control.

The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was based on face-to-face interviews with nearly 2,800 teenagers conducted in their homes from 2006 through 2008. Female interviewers from the University of Michigan asked the questions for the CDC.

"We wanted to update the facts on how many teens are getting formal instruction on sex education and how frequently," says report author Joyce Abma, Ph.D, a demographer with the National Center for Health Statistics, in a podcast released in conjunction with the report.

But Laura Lindberg, senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institude warns on CNN.com that even though the report shows a significant increase in sex ed from 2002, when 85 percent of teen girls and 83 percent of teen boys had received sex education, the survey changed its methodology, adding questions about HIV/AIDS that had not been asked before.

"We need to be very cautious when interpreting that because (the education) could be one hour of a discussion of a news article about AIDS in Africa," Lindberg tells CNN.com. "When you look at the key topics of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and birth control, they are much too low. What skills have (these teens) learned? Do they know how to prevent AIDS? If you don't include those two pieces of information, it's not adequate education."

According to a separate CDC study released earlier this year from the National Survey of Family Growth (NFSG), the number of teenagers having sex hasn't changed much over the last eight years. It looked at trends in sexual activity, contraceptive use and attitudes towards pregnancy in unmarried teenagers, and found that there have not been significant changes since the last NFSG report in 2002.

At the same time, the report found the number of teen pregnancies has decreased 20 percent. So, though students are not being taught about birth control in school, they are using it. In particular, the number of teens who regularly use condoms has increased significantly over the past 10 years.

Based on data from a two-year period between 2006 and 2008, the NFSG study found more than 42 percent of teenage girls ages 15 to 19 -- or 4.3 million -- have had sex at least once. That number was 43 percent -- or 4.5 million -- for teenage boys. Nearly 30 percent of boys and girls surveyed have had two or more partners.

Teenage girls who were younger when they had their first sexual encounter were more likely to have more partners. And teens whose mothers had their first child as a teenager and, at 14, did not have both parents in the home, were more likely to be sexually active.


What do you think?  Should human sexuality classes happen at an earlier age?  Would it alter "attitudes" about sex? 

Oh, and no worries...we will be going over birth control!!

Comments (13)

wikiuser0214 said

at 9:01 am on Apr 30, 2012

No they should leave the sexuality classes at high school age because if any younger, that can cause bad things in younger kids heads, not only to do somethinh stupid to hurt themselves but the partner they wanna do things with. Kids shouldnt no about sex early like that because they shouldnt be having sex that early.

wikiuser0194 said

at 11:17 pm on Apr 30, 2012

I think that they should start in about eighth grade. Because like it or not, kids are starting to have sex at an earlier age in life and need to be taught about ways to prevent pregnancies and transmission of different viruses and diseases. However, yes, I do think that it would alter some kids' attitudes about sex in I think both ways. I think that some kids will be more willing to have sex because they know that there are ways to prevent pregnancies and the spreading of viruses. But at the same time, I think that for some students hearing about all the different things that could happen will push them away and keep them from having sex for longer.

wikiuser0195 said

at 9:42 pm on May 1, 2012

I think they should either with 8th graders or definatly start Freshman year. Kids need to know whats going in the world and having sex means something to some people. They need to know and be taught about sex and how to have safe sex. Kids blow it off because they think its not a big deal until some get pregant. Starting to teach them at age 14 I think could change how kids might think.

wikiuser0202 said

at 4:16 pm on May 2, 2012

I think the fact that kids are already having sex at earlier and earlier ages is greatly overlooked. Many people are starting younger but they have no idea what they are doing when it comes to protecting themsselves. i think it is going to happen regardless so we might as well educate them.

wikiuser0196 said

at 5:49 pm on May 2, 2012

I think that they should change the age from seniors, to freshmen. Lets face it, many teens arent waiting until their senior yera to have sex, it's happening much earlier. I believe that sex-ed should be taught freshmen year in high school that way evereyone is informed and if they choose to have sex, they know everything about it. So many freshmens (or earlier) are deciding to have sex and they don't know about all the STDs and all the ways to prevent pregnancy. Senior year is way too late.

wikiuser0190 said

at 7:11 pm on May 3, 2012

I agree with wikiuser0195 that they should start in eight grade or freshman year because that's when most kids think and talk about sex. It would help them think differently about sex, because as kids, they dont know much about it. So when they start the class at an earlier age, it would give them some knowledge about sex. It would be much better to teach them that way than just to hear it around.

wikiuser0197 said

at 8:53 pm on May 3, 2012

I disagree with wiki 0196. Can you see yourself as a freshman learning about stuff that we are learning now in sex ed? Freshman are still developing and learning what some things even are, and arent mature enough to talk about it in depth like we do now. I think teaching it senior year is perfect. Although some seniors may be having sex now, it is still a good age to REALLY inform us as to how serious it really is. Seniors are responsible enough to understand the material and to make their own judgements on things. Freshman year may be a good starting point to talk about it, but not as detailed as the senior sex ed classes are.

wikiuser0209 said

at 6:43 am on May 4, 2012

I think they should double the sex ed classes. The first one should be a basic what/how/and how to stay say. Sophomore year. The second should be as a senior where you enter into the more sensitive topics.

wikiuser0185 said

at 10:07 am on May 4, 2012

kids are having sex earlier and earlier so i think that they should keep the sex ed classes and not have students wait till senior year when about most of the kids by senior year have had sex already.i also agree with 0209 with the more sensitive topics as seniors.

wikiuser0212 said

at 1:01 pm on May 4, 2012

i think that as years go by, the younger generations get worse and worse. whether or not we should have had sex classes earlier in the past is irrelevant because the generations at greater risk is the ones who haven't started high school yet because they are starting to get into these things. i think they should start having these classes freshman year and make them longer to learn about everything they need to know.

wikiuser0207 said

at 2:24 pm on May 4, 2012

I believe that human sexuality classes should begin in sophomore year. Currently, kids are engaging in sexual activity at a younger age, and need to educated about birth control, etc. Although some students may not be mature enough to participate in the discussion, it is important that they learn about it. I feel like maybe kids would be more willing to engage in sexual activity if they learn how to prevent pregnancy, but it is better than being a teen parent or STDs.

wikiuser0187 said

at 4:39 pm on May 4, 2012

i do not think that sexuality classes should begin at and early age. its better to not put ideas into their heads were they would be willing to try these things at such a young age. kids that age aren't ready to take on the responsibilities that can happen

wikiuser0203 said

at 8:10 pm on May 4, 2012

I think sexuality classes should only be in high school, I think that maybe they should start it freshman year instead of senior year though. I feel like birth control is a big topic that does need to be discussed because even if kids are using it, they might not be experienced enough to know if they are using it correctly.

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