Each year, about one million American teenagers becomes pregnant.
A young woman who becomes pregnant before the age of 20 is less likely to complete her high school diploma, and is more likely to:
Drop out of school
Receive inadequate prenatal care
Rely on public assistance to raise her child
Develop health problems
Have her marriage end in divorce.
One million is preventable. Educating about responsible and safe sex practices is imperative to the future of our country's children.The Claim:
Research shows that abstinence-only education delays sexual initiation and reduces teen pregnancy.The Facts:
Abstinence-only education programs are not effective at delaying the initiation of sexual activity or in reducing teen pregnancy.The Claim:
Abstinence only programs are responsible for the recent dramatic decline in teen pregnancy.The Facts:
A new study showed that improved contraceptive use is responsible for 86% of the decline in the US adolescent pregnancy rate between 1995 and 2002. The Claim:
Virginity pledges (public promises to remain a virgin until marriage), a common component of abstinence-only programs, delay the onset of sexual activity and protect teens from STIs.The Facts:
Research suggests that, under certain very limited conditions, pledging may help some
adolescents to delay sexual intercourse. One study found that the onset of sexual activity was delayed 18 months among pledgers; however, the study also found that those young people who took a pledge were one-third less likely than their non-pledging peers to use contraception when they did become sexually active.
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