Types of teenage dating violence
There is a good chance that many of the students grouped as having received comprehensive sex education did not receive such a thorough program. However, it’s encouraging that even programs that simply cover birth control and abstinence can reduce young people’s risk of teen pregnancy.And, though we know little about the abstinence-only programs that these students were exposed to, we do know that they withheld information about contraception and we know that this approach has failed to reduce sexual activity, teen pregnancy, or STDs.In particular, the authors found that receiving information about birth control in formal sex education was associated with a 50% lower risk of teen pregnancy when compared to receiving information only on abstinence.It also confirmed that talking to young people about birth control does not lead to increased sexual activity or higher STD rates as many critics of comprehensive sexuality education continue to claim.This study used data collected in 2002–03 through the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), a nationwide survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics.The researchers analyzed data from 1,719 heterosexual respondents to the NSFG who were 15–19. The authors focused on young people’s answers to two questions: whether they had received “any formal instruction at school, church, a community center, or some other place about how to say no to sex” before the age of 18 and whether they had received any formal education about birth control.
Though a number of recent studies have evaluated specific programs, little research has been done on the adolescent population as a whole.
This study is a welcome addition to the research on sexuality education and youth sexual behavior; however, there are some limitations to the data.
The NSFG does not ask detailed questions about sex education.
Moreover, the authors note that “generally individuals receiving no sex education tended to be from low-income, nonintact families, black, and from rural areas.” We know that young people of color and young people from low-income communities are disproportionately affected by teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
In order to overcome these health disparities, we must ensure that these young people, in particular, receive high quality sexuality education.