Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Comprehensive Sex Education Might Reduce Teen Pregnancies, Study Suggests

Date:
March 20, 2008
Source:
The Center for the Advancement of Health
Summary:
New research suggests that comprehensive sex education might lead to less teen pregnancy, and there are no indications that it boosts the levels of sexual intercourse or sexually transmitted diseases. "It is not harmful to teach teens about birth control in addition to abstinence," said the study's lead author. Parents and educators have long argued over whether students should get instruction in birth control or simply learn how to say no. At issue is which approach will best postpone sex.

New research suggests that comprehensive sex education might lead to less teen pregnancy, and there are no indications that it boosts the levels of sexual intercourse or sexually transmitted diseases.

“It is not harmful to teach teens about birth control in addition to abstinence,” said study lead author Pamela Kohler, a program manager at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Parents and educators have long argued over whether students should get instruction in birth control or simply learn how to say no. At issue is which approach will best postpone sex.

Kohler and colleagues examined the results of the 2002 national survey and focused on heterosexual teens ages 15 to 19. The findings — based on responses from 1,719 teens — appear in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

After reviewing the results, which researchers weighted to reflect the U.S. population better, the researchers found that one in four teens received abstinence-only education. Nine percent — particularly the poor and those in rural areas — received no sex education at all. The other two-thirds received comprehensive instruction with discussion of birth control.

Teens who received comprehensive sex education were 60 percent less likely to report becoming pregnant or impregnating someone than those who received no sex education.

The likelihood of pregnancy was 30 percent lower among those who had abstinence-only education compared to those who received no sex education, but the researchers deemed that number statistically insignificant because few teens fit into the categories that researchers analyzed.

While they also did not reach statistical significance, other survey results suggested that comprehensive sex education — but not abstinence-based sex education — slightly reduced the likelihood of teens having engaged in vaginal intercourse. Neither approach seemed to reduce the likelihood of reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases, but again the results were not statistically significant.

The findings support comprehensive sex education, Kohler said.

“There was no evidence to suggest that abstinence-only education decreased the likelihood of ever having sex or getting pregnant.”

Don Operario, Ph.D., a professor at Oxford University in England, said the study provides “further compelling evidence” about the value of comprehensive sex education and the “ineffectiveness” of the abstinence-only approach.

Still, the study does not show how educators should implement comprehensive sex education in the classroom, said Operario, who studies sex education. “We need a better understanding of the most effective ways of delivering this type of education in order to maximize audience comprehension and community acceptability.”

Journal reference: Kohler PK, Manhart LE, Lafferty WE. Abstinence-only and comprehensive sex education and the initiation of sexual activity and teen pregnancy. J Adolesc Health 42(4), 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Center for the Advancement of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Center for the Advancement of Health. "Comprehensive Sex Education Might Reduce Teen Pregnancies, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080319151225.htm>.
The Center for the Advancement of Health. (2008, March 20). Comprehensive Sex Education Might Reduce Teen Pregnancies, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080319151225.htm
The Center for the Advancement of Health. "Comprehensive Sex Education Might Reduce Teen Pregnancies, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080319151225.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins