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Teen pregnancies are on the rise—and the highest teen birth rate in a decade is raising questions about how to keep kids from having kids.

Goldberg: “Some say sex-ed programs are focusing too much on abstinence; other side blames everything from a rise in poverty to teens not using birth control because they’re not worried about STDs like AIDS.” (The View)

We’ve got insights from the Washington Post, NBC News, CBS News, Fox News and ABC.


The sexual health think tank the Guttmacher Institute reports teen pregnancies rose about 3 percent in 2006, the first rise in more than a decade. On NBC News, the Institute’s Heather Boonstra blames the spike on sex education programs.

“The institute’s Heather Boonstra says a focus on abstinence-only sex education in the 2000s, simply didn’t work. She suggests adding birth control 101 to sex-ed.
Boonstra: “Programs that teach about both actually show to help teens delay sexual activity, help them to have fewer sexual partners and help them to use contraceptives more consistently.”

 

But on the ABC morning talk show The View, host Elisabeth Hasselbeck says that the message of abstinence is not being relayed enough.


“I think all of a sudden it’s socially unacceptable to talk about abstinence with girls and I think ‘when’s the last abstinence program you saw surging?’ ‘cause I think this survey may be wrong. I don’t think that it’s like blown out, like everyone’s going on the abstinence bandwagon and this is why it’s failing. I actually think we’ve been talking more about birth control and this is failing. What I think the problem is that we’ve made it socially unacceptable for girls to say ‘I don’t want to have sex with anybody right now. I am in charge of my body.’”

 

In an article in The Washington Post, experts were equally as split on the cause of the increased pregnancy rate.

 

“While experts said it was unclear what may be causing the reversal, the new data reignited debate about abstinence-only sex-education programs, which receive about $176 million a year in federal funding. … But proponents of abstinence education defended the programs, blaming the rise on the ineffectiveness of conventional sex-education programs…as well as the pervasive depiction of sexuality in the culture.”


On FOX News and the CBS Evening News, experts pointed the finger at poverty.

Alvarez: “I think it’s multi-factorial. I looked at some of the data that was published. They talked about issues of economics, of course, that have changed drastically in the last two or three years.”


Anchor: “The head of Chicago’s new mom’s shelter says it’s more complicated than that, that no one has paid attention to girls living in poverty whose birth rates have continued to rise.”
McLoughlin: “Their birth rate never declined, and in fact it doubled and it’s over 60 percent.”


Do you think abstinence-only education is the problem or the solution to rising teen birth rates? Or does sex education play a role at all?

 

Writer: Elizabeth Eberlin

Producer: Adam Falk

Teen Pregnancy Rates on the Rise

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Jan 28, 2010

Teen Pregnancy Rates on the Rise

(Thumbnail image: FOX Searchlight)

 

Teen pregnancies are on the rise—and the highest teen birth rate in a decade is raising questions about how to keep kids from having kids.

Goldberg: “Some say sex-ed programs are focusing too much on abstinence; other side blames everything from a rise in poverty to teens not using birth control because they’re not worried about STDs like AIDS.” (The View)

We’ve got insights from the Washington Post, NBC News, CBS News, Fox News and ABC.


The sexual health think tank the Guttmacher Institute reports teen pregnancies rose about 3 percent in 2006, the first rise in more than a decade. On NBC News, the Institute’s Heather Boonstra blames the spike on sex education programs.

“The institute’s Heather Boonstra says a focus on abstinence-only sex education in the 2000s, simply didn’t work. She suggests adding birth control 101 to sex-ed.
Boonstra: “Programs that teach about both actually show to help teens delay sexual activity, help them to have fewer sexual partners and help them to use contraceptives more consistently.”

 

But on the ABC morning talk show The View, host Elisabeth Hasselbeck says that the message of abstinence is not being relayed enough.


“I think all of a sudden it’s socially unacceptable to talk about abstinence with girls and I think ‘when’s the last abstinence program you saw surging?’ ‘cause I think this survey may be wrong. I don’t think that it’s like blown out, like everyone’s going on the abstinence bandwagon and this is why it’s failing. I actually think we’ve been talking more about birth control and this is failing. What I think the problem is that we’ve made it socially unacceptable for girls to say ‘I don’t want to have sex with anybody right now. I am in charge of my body.’”

 

In an article in The Washington Post, experts were equally as split on the cause of the increased pregnancy rate.

 

“While experts said it was unclear what may be causing the reversal, the new data reignited debate about abstinence-only sex-education programs, which receive about $176 million a year in federal funding. … But proponents of abstinence education defended the programs, blaming the rise on the ineffectiveness of conventional sex-education programs…as well as the pervasive depiction of sexuality in the culture.”


On FOX News and the CBS Evening News, experts pointed the finger at poverty.

Alvarez: “I think it’s multi-factorial. I looked at some of the data that was published. They talked about issues of economics, of course, that have changed drastically in the last two or three years.”


Anchor: “The head of Chicago’s new mom’s shelter says it’s more complicated than that, that no one has paid attention to girls living in poverty whose birth rates have continued to rise.”
McLoughlin: “Their birth rate never declined, and in fact it doubled and it’s over 60 percent.”


Do you think abstinence-only education is the problem or the solution to rising teen birth rates? Or does sex education play a role at all?

 

Writer: Elizabeth Eberlin

Producer: Adam Falk

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