As more and more teen girls put themselves at risk of an early pregnancy, pregnancy rates rose.
However, many experts believe it was some combination of greater public and private efforts to prevent teen pregnancy, the new messages about work and child support embedded in welfare reform, more conservative attitudes among the young, fear of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, the availability of more effective forms of contraception, and perhaps the strong economy.
Some of these factors have undoubtedly interacted, making it difficult to ever sort out their separate effects.
C., the proportion of adolescent males approving of premarital sex decreased from 80 percent in 1988 to 71 percent in 1995.
The Ku study also linked this shift in adolescent male attitudes to a change in their behavior.
Equally significant is the fact that teens are now having less sex.
Up until the 1990s, despite some progress in convincing teens to use contraception, teen pregnancy rates continued to rise because an increasing number of teens were becoming sexually active at an early age, thereby putting themselves at risk of pregnancy.In addition to being small, such efforts may or may not be effective in preventing pregnancy.Fortunately, we know more about this topic now than we did even a few years ago. The short answer is “yes, some do.” Based on a careful review of the scholarly literature completed by Douglas Kirby of ETR Associates in Santa Cruz, California, a number of rigorously evaluated programs have been found to reduce pregnancy rates.The growth of public and private efforts to combat teen pregnancy may have also played a role, as suggested by surveys conducted by the National Governors’ Association, the General Accounting Office, the American Public Human Services Association, and most recently and comprehensively, by Child Trends.The Child Trends study, conducted by Richard Wertheimer and his associates at the Urban Institute, surveyed all 50 states in both 19.What matters is not so much the label but rather what a particular program includes, what the teacher believes, and how that plays out in the classroom.A strong abstinence message is totally consistent with public values, but the idea that the federal government can, or should, rigidly prescribe what goes on in the classroom through detailed curricular guidelines makes little sense.In addition, a number of less intensive and less costly sex education programs have also been found to be effective in persuading teens to delay sex and/or use contraception.Such programs typically provide clear messages about the importance of abstaining from sex and/or using contraception, teach teens how to deal with peer pressure to have sex, and provide practice in communicating and negotiating with partners.The other includes a range of services such as tutoring and career counseling along with sex education and reproductive health services.Both have been replicated in diverse communities and evaluated by randomly assigning teens to a program and control group.