Saturday, December 25, 2004

New CDC Report Shows Abstinence Education Works, Pregnancy Rates Lower

Washington, DC ( -- A new report from the Centers for Disease Control shows abstinence-only education is working as fewer teens are having sex and that the age in which young people begin having sex is on the rise. Teen pregnancy rates are also on the decline. The report showing fewer teenagers engaging in sexual relations, "Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing, 2002" found that declines were particularly large among males age 15-19. While 55 percent of teenage boys in that age range say they were sexually active in 1995, only 46 percent say they were in 2002. Compared to a similar review in 1995, teenagers are putting off having sex and the average age of the first time has risen. In fact, the report shows that abstinence education has been so successful that the total number of teens abstaining from sex before marriage nearly achieves 2010 targets previously set. In those targeted projections, abstinence educators hoped for rates of 90 percent for teens under age 15 and 75 percent for teens among 15-17. "It's hard to argue with numbers. Abstinence education is reaching kids where they're at and helping them to make healthy choices for their futures," said Leslee Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse. In 1991, 62 of every 1,000 American girls ages 15 to 19 gave birth and a decade later, the teen birth rate fell to 43 per 1,000. Read the complete story.


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