START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
928,264 people care about Women's Rights

Thanks to Comprehensive Sex Ed, California Cuts Teen Birth Rate

Thanks to Comprehensive Sex Ed, California Cuts Teen Birth Rate

California’s teen birth rate has fallen by 60 percent since 1991, and it is now the lowest it’s been in the state in the last 20 years. It must be because California is a state known for its abstinence-only education. Oh wait! That’s not true.

California actually has a law that requires all public schools in the state to offer comprehensive sex education and accurate information about birth control. And it looks like state health experts do think that the impressive decrease is due to the state’s comprehensive sex ed program.

Interesting — it’s like not hiding your head in the sand is actually helpful.

According to the new report, teen birth rates in California have declined across the board. For Latinas between 15-19, the birth rate fell from 74 births for every 1,000 girls to 42. It just goes down from there. The rate among black teen girls dropped from 51.8 births per 1,000 teenagers to 34.1. Among white teens that number went from 20.1 to 11.2, and for Asian teens it went from 13.9 to 5.3.

Wow, that’s incredible. Who knew a little knowledge could go so far?

This California study fits in pretty well with what we see happening elsewhere in the country. Teen birth rates are decreasing nationwide, but not uniformly. The southern United States is not doing as well in this area, which, incidentally, is the place where you are most likely to see abstinence-only education and low access to birth control.

This really feels like the difference between fear-based and knowledge-based sex ed. Not only does abstinence-only education not stop teens from having sex, it fosters a really unhealthy relationship with a major and natural part of life. It leaves these boys and girls ill-equipped to deal with sex when they decide to have it. I cannot imagine that ignoring the existence of sex for enjoyment – which, despite the saturation of sexiness in culture, is a prevalent way of handling the topic – leads to a more fulfilling sex life as an adult.

If we want to keep kids safe and give them the knowledge necessary to navigate sexual relationships, we can’t ignore the reality. The data is in and it’s compelling. Abstinence-only education doesn’t work. Comprehensive sex education is the best way to arm teens against unwanted pregnancies. Not only that, but access to birth control greatly decreases the number of abortions. So if we really want to decrease the number of teen pregnancies and unwanted pregnancies, it looks like comprehensive sex ed and access to birth control is the way to go.

Read more: , , , ,

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

170 comments

+ add your own
7:16PM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

Very good article...Thank you! Being that I do live in the South, I can speak firsthand for this phenomenon because it is true. Abstinence only education only leaves teenagers confused with nowhere to turn. This is causing a silent ignorance of real life to our youth causing more teen pregnancies.

6:17AM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

Good article. Education is the answer. Parenthood is the toughest job in the world, one should be ready for it. Not just physically, but emotionally and ideally within a framework of a loving, stable relationship.
Too many times we have mothers who are still basically children themselves and who have come to motherhood before they were ready, before they had had time to 'find themselves' and fulfill their potential.

7:51PM PDT on Aug 3, 2013

Great news.

12:26AM PDT on Aug 3, 2013

thank you for publishing this.

9:56AM PDT on Aug 2, 2013

Always good to see numbers backing up what should be common sense!

8:51AM PDT on Aug 2, 2013

Wonderful news!

1:06PM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

good for California !

11:31AM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

Yes! No surprise about the South...where education is not a top priority.

10:22AM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

This is really good news. Good for the people of California and the state.

Unfortunately, facts, logic, reason, sanity, .. just do not figure in the workings of the minds that think abstinance only policies are what's best for kids. If you can look at the mountains of scientific data and still believe that the earth is 6,000 years old, you are just plain too stupid for reality. Call it faith if you want. But if you sacrifice reality for fantasy in how you interact with the world you are not thinking even remotely well and you're playing your part on bringing society down. The high rates for teen pregnancy and STDs in the supposed moral states of abstinance only education is a slap in the face call to reality. But it doesn't sink in.

9:21PM PDT on Jul 31, 2013

LOLOLOL Suba

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

may she have a long, happy, safe life.........stop the poaching.....

So great someone is helping to make the star fish survive,so many people dont care about fish and wild…

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.