CDC: One-third of sex ed omits birth control

September 15, 2010 By MIKE STOBBE , AP Medical Writer

(AP) -- Almost all U.S. teens have had formal sex education, but only about two-thirds have been taught about birth control methods, according to a new government report released Wednesday.

Many teens apparently are not absorbing those lessons - other recent data shows that after years of steady decline, the teen birth rate rose from 2005 to 2007. It dipped again in 2008, to about 10 percent of all births.

The report from the is based on face-to-face interviews with nearly 2,800 teenagers in their homes from 2006 through 2008. Female interviewers from the University of Michigan asked the questions for the CDC.

About 97 percent of teens said they received formal by the time they were 18. Formal sex education was defined in the report as instruction at a school, church, community center or other setting teaching them how to say no to sex or about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases.

Lessons about saying no and STDs were more common than instruction on how to use a condom or other birth control, the study found.

Overall, about two-thirds of teens got birth control instruction by the end of high school - about 62 percent of boys and 70 percent of girls.

In contrast, about 92 percent of boys and girls reported being taught about sexually transmitted diseases, and almost that many learned about preventing infection with the virus. And about 87 percent of girls and 81 percent of boys were taught how to say no to sex.

The study also found that younger teen girls were more likely than boys to have talked to their parents about sex and birth control, and how to say no to sex.

The report does not address trends in sex education. But many of the findings were similar to some CDC research conducted in 2002.

Other research suggests that comprehensive sex education declined from 1995 to 2002, and this report seems to indicate that it hasn't changed since then, said John Santelli, a Columbia University professor of population and family health.

Government policies stressing abstinence-only sex education were a large reason for that initial decline. Programs noted the threat of sexually transmitted diseases but not how to use birth control. Those policies were still in place when the CDC study was done, Santelli said.

But in the last two years, most of federal funding for sex education has been redirected to programs that discuss birth control as well as the importance of delaying sex, said Bill Albert, chief program officer for the Washington, D.C.-based National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Another CDC study, released earlier this year, found that teenage use of and teen attitudes toward pregnancy have remained about the same since 2002.

Previous CDC research found that that about 85 percent of high schools and 72 percent of middle schools teach human sexuality and sex education.

More information: CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs

shares

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Sweet, bitter, fat: New study reveals impact of genetics on how kids snack

February 22, 2018
Whether your child asks for crackers, cookies or veggies to snack on could be linked to genetics, according to new findings from the Guelph Family Health Study at the University of Guelph.

The good and bad health news about your exercise posts on social media

February 22, 2018
We all have that Facebook friend—or 10—who regularly posts photos of his or her fitness pursuits: on the elliptical at the gym, hiking through the wilderness, crossing a 10K finish line.

Smartphones are bad for some teens, not all

February 21, 2018
Is the next generation better or worse off because of smartphones? The answer is complex and research shows it largely depends on their lives offline.

Tackling health problems in the young is crucial for their children's future

February 21, 2018
A child's growth and development is affected by the health and lifestyles of their parents before pregnancy - even going back to adolescence - according to a new study by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, ...

Lead and other toxic metals found in e-cigarette 'vapors': study

February 21, 2018
Significant amounts of toxic metals, including lead, leak from some e-cigarette heating coils and are present in the aerosols inhaled by users, according to a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public ...

Why teens need up to 10 hours' sleep

February 21, 2018
Technology, other distractions and staying up late make is difficult, but researchers say teenagers need to make time for 8-10 hours of sleep a night to optimise their performance and maintain good health and wellbeing.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.