Can Schools Help Prevent Teenage Pregnancy?

How to prevent teenage pregnancy is a question that often has many parents looking for support. Can parents look towards the schools to prevent it?

How to prevent teenage pregnancy is a question that often has many parents frustrated and looking for support.  Our schools are one of the most obvious environments to support both students and parents. Right now depending on the state you live, programs vary quite a bit in the information they provide. Is school an effective place to teach about sexual health, teenage pregnancy, and reproduction?

Related: Teenage Pregnancy & Back to School: It’s About the Support System

Why Are Schools Important To Teenage Pregnancy Rates

While teenage pregnancy rates have been declining since the 1990’s, there are still many instances of teenage pregnancy. School is one of the few consistent sources to receive medically accurate information about reproduction. For many teenagers, school is the only way they learn about reproduction and sex. While the in the home is still the primary way most teens are getting information about sex and health as we discussed in the post 3 MAJOR Facts That Influence Teenage Pregnancy, schools are second on the list for teaching teenagers about health and their bodies.

What Choices Are Teenagers Making

While teenage pregnancy birth rates are going down, there are some other staggering statistics about the risky decisions teenagers are making.  According to a survey by the Center for Disease, Control and Prevention in 2013:

  • 34% of the teens surveyed had sex in the past three months since they took the questionnaire.
  • Of those students who were sexually active, 41% did not use a condom.
  • Only 22% of the sexually active students surveyed noted that they had been tested for HIV.

Many teens are still engaging in risky behavior. Should parents be engaging their teens in conversations about their personal beliefs about sex, relationships and health ways to show affection? Absolutely! The challenge is while teenagers do value your opinion, hearing information from several sources can help them to feel supported in making better choices.

Related: Conversations You NEED To Have With Your Teen To Prevent Teenage Pregnancy

What Can Schools Do To Prevent Teenage Pregnancy

One of the first things we can do to help prevent teenage pregnancy is to provide a comprehensive approach to sex education in schools. By enriching these programs to include a fuller picture such as abstinence, contraceptives and medical information about how the body works, teenagers can more confidently make good choices about their relationships and future.

 The Guttmacher Institute reports that:

  • 37 states require abstinence is included in sex-education
  • 18 states require that information about contraceptives
  • 13 states require that information about sex education be medically accurate

That last statistic hits me hard that we are not always teaching medically accurate information about sex to teenagers. If you cannot learn medically accurate information about your body in a health class, how can teens possibly be expected to make smart choices?

In the same information, 55% of teens reports looking up information online to learn more about sexual health issues for themselves or a friend. Is it better to have teenagers cruising the web and very possibly finding information that is incorrect?

Schools have a lot on their plates, but health and sex education programs that are comprehensive can help us answer the question “how do we prevent teenage pregnancy?” What do you think we can do in schools to prevent teenage pregnancy?

Image Credit: kittivanilli

7 thoughts on “Can Schools Help Prevent Teenage Pregnancy?”

  1. I think Teenage Pregnancy is something which everyone should take a note & find some important steps to prevent it. A proper guidance could do wonders & bring changes in the future.

  2. Of course abstinence is always the way to go, but the reality of today is that kids are having sex in record numbers. I’m all for making sure they’re using protection!

  3. If we educate kids enough, it will definitely help. It’s better to have the schools do it as well because there are things parents can miss when educating kids about sex and the like.

  4. and it all starts with making sure that the schools are teaching the CORRECT way to prevent teen pregnancy – which is education and abstinence….

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