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Sex Education For Many US Children Doesn’t Include Birth Control

by Gopalan on  September 16, 2010 at 8:00 AM Education News   - G J E 4
It looks like a case of sex education, yes, but birth control, no. In a US government survey, as many as 97 percent of teens said they received formal sex education by the time they were 18. But one third of them seemed to miss out on birth control.
 Sex Education For Many US Children Doesn’t Include Birth Control
Sex Education For Many US Children Doesn’t Include Birth Control
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Lessons about saying no and STDs were more common than instruction on how to use a condom or other birth control, the study found.

The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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.

Teenagers were asked if they received formal instruction on four topics of sex education at school, church, a community center, or some other place before they were 18 years old and the grade they were in when this first occurred. In addition, they were asked if they talked to their parents before they were 18 about topics concerning sex, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus HIV/acquired immunodeficiency prevention.

Most teenagers received formal sex education before they were 18 (96% of female and 97% of male teenagers).

• Ninety-two percent of male and 93% of female teenagers reported being taught about STDs and 89% of male and 88% of female teenagers reported receiving instruction on how to prevent HIV/AIDS.
• A larger percentage of teenagers reported receiving formal sex education on "how to say no to sex" (81% of male and 87% female teenagers) than reported receiving formal sex education on methods of birth control.
• Male teenagers were less likely than female teenagers to have received instructions on methods of birth control (62% of male and 70% female teenagers).
• Among teenagers who reported receiving formal sex education from a school, church, community center, or some other place, the majority first received instruction on "how to say no to sex," STDs, or how to prevent HIV/AIDS while in middle school (grades 6-8)
• Teenagers who reported first receiving sex education prior to middle school were more likely to report instruction on "how to say no to sex" than other topics. About one in five teenagers reported first receiving instruction on "how to say no to sex" while in first through fifth grade.
• Male teenagers were about as likely as female teenagers to report first receiving formal sex education on methods of birth control while in middle school (52% male teenagers compared with 46% female teenagers) and less likely than female teenagers to report first receiving instruction on methods of birth control while in high school (38% males compared with 47% females).
• Female teenagers were equally likely to report first receiving instruction on methods of birth control while in middle school or high school.
• More than two out of every three male teenagers and almost four out of every five female teenagers talked with a parent about at least one of six sex education topics ("how to say no to sex," methods of birth control, STDs, where to get birth control, how to prevent HIV/AIDS, and how to use a condom)
• Younger teenage (15-17 years old) females were more likely (80%) than younger male teenagers (68%) to have talked to their parents about these topics. On the other hand, there was virtually no difference for older teenage (18-19 years old) males and females in whether they talked to their parents about these topics.
• Female teenagers were more likely than male teenagers to talk to their parents about "how to say no to sex," methods of birth control, and where to get birth control
• Nearly two-thirds of female teenagers have talked to their parents about "how to say no to sex" compared with about two out of five male teenagers.
• Male teenagers were more likely than female teenagers to talk to their parents about how to use a condom (38% of males compared with 29% of females).
• Female and male teenagers were equally likely to have talked with their parents about STDs and how to prevent HIV/AIDS.

Parental communication about sex education topics with their teenagers is associated with delayed sexual initiation and increased birth control method and condom use among sexually experienced teenagers, the report concludes.

Source: Medindia

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