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New Research Identifies Effective Teen Sex Education Programs and Other Interventions
Date:11/7/2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A growing number of sex education programs that support both abstinence and the use of contraception for sexually active teens have now shown positive effects in delaying first intercourse, improving contraceptive use, and preventing pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease among teens, according to a new report released today by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Other interventions -- several that mention sex little or not at all -- have also shown effective results.

Emerging Answers 2007: Research Findings on Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, by researcher Douglas Kirby, Ph.D., is the most comprehensive review to date of evaluation research that answers the question, what programs work to prevent teen pregnancy and STDs. The report's findings are based on a total of 115 program evaluations.

Two-thirds of sex education programs examined in the report that focus on both abstinence and contraception had a positive effect on teen sexual behavior -- for example, they delayed the initiation of sex, improved contraceptive use, or did both. Despite the concerns of many adults, none of the programs that discussed abstinence and contraception hastened the initiation of sex or increased the frequency of sex among teens.

The report also notes that, at present, there is no strong evidence that programs that stress abstinence as the only acceptable behavior for unmarried teens delay the initiation of sex, hasten the return to abstinence, or reduce the number of sexual partners. Emerging Answers 2007 identifies 15 programs with strong evidence of success. Seven are classified as sex education programs, two are community service learning programs, two are programs with several components, two involve ways clinicians interact with patients, and one is a parent-teen program.

Other results from the report include:

-- Teen girls and young
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SOURCE National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
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