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Teen Birth Rate Up For Second Year in a Row
Date:3/18/2009

New Survey Suggests Parents Most Influence Teens' Decisions About Sex

WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The teen birth rate in the United States increased 1% in 2007, according to data released today by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). This is the second year in a row that the teen birth rate has increased. The increase follows 14 years of continuous decline in the teen birth rate. That is, after declining 34% between 1991 and 2005, the teen birth rate has now increased 5% between 2005 and 2007.

"The teen birth rate in the United States declined dramatically in past years because of both less sex and more contraception," said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "The teen birth rate is probably now going up for the opposite set of reasons - some combination of more sex and less contraception."

A separate public opinion survey released today by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy provides some guidance on what might help to reverse the recent teen birth rate trend. Results from the nationally-representative survey make clear that (1) when it comes to teens' decisions about sex, parents are more influential than they think, and (2) adults and teens view efforts that encourage teens to delay sex and that encourage sexually active teens to use contraception as complimentary not contradictory strategies. In particular:

  • Teens say parents (31%) most influence their decisions about sex -- more than friends (18%), the media (7%), teachers and sex educators (3%) and others.
  • For their part, 43% of adults believe that friends most influence teens' decisions about sex; only 24% of adults believe that parents are most influential.
  • Fully 73% of adults and a plurality of teens wish that teens were getting more information about both abst
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SOURCE National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
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