An approach to the problem of teenage pregnancy.
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An approach to the problem of teenage pregnancy.

  • Published Date:

    1987 Jul-Aug

  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 102(4):377-385
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.83 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
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  • Description:
    Sex education continues to gain prominence as a critical factor in current challenges to the nation's public health. Adolescent pregnancy, with its frequently adverse consequences for the health and well-being of both mother and child, has reached unprecedented levels in the United States, and AIDS now threatens society in its entirety. Despite awareness that effective sex education is essential to combatting these problems, current debates, focused on the content and timing of sex education provided in the schools, are shortsighted. As currently practiced in this country, sex education curriculums convey the wrong message and are targeted to the wrong audience. In emphasizing the provision of data to youth, we ignore the fact that parental guidance and direction are more often helpful than data and options. Yet we fail to provide parents and others who comprise the traditional systems of child care and nurturance with the information they require to assume responsibility for the safe and healthy development of children and youth. Understanding the reasons for the failure of conventional sex education provides a foundation for developing a more effective approach to preventing adolescent pregnancy. Defining an effective message and targeting information to the appropriate audience are necessary to effect a significant reduction in premature sexual behavior among adolescents.
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