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Researcher Discusses Decreased Teen Pregnancy

Friday, October 20, 2006 at 2:18 PM

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Around the country, the percentage of unmarried teens getting pregnant - particularly African-Americans - began falling precipitously in the early 1990s. What accounts for that is hotly debated. For one of the nation's most prominent sex researchers, there is little doubt about the cause. ideastream's Lisa Ann Pinkerton reports.

Speaking at the City Club yesterday, Douglas Kirby said sex education in schools is working. Kirby, the former head of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, said these programs do slow pregnancy rates, especially when they combine practical guidance on use of contraception with a stress on abstinence. He also recommends role playing.

Douglas Kirby: The ideas then come fro the young people. So this makes it real. It’s interactive, it gives them concrete ideas.

Kirby also said that communities seeking to replicate successful sex-ed programs should customize them to fit the demographics of particular communities.

Researchers disagree though on what the overall data show. Some say the effectiveness of sex-ed has yet to be documented on a large scale. Other critics remain convinced that abstinence only programs are the key to reduced pregnancies. Lisa Ann Pinkerton, 90.3.

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