Encouraging Teen Abstinence

July 10, 1998 • Volume 8, Issue 25
Should birth control information be taboo?
By Kathy Koch

Introduction

The Best Friends Jazz Choir, comprised of high school girls from Washington, D.C., salutes the organizations's 10th anniversary last year at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo Credit: Best Friends Jazz Choir)
The Best Friends Jazz Choir, comprised of high school girls from Washington, D.C., salutes the organizations's 10th anniversary last year at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo Credit: Best Friends Jazz Choir)

Up to nine times as many teenagers give birth in the United States as in other industrialized countries. Moreover, more American youths under age 15 are becoming sexually active. Although overall U.S. teen birthrates are declining, out-of-wedlock births are skyrocketing in the United States and throughout the industrialized world. To reverse these trends, Congress and the states are spending $837.5 million over the next five years to encourage teenagers and unmarried adults to abstain from sexual intercourse, without teaching them about contraception or disease prevention. But critics say that withholding such information leaves youths “defenseless.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Sex Education
Sep. 16, 2005  Teen Sex
Jul. 10, 1998  Encouraging Teen Abstinence
Jun. 23, 1989  Sex Education: How Well Does It Work?
Aug. 28, 1981  Sex Education
Mar. 23, 1979  Teenage Pregnancy
Oct. 30, 1957  Sex Education in Schools
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Elementary and Secondary Education
Students and Social Life
Teenagers