support evidence-based interventions. Less than a year later, in March 2010, Congress created, through health care reform, a five-year Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP). The purpose of PREP is to educate adolescents on both abstinence and contraception and to prepare them for adulthood by teaching them such subjects as healthy relationships, financial literacy, parent-child communication and decision-making. Also, through a provision in the health care reform legislation, Congress renewed the Title V abstinence-only program for five years. This funding stream makes available $50 million annually for grants to states to promote sexual abstinence outside of marriage without any other option for contraception. 15
While a growing body of research clearly documents that teaching comprehensive education pertaining to abstinence and contraceptive protection will not hasten the sexual debut or increase the frequency or number of sexual partners, opponents continue to argue that teaching abstinence-only is the sole means of reliably restricting young people from sexual activity. As of 2006, a number of reviews of abstinence programs found no scientific evidence regarding its efficacy in delaying the initiation of sexual intercourse. Moreover, research shows that abstinence-only interventions may in fact deter sexually active teens from using contraception which increases their risk of unintended pregnancy and STIs.Therefore, it is suggested that successful sexuality education programs use a variety of teaching methods, personalize the information about the risks of and avoidance of unprotected intercourse, and provide opportunities to practice communication, negotiation, and refusal skills. It is not only up to educators and health professionals to have an impact on the knowledge and views of teens regarding sexual activity and pregnancy. Parents and boyfriends play an influential role in prevention of teen pregnancy as well. Crosby et al. [ state that adolescent female’s perceptions of their partners’ desire for pregnancy may be an important point at which to intervene. The authors also suggest that a component of behavioral intervention programs be to recognize and challenge female adolescent’s perceptions of their boyfriends’ desire for pregnancy and provide females with the skills and resources required to effectively prevent pregnancy despite potential lack of support or cooperation from their partner. Furthermore, parent-adolescent communication about sexual risks, maternal disapproval and the quality of the relationship between the parent and adolescent can have an impact on the attitudes of adolescents about sexual risk behavior and getting pregnant. Therefore, pregnancy prevention 16
programs may need to extend their efforts to the parents and families of teen mothers to help build their problem-solving and communication skills.
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- Spring '17
- stacy braiuca