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Study: Abstinence, not condoms, led to teen birth drop

condoms failure, how to use condom, contraceptives spreading culture of free sex, teens sexually active
Study: Abstinence, not condoms, led to teen birth drop

Teens choosing to be abstinent led to a drop in teen birth rates in every statе. Arguments that this drop is due to increased use of condoms were proven wrong. Study found that among teens who are sexually active, the non-marital birth rate has risen dramatically.

As our readers may know, during the 1990s there has been an 11% drop in the number of teens who have ever had sex. The majority of teens, 52%, are choosing to be abstinent. This had led to a drop in teen birth rates in every state in the country and among all races. Some have argued that this drop in teen births is due to increased use of condoms or other birth control devices, but a study by the Consortium of State Physicians Resource Councils has shown that the cause of the overall teen birth rate decline in the 1990s is not increased contraceptive use, but a trend toward sexual abstinence. The study also shows that among those teens who are sexually active, the non-marital birth rate has risen dramatically.

Increased condom use by sexually active teens has not led to lower birth rates in that group.


The research report, The Declines in Adolescent Pregnancy, Abortion and Birth Rates in the 1990s: What Factors are Responsible? was authored by 11 physicians. The report's major findings are:

The out-of-wedlock birth rate to sexually-experienced teens did not decline from 1988 to 1995, but actually increased 29%, despite a 33% increase in the use of condoms at last intercourse.

The birth rate decline for all females aged 15 to 19-from 62.1 births per 1,000 teens in 1991 to 54.7 per 1,000 teens in 1996-is due primarily to the decrease in teen sexual activity.

The proportion of teens choosing abstinence has been growing and the majority of that growth has been among teenage males. In 1997, 51.1% of male teens had never had sex. This figure compares to 39.2% in 1990.


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"The implications of this research to public health policy are far reaching," said Dr. Joanna Mohn of the NJ Physicians Resource Council. "This report documents that increased condom use and higher illegitimacy rates among teens have gone hand-in-hand. Such analysis should go a long way to resolve the current debate about 'safe-sex' versus abstinence-centered programs. Abstinence, not 'safe sex,' has proven to be the successful teen health message."

To obtain copies of The Declines in Adolescent Pregnancy, Abortion and Birth Rates in the 1990s: What Factors are Responsible? call (877) 236-5772.

The Consortium of State Physicians Resource Councils is an association of more than 2,000 physicians in 13 states.


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condoms failure, how to use condom, contraceptives spreading culture of free sex, teens sexually active

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