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Teen Pregnancy Prevention
Help teenagers understand why teen pregnancy prevention is so important. Learn how teen pregnancy affects teen health, social and economic situations, and life-long opportunities. Find ways to help teens develop skills and traits to make better choices.
According to teen pregnancy statistics, almost 1 million teen girls gets pregnant each year, which puts the teen mothers and their babies at increased risk for social, economic, and health problems throughout their lives. Teen pregnancies can be prevented by teaching teens about the risks of teen sex and how to make choices that will create healthier lives for themselves and their future families.
Teens and Sex Education
Educating teens about sex is an important part of teen pregnancy prevention. Education for teen pregnancy prevention should start well before a person is a teen, however, with age appropriate discussions about:
Teen pregnancy prevention education should target boys and girls so that both understand the potential consequences of sexual activity.
Teen pregnancy prevention can involve a number of concerned people and programs working together, including parents, schools, religious organizations, medical professionals, communities, businesses, and government organizations. Parents, however, are the most important influence on a teen’s choices regarding sexual activity. Teens rate the importance of their parents’ opinions very highly when deciding whether or not to have sex, and parents have the opportunity to teach their children about responsible relationships beginning at a young age.
An ongoing conversation about relationships, values, and sex is much more effective than having “the talk.”
Skills and traits teens need to make wise choices
In addition to teaching their teens about values and sex, parents can help teen pregnancy prevention by building the skills and traits teens need to make wise choices regarding sex:
Parents role in teen pregnancy prevention
Parents also play a role in reducing risk factors for teen pregnancy:
Other adults and organizations can also help teens to avoid the above risk factors and to develop a sense of the importance of education, long-term goals, and their own self worth. Parents, schools, health clinics, and trained mentors can all help teens understand the importance of waiting to have sex, of practicing safer sex, and of the life-altering consequences of teen pregnancy.
U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, Adolescent Pregnancy [online]
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Teen Pregnancy: So What? October 2006 [online]
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 10 Tips for Parents to Help Their Teens Avoid Teen Pregnancy [online]
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, A National Strategy to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Annual Report 1997-1998, June 1998 [online]
Related Article: Reasons for Teen Pregnancies >>