Friday, July 08, 2005

The American Academy of Pediatrics Agrees With Us

You might have already seen this press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics, addressing the importance of preventing unwanted teen pregnancies. It came out last week, and refers to an article that appears in the organization's peer-reviewed journal Pediatrics, a non-fluffy, nonpartisan scientific research publication for medical professionals.

These pediatricians' advice calls for "sexuality education" that encourages abstinence and teaches about contraception -- hey, that is exactly what Montgomery County decided to do, until the noisy minority interrupted it.
For Release: July 5, 2005, 12:01 am (ET)

CHICAGO - Although adolescent pregnancy and birth rates have steadily declined in the past 13 years, many adolescents still become pregnant. Currently, more than 45 percent of high school females and 48 percent of high school males have had sexual intercourse, and the average age of first intercourse is 17 years for girls and 16 years for boys.

In a clinical report entitled "Adolescent Pregnancy: Current Trends and Issues," the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updates its 1998 policy statement of the same name. The clinical report is intended to provide pediatricians with recent data on adolescent sexuality, contraceptive use and child bearing, as well as information about preventing adolescent pregnancy in their communities.

The report highlights new information on the topic of adolescent pregnancy:
  • Although birth rates have been decreasing steadily for white and black teenagers in recent years, 1996 is the first year that birth rates decreased for Hispanic teenagers; Hispanic adolescents also have had the highest overall birth rates and smallest decreases in recent years.
  • Most successful prevention programs include multiple and varied approaches to the problem, including both abstinence promotion and contraception information and availability, sexuality education, school-completion strategies and job training.
  • Current research indicates that encouraging abstinence and urging better use of contraception are compatible goals. Evidence shows that sexuality education that discusses contraception does not increase sexual activity, and programs that emphasize abstinence as the safest and best approach, while also teaching about contraceptives for sexually active youth, do not increase sexual activity and improve teens' knowledge about access to reproductive health.
The report urges pediatricians to encourage adolescents to postpone early sexual activity and encourage parents to educate their children and adolescents about sexual development, responsible sexuality, decision-making and values.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. PREVENTION OF UNINTENDED ADOLESCENT PREGNANCY AN IMPORTANT GOAL

If you have any doubts, I recommend that you follow the link in the press release. The report is short but jam-packed with information.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such wonderful news for MCPS,, and their supporters!

Each time scientifically rigorous studies are conducted on sexuality education, there's more empirical support for the MCPS human sexuality program. Programs like MCPS's which stress abstinance throughout but also include "compatible" information about proper contraceptive usage are decreasing teen pregnancy rates.

Let's keep up the good work by providing the most current scientific information to our MCPS students.

Joyful Noises

July 08, 2005 10:25 AM  

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