Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Relationships and sex education: a drop of 25% in teenage pregnancy rates over 10 years, that's progress

There was an article published in the Daily Mail at the weekend stating that sex education has had little impact on teenage pregnancy rates over the past 40 years.

In fact the statistics confirm what those of us who work in sexual health or with young people already know that teenagers are less likely to get pregnant now than they were 40 years ago, and looking at the statistics from 1998 when the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy was launched there is a clear decline in rates. Between 1998 and 2010, the conception rate for under 16s has fallen by 22%, and the rate for under 18s has fallen by 25%.

The Teenage Pregnancy Strategy focused on and highlighted the good work being done, and means that we are clear about what works to improve young people's sexual health and wellbeing; improving access to sexual health services, an open and accepting attitude toward teenage sexuality; good quality sex and relationships education in school and the community; and supporting parents to talk to their children about relationships.

We know how to reduce rates of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and we need to get on with making that happen consistently across the UK.

You can read Brook’s factsheet on the teenage pregnancy rates online here.

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