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Old 07-13-2007, 11:26 AM   #1
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Teens Are Having Sex

... not nearly as much as they used to. and they're using condoms. other good things are happening as well.



[q]Report: Teen Birth Rate Hits Record Low

By JENNIFER C. KERR

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fewer high school students are having sex these days, and more are using condoms. The teen birth rate has hit a record low.
More young people are finishing high school, too, and more little kids are being read to, according to the latest government snapshot on the well-being of the nation's children. It's good news on a number of key wellness indicators, experts said of the report being released Friday.
"The implications for the population are quite positive in terms of their health and their well-being," said Edward Sondik, director of the National Center for Health Statistics. "The lower figure on teens having sex means the risk of sexually transmitted diseases is lower."
In 2005, 47 percent of high school students - 6.7 million - reported having had sexual intercourse, down from 54 percent in 1991. The rate of those who reported having had sex has remained the same since 2003.
Of those who had sex during a three-month period in 2005, 63 percent - about 9 million - used condoms. That's up from 46 percent in 1991.
The teen birth rate, the report said, was 21 per 1,000 young women ages 15-17 in 2005 - an all-time low. It was down from 39 births per 1,000 teens in 1991.
"This is very good news," said Sondik. "Young teen mothers and their babies are at a greater risk of both immediate and long-term difficulties."
The birth rate in the 15-19 age group was 40 per 1,000 in 2005, also down sharply from the previous decade.
Education campaigns that started years ago are having a significant effect, said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington-based nonprofit group that focuses on prevention of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
"I think the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the efforts in the '80s and '90s had a lot to do with that," Wagoner said of the improved numbers on teen sex, condoms and adolescent births.
"We need to encourage young teens to delay sexual initiation and we need to make sure they get all the information they need about condoms and birth control," he said.
The report was compiled from statistics and studies at 22 federal agencies, and covered 38 key indicators, including infant mortality, academic achievement rates and the number of children living in poverty.
Other highlights:
_The percentage of children covered by health insurance decreased slightly. In 2005, 89 percent of children had health insurance coverage at some point during the year, down from 90 percent the previous year.
_The percentage of low birthweight infants (born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces) increased. It was 8.2 percent in 2005, up from 8.1 percent in 2004.
_More youngsters are getting reading time. Sixty percent of children ages 3-5 (and not in kindergarten) were read to daily by a family member in 2005, up from 53 percent in 1993.
_The percentage of children who had at least one parent working year round and full-time increased to 78.3 percent in 2005, up from 77.6 percent the previous year.
_More young people are completing high school. In 2005, 88 percent of young adults had finished high school - up from 84 percent in 1980.
The report was released by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics - a consortium of federal agencies that includes the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Census Bureau and the Administration for Children and Families.[/q]



for all the hysterics and hand-wringing about teens and sex, i wonder if it isn't all a little misplaced, and that most teens actually do have the capacity to make good decisions.

perhaps we shouldn't sell them so short?
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:34 AM   #2
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I think part of the changing dynamic will also be explained by a social phenomenon of WHO is having kids. People of our generation (I'm loosely talking about those now in their 20s) will not raise their children the same way that our parents did. We are having kids later, and we are generally more open to having frank discussions about sex. While my parents certainly never had any knee-jerk or religious reactions to such things, I know it was a big deal for a lot of my friends' parents. But I don't know anyone my age who wouldn't talk to their kids about birth control, or who would make them feel like they will be scorned or kicked out for having sex at a young age. That's not to say we'd prefer to see it with our kids, but the reaction will be different.
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Old 07-13-2007, 05:52 PM   #3
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Then there's this: use of morning after pill is up because it's more accessible.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews

Conservatives condemn it:

Quote:
Conservative members of Congress and advocacy groups strongly opposed the move. They questioned the drug's safety and argued that easier availability could encourage sexual activity and make it easier for men to have sex with underage girls. They also maintain the pill can cause the equivalent of an abortion.
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:47 PM   #4
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Oh how I wish I was a teen.
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:53 PM   #5
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It's good to see the teen birth rate dropping, it not only ruins the teen's life to have a child at this age, but the child's, too.

Then about a day ago I found a MySpace of a girl I go to school with who's already married and expecting a child in '08. She's going to be a Junior, this is completely insane.
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:01 PM   #6
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Yeah, teen pregnancy really puts the skids on the whole pulling yourself up by your bootstraps thing.
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Varitek
Then there's this: use of morning after pill is up because it's more accessible.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews

Conservatives condemn it:

Conservative members of Congress and advocacy groups strongly opposed the move. They questioned the drug's safety and argued that easier availability could encourage sexual activity and make it easier for men to have sex with underage girls. They also maintain the pill can cause the equivalent of an abortion.
please correct me if i'm misinterpreting that, but that bold line sounds to me to be very degrading of females. like it is THEIR fault or something.
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:07 PM   #8
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I can play devil's advocate and understand that there might be an expectation that the availability of a morning after pill might encourage more reckless behaviour; for instance, engaging in unprotected sex due to the fact that a morning after pill can be obtained the next day.

That said, this increases even more the need for responsible sex ed for young teens in schools, including the use of contraceptives and highlighting the transmission of STDs. Teaching abstinence, as is the current accepted right-wing viewpoint, is even more irresponsible now, considering the availability of the morning after pill.
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Old 07-14-2007, 12:25 AM   #9
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Could A B C

be having an effect?
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Old 07-14-2007, 05:54 AM   #10
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Re: Teens Are Having Sex

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
[

for all the hysterics and hand-wringing about teens and sex, i wonder if it isn't all a little misplaced, and that most teens actually do have the capacity to make good decisions.

perhaps we shouldn't sell them so short? [/B]
Most of it has been misplaced, a product of ageism on the part of bitter and twisted older folk.

Teenage sex, at least from folk I have known, has always been a carefully thought-out process.

I'd say over 90% of teens are have an intelligent and responsible attitude to sex.

This idea that sex is "out-of-control and irresponsible" amongst teens is crap. It's no more "out-of-control and irresponsible" than it is with 20, 30 or 40 year olds. It's just the teens are scapegoated for "changing (progressive, i might add) sexual attitudes.

Teens are by nature, horny, curious, and arriving at their sexual peak. Teach them the basics just as they enter the teens, and let them bloody well get on with it.....before it's too late..


Also, regarding The Pill, many girls seem to take it now because it makes there bodies (breasts, hips) more "shapely" and physically desirable. Normally, I wouldn't have a problem with this, but according to some reports, The Pill can heighten the risks of cancer and other nasty diseases? Is this true, and is there any truth to this theory that The Pill can alter a girl's body shape (for better or worse)?
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:57 PM   #11
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As a college student, pretty much every girl I know is on the pill, but no one started taking it for the purpose of looking more "shapely." They got on it for birth control reasons, to control acne, and to control hormone issues. It can make you gain weight, which for a lucky few girls might go to their hips and breasts, but on the whole that seems very unlikely.
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:02 PM   #12
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The pill increases your chances of developing breast cancer and decreases your chances of getting ovarian cancer, so it's somewhat of a toss up.

I've never known any woman who took the pill to control her shape either.
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Canadiens1160
I can play devil's advocate and understand that there might be an expectation that the availability of a morning after pill might encourage more reckless behavior; for instance, engaging in unprotected sex due to the fact that a morning after pill can be obtained the next day.

That said, this increases even more the need for responsible sex ed for young teens in schools, including the use of contraceptives and highlighting the transmission of STDs. Teaching abstinence, as is the current accepted right-wing viewpoint, is even more irresponsible now, considering the availability of the morning after pill.
I understand that you are just raising a point about the morning after pill, but does anyone really think that women, especially teenagers, consider this a viable birth control option? First of all, it has a 1 in 10 failure rate. In other words, it isn't fool proof. Secondly, how many women do you know would consider dropping $25 to $50 every time they had unprotected sex a viable option for birth control? Teenagers would especially have a hard time coming up with that kind of cash. And finally, Plan B is only available without a prescription (in the USA) to those over 18. So, by the time a teenage girl got around to going to the doctor to get it, chances are good that it is too late to be effective.

And more on topic, I don't think the problem was ever that adults weren't giving teens enough credit, it is just that we weren't educating them. If abstinence is all that is taught, but a couple of teenagers decide to have sex anyway, then well, you know what is going to happen. I think we've just become better at educating them, simple as that.
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:53 PM   #14
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Re: Re: Teens Are Having Sex

Quote:
Originally posted by intedomine
Also, regarding The Pill, many girls seem to take it now because it makes there bodies (breasts, hips) more "shapely" and physically desirable. Normally, I wouldn't have a problem with this, but according to some reports, The Pill can heighten the risks of cancer and other nasty diseases? Is this true, and is there any truth to this theory that The Pill can alter a girl's body shape (for better or worse)?
I don't know of anyone who has ever done that, mainly because it isn't true. The only reason I can think of that anyone would even assume that is because, one, the pill can cause some weight gain and secondly, the hormones can cause temporary breast growth, which generally goes away as a body adjusts to the hormones.

Anitram already addressed the cancer risk, so I will leave that one alone. As for other diseases, since the pill doesn't prevent against STD, having unprotected sex while on the pill doesn't prevent a woman from contracting something. The pill itself isn't a cause.
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Old 07-15-2007, 01:24 PM   #15
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Re: Re: Teens Are Having Sex

Quote:
Originally posted by intedomine



Also, regarding The Pill, many girls seem to take it now because it makes there bodies (breasts, hips) more "shapely" and physically desirable. Normally, I wouldn't have a problem with this, but according to some reports, The Pill can heighten the risks of cancer and other nasty diseases? Is this true, and is there any truth to this theory that The Pill can alter a girl's body shape (for better or worse)?
Huh? I've never heard of anyone taking the Pill for that. Everyone I know takes the Pill to have predictable, regular cycles. Yes, birth control is also a high priority, but the girls I know, myself included, started it mainly for regularity and more control over symptoms that were keeping us away from school and work (5 days of migraines, in my case). I stopped growing at age 13 and have had the same body structure since then. I've gained more weight because of the Pill, but it hasn't done anything to change my shape. If I lost the weight I've gained, I'd have the same body I did at age 13, before I started taking the Pill.
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