Abstinence education programs are being credited with the good news coming in a new report the CDC issued recently from the National Center for Health Statistics showing teen birth and sex rates dropping.
The New York Times reports “about 43% of unmarried teenage girls and 42% of unmarried teenage boys have had sexual intercourse at least once,” compared to a study in 2002, where “51.1% of girls and 60.4% of boys had had sex by 19.”
Noting some “significant changes,” Gladys Martinez, the report’s lead author and a demographer with the National Center for Health Statistics, commented, “The percentage of teenage girls who have had sex is the same across ethnicities. This is the first time that has happened, and the leveling off is due mainly to the smaller percentages of black teenage girls who have had sex.”
The birth rate for teenagers aged 15-19 has declined for the last three years and 17 out of the past 19 years, falling to 34.3 births per 1,000 teenagers in 2010 – a 9 percent decline from 2009 and the lowest rate ever recorded in nearly seven decades of collecting data. Birth rates for younger and older teenagers and for all race/ethnic groups reached historic lows in 2010.
Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association reacted to the report by crediting abstinence programs for educating young people about the many benefits of saving sexual activity for marriage. You can read more detail here. http://www.lifenews.com/2011/11/18/abstinence-programs-credited-with-reducing-teen-birth-rates/