Programs help prevent teen pregnancy.
Approximately 1 million teenage girls become pregnant each year in the United States. But two different programs with supporters in opposite camps - abstinence and comprehensive sexuality education - may be helping decrease those numbers.
The 1996 welfare reform package contained $50 million to implement abstinence programs that focus on the importance of abstinence from sexual intercourse sexual intercourse
or coitus or copulation
Act in which the male reproductive organ enters the female reproductive tract (see reproductive system). until marriage. Eighteen states did so in 1998. Mississippi's HB 1304 makes abstinence education the state standard for any sex-related education taught in the public schools and prohibits any demonstration of condoms or contraceptives. SR 158 in Pennsylvania recognized the week of May 3-9 as Chastity Awareness Week and encouraged participation in chastity day presentations for schools and youth groups. South Carolina's HB 4700 requires all pregnancy prevention initiatives funded by the county government to emphasize premarital sexual abstinence.
Many opponents of abstinence education, who endorse comprehensive sex education, believe that even the best programs are useless in promoting abstinence among those who are already sexually active. They suggest creation of comprehensive sex education programs that provide information on reproductive choice, sexual behavior sexual behavior A person's sexual practices–ie, whether he/she engages in heterosexual or homosexual activity. See Sex life, Sexual life. and sexually transmitted diseases Sexually transmitted diseases
Infections that are acquired and transmitted by sexual contact. Although virtually any infection may be transmitted during intimate contact, the term sexually transmitted disease is restricted to conditions that are largely . According to the Sexuality Information Education Council of the United States, at least 36 states have laws requiring HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States. education in schools, and 22 states have laws urging schools to discuss ways to prevent disease.
Sex education laws passed this year include SB 1110 in California. This particular law, however, prohibits a pupil from receiving instruction on sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS and human sexuality unless parents or a guardian have been notified at the beginning of the school year. Georgia's HB 1654 encourages sex education or AIDS prevention courses that include instruction on the legal consequences of parenthood.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. (CDC See Control Data, century date change and Back Orifice.
CDC - Control Data Corporation ) the percentage of sexually active high school students dropped substantially from 54.1 percent in 1991 to 48.4 percent in 1997. Still, the United States has the highest percentages of any other industrialized in·dus·tri·al·ize
v. in·dus·tri·al·ized, in·dus·tri·al·iz·ing, in·dus·tri·al·iz·es
1. To develop industry in (a country or society, for example).
"Today's news is very encouraging, but much more needs to be done to address the multiple epidemics of teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease sexually transmitted disease (STD) or venereal disease, term for infections acquired mainly through sexual contact. Five diseases were traditionally known as venereal diseases: gonorrhea, syphilis, and the less common granuloma inguinale, and HiV infection," said Dr. James Marks, director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.