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25 / 11 / 2011 - Report shows condom use fails to decrease teen pregnancy, STDs
See also: Precious Life's REALITY booklet - a young person's guide to good sexual health
A report on the sexual behavior of U.S. teenagers shows that despite an increase in condom use, teen pregnancy has not decreased and two prominent sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise.
“The so-called ‘safe sex’ campaign has failed our kids drastically,” Leslee Unruh, founder of National Abstinence Clearinghouse, told EWTN News Nov. 21. “They can say no, and they need to say no.”
An October 2011 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention details the findings of the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth. It compares those findings with the data gathered from a similar survey conducted in 2002.
The 2006-2010 survey reported an increase in condom use by teenagers of both sexes between the ages of 15 and 19.
Eighty percent of teenage males reported using a condom in their first sexual encounter, up by nine percentage points from 2002. Close to 75 percent of teenage males said they used a condom in their most recent sexual encounter, up from 70.7 percent in the previous study.
Around 96 percent of sexually active teenage females reported having ever used a condom, compared to over 93 percent in 2002.
Despite the increase in condom usage, the chances of pregnancy did not decrease, the report found.
The data from the 2006-2010 survey indicated an 18 percent “probability of having had a birth before age 20,” identical to the probability shown in the 2002 survey.
Another set of findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that several sexually transmitted diseases have increased in the overall U.S. population during the same time period.
According to the 2010 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance, syphilis—which the center noted was once on the “verge of elimination”—increased by 36 percent from 2006 to 2010.
In that same period of time, chlamydia cases have seen a 24 percent increase and have been on the rise for the past decade.
In 2000, chlamydia infected 25.3 percent of young women who were screened for it, yet by 2010, that figure rose to 48 percent.
Unruh argued that the new report shows that the safe sex campaign is not working and shows that contraception is not an effective means of preventing teenage pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease.
“We can’t treat symptoms. We need to get to the cause,” she said.
“And the cause is not a lack of pills, powders or potions. It’s a lack of good information and teaching kids that they are worth waiting for.”
Unruh said that a transformation of culture is needed and that adults must “start raising the bar” by teaching about abstinence in homes and schools. The message of abstinence needs to reach the media as well, she added.
Promoting a lifestyle of “sexual integrity” requires that young people see both the physical and emotional benefits of living chastely, she explained.
Unruh noted that young people must be taught that “purity is freedom” from sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy outside of marriage, as well as much of the emotional damage that can accompany pre-marital sex.
“Abstinence, chastity, purity—that’s the goal.”
Source: Michelle Bauman - EWTN News