September 04, 2005

Shaking My Head

This just makes me shake my head. Do they not teach Sex ed.

"CANTON, Ohio - Thirteen percent of the female students at Timken Senior High School in Ohio are pregnant. High school senior Monica Selby thought she would be busy this year planning for college, not preparing for the birth of her first child.

"I've been crying every day and every night. I keep on blaming myself for this," said the 18-year-old Selby, who is six months pregnant.

She cries about starting classes this week at Timken Senior High School with a bulging belly, about the emotions of planning an adoption, about becoming part of a statistic that has snagged the nation's attention: 64 of Timken's 490 female students — 13 percent — are pregnant.

The statistic at the school in the heart of this old steel city contrasts with a decade of declining teen pregnancy rates nationwide. But teen pregnancy experts say the problem is not exclusive to Timken High.

Experts, parents and students themselves struggle to explain why such pockets of high teen pregancy rates appear. Are teens getting appropriate sex education? Do they have access to birth control and are they using it consistently? Has the stigma of unwed motherhood lost its edge?

"This might be a school that is forthright with its problems while others are not," said Jay Green, chairman of the Education Reform department at the University of Arkansas. "But this is a widespread issue."

Green wrote a study last year for the conservative New York-based Manhattan Institute for Policy Research that found 20 percent of urban teenagers have been pregnant, compared with 14 percent of suburban teens.

Urban teens as a whole don't use birth control as consistently or often, according to his research, and often have less to lose financially and socially than those in the suburbs."

3 comments:

Irina Tsukerman said...

First, I think, parents should be teaching sex ed to their kids, not waiting around for schools to teach it in twelfth grade.

Secondly, it should be taught as early as possible, not when the "students" are eighteen years old.

Thirdly, whatever happened to the coverage of emotional aspect of sex? I think if it had been emphasized, it would have reduced, at least slightly, the number of "experiments".

Z said...

My husband is an Early Fatherhood Intervention Coordinator who works for a teen pregnancy program. They are forbidden by restrictions on the federal funding they receive to educate these children who already HAVE at least ONE child about birth control. As my husband says, it's kind of hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube and yep, he has a significant number of repeaters - those boys who have two or more children AFTER being in the program. The only method they are allowed to instruct them in is abstinence.

You can thank the Bush Administration and in particular the religious right for all of this since they are the ones who started the "abstinence only" restriction on funding.

Jack's Shack said...

Z,

Ok, now I am shaking my head even harder.