I remember hearing in the media about how, in America, chastity-based programmes to combat teenage unwed pregnancy have failed, and even backfired, resulting in an increased pregnancy rate for participants. Here is an interesting world news item from last Thursday’s Sydney Daily Telegraph which has implications for the efficacy of the alternative, ‘harm minimisation’ (rather than harm elimination) approach:
Teen baby boomReginaldvs Cantvar
• LONDON: a multi-million-pound initiative to reduce teenage pregnancies in Britain more than doubled the number of girls conceiving.
The Government-backed scheme tried to persuade teenage girls not to get pregnant by handing out condoms and teaching them about sex.
But research funded by the Department of Health shows young women who attended the program, at a cost of ₤2500 ($5100) each, were “significantly” more likely to become pregnant than those on other programs not given contraception and sex advice.
A total of 16 per cent of those on the Young People’s Development Programme conceived compared with just 6 per cent in other programs.
[The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, Australia, Thursday, July 9, 2009, p. 24]