Monday, July 13, 2009

Facts and figures: on the efficacy of the contraception-based approach to reducing the teenage pregnancy rate

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 boom

• 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]
Reginaldvs Cantvar


Anonymous said...

But Pole, you mustn't use facts - That's just mean!

matthias said...

The bureaucrats who designed and funded this program were labouring under a misconception-unlike their target audience.

Cardinal Pole said...

Thanks for your comments, Louise and Matthias.

Mr. Muehlenberg has more on this and other strange things going on in the U.K.:

Cardinal Pole said...

And this morning I came across an article at The Australian's on-line edition on one of the things about which Mr. Muehlenberg wrote:,25197,25787303-2703,00.html

It turns out it's all perfectly harmless, you see:

"Steve Slack, who helped produce the leaflet as director of the Centre for HIV & Sexual Health in Sheffield, said one goal was to help young people learn to resist peer pressure and delay having sex. "Far from promoting teenage sex, it is designed to encourage young people to delay losing their virginity until they are sure they will enjoy the experience," he said."
(my emphasis)

So don't just go out and behave promiscuously; wait till you know you'll enjoy it, then behave promiscuously. Am I the only one who does not see a great deal of difference between the two?

"But some educators said the pamphlet would lead to more casual sex among teens."

Well, that's something, I suppose.

Cardinal Pole said...

(The "something" referring to the fact that at least "some educators" can see the insanity of this.)