Teenage Pregnancy

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Over the past few years teenage pregnancy rates have grown substantially. More than one million teenagers will become pregnant this year in Canada, and the number is growing. Many socioeconomic factors influence pregnancy rates, such as; different races, different religions, financial status, education and family background. Another influence is the sexual education children are receiving or not receiving at school and at home. While the problem of teenage pregnancy is acknowledged, solutions are coming slowly.

Some parents feel that pregnancy is a result of the lack of sex education courses taught in schools, while others feel that these courses end up encouraging teenagers to become sexually active. Studies have been done to find out just how important sex education courses are, and what effect they have on pregnancy rates. “The amount of sex education they receive is not as important a factor, according to a new study.” (Fewer girls get pregnant when involved in community, E8) Toronto Sun, 1998) Other sources say:

“Sex education courses, advocated to prevent teen pregnancy but denounced as encouraged sexual interest, appear to have little or no effect on teens’ sexual activity. Such courses also have no noticeable effect on contraceptive use and pregnancy rates among teenagers. It was found that while students do learn about sex and contraception, they do not appear to alter their behavior.” (Okie, 1996)

The courses that are offered in schools have proven not to have any influence on the teenage pregnancy rates. The reason for this may be that the courses are just not being taught effectively or are targeting the wrong age group:

‘Two major goals of the school sex education programs are to reduce the incidence of unwarranted pregnancy as well as the rates of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. However, to be effective, programs must begin early. If we wait until an age when...
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