Birth Control in Schools
Schools are the one institution in our society regularly attended by most young people-nearly 95% of all youth aged 5 to 17 years are enrolled in elementary or secondary schools (National Center for Education Statistics, 1993). Large percentage of youth attend schools for years before they encounter sexual risk-taking behaviors and a majority is enrolled at the time they initiate intercourse.
Just as youth in communities with high rates of poverty and social unawareness are more likely to become pregnant so youth in schools with high rates of poverty and social inadequacy are also more likely to become pregnant. In particular, when female teens attend schools with high percentages of dropout rates and with higher rates of school vandalism they are more likely to become pregnant. The lack of opportunity and greater disorganization in some minority communities in this country, teens in schools with higher percentages of minority students are also more likely to have higher pregnancy rates than teens in schools with lower percentages of minority(Manlove, 1998).. Students in these studies, it is often difficult to distinguish the impact of school character from the impact of the community characteristics in which they reside. Social scientists and educators have suggested a wide variety of explanations for how schools reduce sexual risk-taking behavior. Some of their explanations have observed research supporting them, while others are credible, but lack supporting research. For example, educators concerned with adolescent sexual behavior have suggested that:
1. Schools structure students' time and limit the amount of time that students can be alone and engage in sex. 2. Schools increase interaction with and attachment to adults who discourage risk-taking behavior of any kind (e.g., substance use, sexual risk-taking, or accident-producing