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"Teens don’t always know about their rights."
February 5, 2013 6:54 AM   Subscribe

Teen Pregnancy down 27% in New York City over the last decade.
posted by griphus (31 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
well, in the last decade, right up until the end, teens had some prospect for jobs. that's mostly gone so we'll see what the next decade brings.
posted by spicynuts at 6:58 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is my field. There's a lot of great stuff going on around the country to help prevent teen pregnancy. In NC we had an 11% drop from 2009-2010 and a 12% drop from 2010-2011, the most recent figures. Our goal is to drop 30% by 2020.

The decreasing rates of teen pregnancy are due to teens waiting longer to have sex AND a greater use of contraceptives among sexually active teens.

Glad to see my NYC colleagues are kicking ass.
posted by Stewriffic at 7:10 AM on February 5, 2013 [15 favorites]


I wasn't aware that they were offering the morning-after pill in some school clinics now, and that strikes me as a good move. I mean, teens are going to be engaging in risky behaviors whether we like it or not, and it's better to have these mechanisms in place than to clamp our hands over our ears and go "lalalala my teen is a perfect angel I can't hear you."
posted by Conspire at 7:13 AM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I taught health to 9th graders for a couple of years, and despite the front that a lot of them put up (because, you know, teens) and the Internet, there's still a ton of misinformation going around about sex, STIs, and pregnancy. Although when I found this post proudly announcing mandatory sex ed starting in the 2011-2012 school year.

Why did I scroll down to read the comments? WHY?!?
posted by smirkette at 7:13 AM on February 5, 2013


Er, posted too soon. When I found that sex ed had only been mandated start the previous school year, I had a major sad, but was not surprised.
posted by smirkette at 7:14 AM on February 5, 2013


See? Abstinence only DOES work!





oh wait....
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:16 AM on February 5, 2013


Related: you can get Plan B from the nurse
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:16 AM on February 5, 2013


"Plan B has become Plan A in the Bloomberg administration’s stealth war on teen pregnancy."

Oh, New York Post, it's not a "stealth war" if the Health Commissioner gave the interview to the other paper. It just means you're awful.
posted by griphus at 7:21 AM on February 5, 2013 [33 favorites]


OMG you guys our teenagers are now walking zombie fetus graveyards
posted by fungible at 7:23 AM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can teens afford to live in NYC these days?
posted by destro at 7:32 AM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Shockingly, if you make birth control available, unwanted pregnancy rates fall! Who could imagine it?!? I realize that a lot of people liked the NRA's Anti-Stork Rooftop Cannon plan, but this seems to be more evidence-based.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:34 AM on February 5, 2013 [16 favorites]


I'm still willing to man that cannon.
posted by spicynuts at 7:43 AM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: willing to man that cannon.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:48 AM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Counter journalism: Why are NYC teens so homely?
posted by The Whelk at 8:03 AM on February 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


Of course, I also attribute the nice drops we're seeing to finally having a federal revenue stream for evidence-based teen pregnancy and HIV-prevention interventions. Comprehensive sex ed does abstinence better than abstinence education, as a colleague of mine frequently says.

There's a risk in public health once you see good outcomes of people waving their hands and saying "OK, that's fixed, let's move on to the next issue!"

Only it doesn't work that way. Every day we have more kids becoming teens and becoming sexually active who haven't benefited yet from good sex ed or learning how to access contraception/condoms. Teen parents are responsible for about 26% of the teen pregnancies (in NC anyway), so if we can't provide them with stable housing and good education in addition to sex education and contraceptives, we won't see that go down.

My two cents anyway.
posted by Stewriffic at 8:04 AM on February 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe the Post would prefer a Trap, Neuter, Return program like they use for feral cats
posted by Toekneesan at 8:07 AM on February 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Teen parents are responsible for about 26% of the teen pregnancies

By this I mean that teen parents having second, third or fourth pregnancies made up 26% of the total teen pregnancies (in NC, in 2011).
posted by Stewriffic at 8:13 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wasn't aware that they were offering the morning-after pill in some school clinics now, and that strikes me as a good move. I mean, teens are going to be engaging in risky behaviors whether we like it or not, and it's better to have these mechanisms in place than to clamp our hands over our ears and go "lalalala my teen is a perfect angel I can't hear you."

This is unequivocally true, and has been shown to be the best harms-mitigation strategy that can be employed to deal with the situation being discussed.

On the other hand, Republicans.
posted by Mayor West at 8:27 AM on February 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


> OMG you guys our teenagers are now walking zombie fetus graveyards

WTF. Does that person have absolutely no concept of the female reproductive system? Was he sick that day in 5th grade?
posted by jillithd at 8:42 AM on February 5, 2013


well, in the last decade, right up until the end, teens had some prospect for jobs. that's mostly gone so we'll see what the next decade brings.

Was going to say, the reason for the drop is that there aren't any teenagers left in New York, they've all been shipped to out of state boarding schools by their obscenely wealthy parents.
posted by Melismata at 8:47 AM on February 5, 2013


How do we turn this around? How can we be #1 in teen pregnancies if the teens won't even pitch in. Can we get new teens from someplace like Iowa or Witchita?

Maybe we can spin this. #1 in drops in teen pregnancies.

We need ideas people.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:03 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


About 10 years ago I started using condoms.

YOU'RE WELCOME BLOOMBERG
posted by wcfields at 9:26 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe the Post would prefer a Trap, Neuter, Return program like they use for feral cats

I know you're joking but they already tried that.
posted by Talez at 9:37 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I bet The Post would prefer a Trap, Neuter, Return program. Trying to think of some good headline puns....
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:52 AM on February 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


How do we turn this around? How can we be #1 in teen pregnancies if the teens won't even pitch in. Can we get new teens from someplace like Iowa or Witchita?

Witchita maybe, but Iowa is a non-starter.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:32 AM on February 5, 2013


Every day we have more kids becoming teens

See, this is why NYC's methods seem short-sighted to me; try as we might to stem the tide of sexhaving teens, they just keep appearing. Instead of proven failures like "sex ed" and "birth control", why not just have scientists (working with church groups, of course) arrest the age of children, so that they never turn into teens at all? This way, we'd be able to eliminate the teen sex entirely, and the only sex we'd ever need to think about is that of adult celebrities with toned bodies that we see on magazines and TV. Seems like a no-brainer to me, of course, and focused on actual facts instead of feel-good liberal platitudes, but bring this up to Mayor Bloomberg and he's all "This is my office" and "How did you get behind my desk" and "Security, security, get in here"
posted by Greg Nog at 11:00 AM on February 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


I happened to have a "if you vote against opportunites for birth control, you help create poor mothers and poor children" discussion the other day where their argument was basically: why would you want to give kids birth control???, doing that shows failure as a parent!, abstinence works!
And I thought of you people. If anyone knows of data (studies? graphs? surveys?) that shows teaching "abstinence only" doesn't actually work...oy, enlighten the rest of us. Or give us your sources or something. Rendering Republicans into small children having a tantrum, spitting Psalms, is preferable to not knowing what to say. Since we're on the topic anyway..
posted by DisreputableDog at 4:18 AM on February 6, 2013


There are explanations and evaluations out there. (The two linked are good overviews)

One of my favorites* is "Heritage Keepers." Their independent evaluation reads:

The Life Skills Education Component affected several potential mediators of teen
sexual activity, including views toward abstinence and expectations to abstain, but it had no
impact on sexual abstinence, sexual activity, or most other risk behaviors examined. Counter
to concerns raised by some policymakers and health educators that Title V, Section 510
programs might, through their exclusive focus on abstinence, put youth at increased risk
of unprotected sex, the component also had no impact on condom use among sexually
active youth.


So at best it doesn't work. If you dig deeper into that evaluation it's sickening what some of the thoughts kids have about condoms, in particular. (That they don't work against HIV, etc)

Somehow, this "Heritage Keepers" curriculum made it onto the official list of "Evidence-based interventions" that (in theory) have been shown to work. Talk about politics getting in the way of effectiveness. It's out of control.

*Most hated
posted by Stewriffic at 4:57 AM on February 6, 2013


I'll try to dig up more research when I get to work today. This was just a quick scan.
posted by Stewriffic at 4:58 AM on February 6, 2013


What terrific news; I hope there's a corresponding increase in teens who complete high school and continue on to get more education. From the article:
The city has worked to make it easier for kids to get birth control — giving out condoms at schools and making birth control and the morning-after pill available in some school clinics, a sometimes controversial move. ... “It shows that when you make condoms and contraception available to teens, they don’t increase their likelihood of being sexually active. But they get the message that sex is risky,” he said.
How do we get politicians in the US to understand this message? and stop spending money on abstinence instead of education and birth control?
posted by theora55 at 11:15 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


spicynuts: well, in the last decade, right up until the end, teens had some prospect for jobs. that's mostly gone so we'll see what the next decade brings.
Kids these days, amirite?
posted by IAmBroom at 4:06 AM on February 9, 2013


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