Sex Education

By: Aaron Baskerville
By: Aaron Baskerville

Currently Lansing schools start teaching abstinence in the fourth grade. And as students mature and move into high school, greater emphasis is put on safe sex.

Students are also told about contraception and avoiding sexually transmitted diseases. Lansing's sex education runs through the 10th grade,

In 2002, there were 57 pregnancies in Michigan per every 1,000 teens between the ages of 15 and 19. In Ingham County, the number was lower with about 52 pregnancies per 1,000 teens.

But in Jackson County, the number jumps to 74 per 1,000.

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Teen Pregnancy in the U.S.

  • The United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and births in the western industrialized world. Teen pregnancy costs the U.S. at least $7 billion annually.

  • Nearly four in 10 young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20—nearly one million a year. Eight in 10 of these pregnancies are unintended and 79-percent are to unmarried teens.

  • The teen birth rate has declined slowly but steadily from 1991 to 2000 with an overall decline of 22-percent for those aged 15 to 19.

  • These recent declines reverse the 24-percent rise in the teenage birth rate from 1986 to 1991. The largest decline since 1991 by race was for black women.

  • The birth rate for black teens aged 15 to 19 fell 31-percent between 1991 to 2000. Hispanic teen birth rates declined 12-percent between 1994 and 2000.

  • Teen mothers are less likely to complete high school, (only one-third receive a high school diploma) and more likely to end up on welfare (nearly 80 percent of unmarried teen mothers end up on welfare).

  • The children of teenage mothers have lower birth weights, are more likely to perform poorly in school, and are at greater risk of abuse and neglect.

  • The sons of teen mothers are 13-percent more likely to end up in prison while teen daughters are 22-percent more likely to become teen mothers themselves.

Source: www.teenpregnancy.org (National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Web site) contributed to this report.


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