Arizona has an especially high teen-pregnancy rate. Arizona also promotes abstinence-only education in its public schools.
Arizona is known for a lot of things. The Grand Canyon, our universities, beautiful sunsets.
And, oh yeah, our truly awful teen pregnancy rate.
Ranked against the other 49 states, Arizona’s teen-pregnancy rate has been in the top 5 for years. And while you probably won’t see that little factoid emblazoned on a license plate anytime soon, teen pregnancy still has a significant impact on Arizona residents.
Abstinence-only education teaches that the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and STIs is to abstain from sex, which is true. It is also not very helpful to the 70 percent of teenagers who have had intercourse by age 19.
As of 2009, Arizona had the fifth highest teen birth rate in the United States. This trend is on the rise — as of 2006 the rate had increased by 6.5 percent. In 2009, 12,537 teenagers became pregnant. Of those pregnancies, 10,952 resulted in live births. While the majority of those women were either 18 or 19, that’s still about 3,500 girls under the age of 17 giving birth, a number that varies every year but generally stays in the 4000s. Continue reading
Posted in Sex Education
Tagged abstinence, abstinence only, Arizona, comprehensive sex education, sex education, sexuality education, teen moms, teen mothers, teen pregnancy, teenagers, teens
Talking to teens about sex can be intimidating, but it is vitally important for parents to talk to their teenagers in order to empower them to make healthy decisions.
Planned Parenthood Arizona is offering a free Parent & Teen Workshop to give Arizona families the tools they need to have an open and honest family dialogue about sex and sexuality. Workshop participants will have a lively and interactive session, and we will share tips for making responsible, health decision about sex. We will also discuss pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection prevention. And we will share the resources that are available from Planned Parenthood.
The workshop will be on Thursday, March 31, 2011 from 6:00 – 8:30 pm. To RSVP and obtain location information, please contact us via e-mail or by calling 520-784-5825.
This video was created by Kristen Manganini and Josh Sandman and is titled, “Protect yourself. Protect the planet.” The video highlights the importance of using birth control to curb unexpected pregnancies throughout the world. This will ultimately create a healthier planet for all by responsibly managing available resources and supporting a planet that can support us. Continue reading
Since today is National Coming Out Day, I want to shine the spotlight on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and queer (LGBTQ) youth. In the past few weeks, the headlines have been filled with stories about LGBTQ teen suicides, and bullying in our schools.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, LGBTQ youth are four times as likely to commit suicide as their heterosexual peers, mainly as a result of the negative attitudes about LGBTQ people that are so pervasive in our culture.
Arizona is not immune to the negative climate for queer youth in our schools. One of the challenges is that Arizona schools do not offer comprehensive sex education. Rather, they focus on abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum. Abstinence-only is a huge waste of money, and it’s harmful for all teens. But let’s look at the particular problems that abstinence-only education creates for LGBTQ youth.
Arizona does not recognize the right of same-sex couples to get married. When LGBTQ youth hear that they should remain abstinent until marriage, they may interpret that message as not being applicable to their lives. As a result, they may have unprotected sex, since teens are not getting information about how to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Is it any wonder that 1 in 4 teens in the state of Arizona has a sexually transmitted infection?
Moreover, abstinence-only curriculum contributes to negative attitudes about LGBTQ people, because it assumes that heterosexuality is the norm. When LGBTQ teens are repeatedly told that they are abnormal, they may experience depression and other mental health effects. Is it any wonder that LGBTQ youth have such alarming suicide rates?
Planned Parenthood supports comprehensive sex education for all of Arizona’s youth. We also support candidates who will support our mission of promoting and protecting every person’s freedom and right to enjoy sexual health and well-being, to make reproductive choices, and build healthy, strong families.
Please lend your support to LGBTQ youth by voting for candidates who support comprehenisve sex education in our schools. Sex ed classes may be one of the few places that LGBTQ teens hear positive messages about themselves in the schools. And we owe it to our youth to send them a positive message. For a list of PPAA-endorsed candidates, check out our 2010 voter guide.
Posted in LGBTQ, Sex Education
Tagged abstinence only, bisexual, gay, lesbian, lgbtq, queer, questioning, same sex, sex ed, suicide, teens, youth