Across the globe, there is a general consensus regarding the nature of sex education and the role that it is regarding helping to reduce teen pregnancy rates. In many developed countries, increasing sex education has had a wide range of success in many areas that have correlated to a reduction in teen pregnancy rates. This analysis will seek to further elaborate upon this discussion, as well as to find means through which examples in which the success of progressive approaches towards sex education have been evident in this regard. To help provide evidence for this assertion, further literature will be reviewed in the discussion of the effectiveness of sex education overall. Furthermore, the methods through which these assertions were made will be analyzed and discussed.
For this specific analysis, three different sources were pulled forward and discussed in regards to analyzing their effectiveness in handling the subject of teen pregnancies. First, “Sex Education in Swedish Schools: The Facts and the Fiction” by Carl Boethius will be selected, given the subject’s discussion on mandatory implementations of sex education and the effectiveness this had in reducing teen pregnancy rates in Sweden. A similar study conducted in Quebec is one of the principle points of discussion for “Sex Education: Politicians, Parents, Teachers and Teens” by Cynthia Dailard and emphasizes similar methods of exposure to corresponding degrees of success. Lastly, “When Sex Goes to School: Warring Views on Sex- And Sex Education- Since the Sixties” by Kristen Luker discusses how progressive sex education reform could be seen as responsible for a decrease in teen pregnancy in areas where it has been introduced.
All three of these forms of literature had quantitative means to assert their claims and to provide backing for the notion that sex education is correlated to a reduction in teen pregnancies. In the case of the first source, Boethius analyzed data compiled from eight years of exposure to more expansive sex education as conducted by the Swedish education system. A similar study was conducted in Quebec by the second source, which asserts this claim by focusing on twelve years of sex education reform success in eight school districts across Quebec. Lastly, Kristen Luker asserts that areas in various inner city schools in high risk areas such as those in Baltimore County, MD, have also seen a reduction in the anticipated rate of teen pregnancies, attributed to sex education.
In “Sex Education in Swedish Schools: The Facts and the Fiction” by Carl Boethius, Swedish schools increased their reliance on a mandatory program eight years ago and since then, there has been an eight percent decrease in the rate of teen pregnancy rates throughout the country. (Boethius, 1986) In “Sex Education: Politicians, Parents, Teachers and Teens” by Cynthia Dailard, Quebec’s education system began enforcing a more interactive program that required more extensive engagement with the students on the topics of safe sex, resulting in an eleven percent reduction in the amount of teenage pregnancies from 1999 to 2000. (Dailard, 2001) Lastly, in “When Sex Goes to School: Warring Views on Sex- And Sex Education- Since the Sixties” by Kristen Luker discusses that teenage pregnancies decreased by more than four percent than anticipated in the Baltimore County, MD over four years that the study was conducted. (Luker, 2006)
It is evident that there is a noticeable reduction of teenage pregnancy rates in these various countries and within the context of the studies discussed. The results also indicate that more expansive, interactive engagement was required and that it facilitated these statistics. In each of these claims, the education was at the forefront of the discussion, as was the level of involvement between the students and the teachers. While it can be said that studies of this nature will likely need a more expansive range of analysis to be proven more universally valid, these studies are good indicators of the type of the nature of the role of progressive sex education in reducing pregnancies.
- Boethius, Carl (1986). “Sex Education in Swedish Schools: The Facts and the Fiction”. Family Planning Perspectives. pp. 276–279.
- Dailard, Cynthia (2001). “Sex Education: Politicians, Parents, Teachers and Teens”. The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy. Guttmacher Institute. p.113.
- Luker, Kristen (2006). When Sex Goes To School: Warring Views on Sex- And Sex Education- Since The Sixties. W.W. Norton & Company. p. 98.