Nevada News Service
www.cdc.gov reported that teen birth rates in Nevada and around the
nation have dropped to an historic low. Nevada reported a 25 percent
decrease from 2007 to 2010. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and
Unplanned Pregnancy has found that more teens are delaying sex and
more of those who do have sex are using contraceptives.
Paula Gianino with Planned Parenthood is encouraged by the numbers,
but she noted that some parts of the state are not making as much
progress as others.
“We see in both rural and urban areas of low socio-economic status
high rates of teen pregnancy and teen childbirth,” she said.
One way to keep teen pregnancy rates down is for parents to talk to
their children about sex, Gianino said, adding that children who have
positive communication with their parents are more likely to make
responsible and healthy choices.
Teens are inundated with sexual messages in the media and from their
friends, but many Nevada teens do not get enough comprehensive
scientific information about sexuality and reproduction, she said.
“The majority of teens can graduate in this state without receiving
any sexual health education. Just simply, schools leave it out,
because they believe it’s too ‘controversial,’” Gianino explained.
Many organizations in Nevada and around the nation offer parents
information on how to speak to their children about sex. One thing
they stress is that it should not be a one-time talk, but rather
ongoing, age-appropriate information involving all aspects of
sexuality, from how pregnancy occurs to how to treat each other with
Gianino, too, stressed that parents need to take the lead.
“When we can increase communication in the home, teens feel more
supported, and they just do better – not only around sexual
decision-making, but a whole host of other issues.
Nationwide, according to the (CDC), teen birth rates dropped 6 percent
in 2012 to 29 births per thousand. The report found that the teen
birth rates varied by ethnicity, with the highest rate for Hispanic
and African-American teens and the lowest rate for Asians.
The CDC report is available at www.cdc.gov. Information on sexual
topics for parents to give their children is available at
http://answer.rutgers.edu/ and at http://advocatesforyouth.org.