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The current rate of teen pregnancies, about 35 per 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19, is the lowest on record since the CDC began to track these statistics in 1940. The CDC attributes the improvement to pregnancy prevention efforts and education.
However, 37 states currently mandate that all sex education include information on abstinence, 26 of whom insist that abstinence be taught as the main method of pregnancy prevention. Studies have indicated that abstinence-only programs may end up deterring contraceptive use among teens who do have sex, whereas teenagers who have been taught a comprehensive sex ed curriculum are “60 percent less likely” to become pregnant or get someone else pregnant.
Additionally, a 2007 federal study indicated that abstinence-only education ultimately had “no impacts ” at all on rates of sexual abstinence.
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