Research shows the best method of teen pregnancy prevention is not safe-sex, but sexual risk avoidance (SRA). Just Say YES pregnancy prevention speakers encourage teens to develop healthy relationships based on friendship, avoiding teen sexual activity and its physical, emotional and social consequences.
Book a speaker to address your student assembly about the whys and hows of avoiding sexual risk behaviors. If you’re a teen, there are major risks involved in engaging in sexual activity. Research shows that sexual risk avoidance is the safest option for teens. “Safe sex” can’t protect them from every risk. Pregnancies and STDs can still happen in spite of birth control and other “safe sex” practices. The rates of teen pregnancy and STDs among teens support this.
Teen Pregnancy Statistics
- More than 360,000 teens give birth every year in the US
- Half of those teen moms do not finish high school
- US teen pregnancy, STD, and abortion rates are substantially higher than those of other western industrialized nations
*Stats came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Teens are the group most at risk for contracting STDs. Since their bodies are still developing, they are more susceptible. STDs can cause complications such as infertility and some may not even have any symptoms to let a person know that they are infected.
- An estimated 8,300 people between the ages of 13 and 24 were infected with HIV in 2009
- Every 11 seconds, a teenager will contract an STD
- An estimated 2.8 million chlamydia infections occur every year in the US
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most common STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) and can lead to multiple kinds of cancer
- In 2009, 39% of all new HIV infections occurred in young people aged 13-29
- High school students make up 7% of the US population, but each year account for 27% of Gonorrhea and 32% of Chlamydia cases.
Academic and Emotional Consequences of Teen Sexual Activity
Teen sexual activity has been connected with poor academic performance, higher drop-out rates, and other risk behaviors such as drug and alcohol use. Plus, there are serious mental and emotional health risks that a teen takes when he or she has sex, even ‘safe sex.’
- Sexually active teenage girls are 3 times more likely to experience depression and 3 times more likely to attempt suicide
- Sexually active boys are 2 times as likely to experience depression, and 8 times as likely to attempt suicide
*Stats came from The Heritage Foundation
What is Sexual Risk Avoidance Education?
In our highly sexualized culture, it is easy for students to feel like ‘everyone is doing it.’ However, CDC statistics show 54% of high school students have not had sex. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 66% of teens regret their first sexual experience. Sexual Risk Avoidance Education, or SRA, is a health and safety message based on the latest medical research to help prevent teen pregnancies and STI’s.
SRA programs provide a ‘risk avoidance’ message, not a ‘risk reduction’ or ‘safe sex’ message. It tells teens that avoiding teen sexual activity and other risk behaviors increases their potential for obtaining their goals and dreams. They learn the rates of effectiveness of condoms and birth control for protecting them from pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and emotional consequences of teen sexual activity.
Just Say YES pregnancy prevention programs include a message to students that have already had sex to let them know it is never too late to start over and begin a new chapter in their life story.
What we do…
Book a Just Say YES pregnancy prevention program at your school. Each of our speakers integrates the facts about teen sexual activity with their own personal stories to help students avoid sexual activity. Contact a program coordinator to find out which speaker will best connect with your unique student population. Also, check out our teen pregnancy prevention resources.