Teen Pregnancy Prevention and United States Students

What is the problem?

The 2017 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicates that among U.S. high school students:

Sexual Risk Behaviors

  • 3.4% had sexual intercourse for the first time before age 13 years.
  • 28.7% were currently sexually active during the 3 months before the survey. 1
  • 46.2% did not use a condom during last sexual intercourse. 2
  • 13.8% did not use any method to prevent pregnancy during last sexual intercourse.2
  • 70.6% did not use birth control pills; an IUD or implant; or a shot, patch, or birth control ring to prevent pregnancy before last sexual intercourse. 2
  • 18.8% drank alcohol or used drugs before last sexual intercourse. 2

What are the solutions?

  • Better health education
  • More comprehensive health services

What are the solutions?

The School Health Policies and Practices Study 2014 indicates that among U.S. high schools:

Health Education

  • 88% required students to receive instruction on health topics as part of a specific course. As part of a required health education course:
  • 72% taught how to prevent pregnancy.
  • 64% taught how to find valid information or services related to pregnancy or pregnancy testing.
  • 76% taught abstinence as the most effective method to avoid pregnancy, HIV, and other STDs.
  • 61% taught methods of contraception.
  • 53% taught how to obtain contraception.
  • 35% taught how to correctly use a condom.
  • 50% taught how to obtain condoms.
  • 76% taught the relationship between alcohol or other drug use and the risk for HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy.

Health Services

  • 11% provided contraceptives at school.
  • 7% made condoms available to students at school.
  • 41% provided pregnancy prevention services at school in one-on-one or small-group sessions.
  • 12% provided contraceptives to students through arrangements with providers not located on school property.
  1. Had sexual intercourse with at least one person.
  2. Among students who were currently sexually active.