The teen pregnancy rate in Canada has dropped 37 percent in the last 10 years‘a more significant decline than in countries such as the U.S. and England’according to a new study released by the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada.
The study, published in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, examined teen pregnancy data from 1996 to 2006. In addition to the drop in pregnancy rate, researchers also found an increase in the use of contraception. "Where we’ve really seen the most significant changes has been in increased rates of condom use, but also some increase in birth control pill use," said research coordinator Alexander McKay, as reported by the Canadian Press.
Before we breathe a collective sigh of relief, let’s consider what’s behind this shift. Have teens suddenly taken a vow of chastity? Not likely. However, it’s important to recognize and applaud the fact that teens who are choosing to have sex are doing so safely’and McKay suggests that sex education may be a contributing factor. Here’s what he told the Canadian Press:
“In order to keep the teen pregnancy rate low, we have to ensure that teenage women in Canada are receiving high-quality sexual health education and access to sexual and reproductive health services. If those decline, we will also be seeing an increase in teen pregnancy rates going forward.”
Let’s not forget teenage men, Mr. McKay. It still takes two people to make a baby, the last time I checked.
What do you think? Should sex education get credit for the drop in teen pregnancy rates? Or are kids just getting smarter when it comes to sex?