Clearly, there's a political and ideological divide illustrated in the report. The geographical split suggests that the more liberal states take a more proactive approach on sex education and go beyond teaching "abstinence only", whereas the more conservative states don't. I'm not so sure I buy that argument as a whole. I think cultural upbringing and economics also play a role.
I believe it could be argued that ideology, culture and information access (an accute educational awareness) all play a part in teen pregnancy statistics. You can't focus on any one or two areas, ignore the other(s) and wonder why the problem isn't showing positive results across the board. Abstinence alone doesn't work, nor does espousing a more cavalier attitude towards the risks of pre-marital sex. Using my household as an example..."The report demonstrates that the surest way to reduce teenage pregnancy is to provide young people with comprehensive, medically accurate sex education, and doing so is especially urgent for African-Americans and Latino teens, who are getting pregnant more frequently than other young people,"
I have four young adult children between the ages of 18-24. Three have confessed to being sexually active. One had her first child out of wedlock, but has since married and has gone on to have more children (four in all). My two remaining sexually active young adult off-springs all "claim" to use birth control regularly. (So far, so good.) The last of my young adult children has professed to saving himself for that one special young lady when married. (Even as a man that swells my heart with pride.) What's the difference between all four who had the same access to the same education system throughout their teenage years, as well as access to the same parental advice?
Attitude, pride, self-respect!
As we all know, typically girls are pressured more to have sex at an early age than boys. But sometimes a guy can run into that one pushy PYT; it's the exception not the norm, however. Still, it all depends on the attitude of the child.
My home is also a blended domesile, Blacks and Whites. There is a cultural divide here, but when it comes down to it individual attitudes toward sex and the importance thereof as far as one's "social status" also plays into it. As a parent, it's my job to help my children understand the social pressures and interpersonal dynamics involved with sex and social behavior. It's complex for sure, but I'm proud to say I have no grandchildren at this time who exist w/o his or her father AND their mother under the same roof. Moreover, my children do take responsibility for their actions. And because I work in the health care environment, my children all know they can come to me for real answers to some of their basic health care questions. But more than that, I think they all know they can come to dad (or mom) to get "straight-talk" concerning sex. That's the most important thing here. We parents need to remember that and leave the door open so that our children feel unafraid and unashamed to come talk to us about sex. Otherwise, the word they'll get will come from...
...Any and everywhere!, ie., foolish friends, selfish boy- or girl-friend, sexually explicit teen shows, movies that glorify/exploit sex and (female) sexuality.
Leave the door open and talk to your kids. (Oh, it also helps that your teen children know that their parents still enjoy a healthy "married" sex life. They my cry "Eeeewwww! Gross!!!", but truth is deep down they see it as "how to have a healthy, long-lasting, intimate relationship". There's no better "teachable moment" than that...knowing your child just cringed when they had to knock on your bedroom door and the realization hits them that mom and dad were just about to get their groove on.)
"God Bless the young at heart and the parent who trains up a child in the way they must go."
As I've often said to mine, "You'll get there!"
Sidenote: I know...TMI...but sometimes you gotta get alittle personal to illustrate an important point. This was one of those moments. I'm sure the Mrs. will understand when she reads this (...I hope).