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Roughly one in four teen girls become pregnant at least once by age 20 and fully half of all pregnancies in the United States are reported by women themselves as unplanned. Not too good.

By posting some intemperate thoughts about sex, love, relationships, pregnancy, childbearing, the media, public policy, our dogs, and other topics, we hope to spark a two-way discussion about how best to bring down the high rates of teen and unplanned pregnancy in this country. And who knows…from time to time, we might even offer up a few cogent thoughts that will be helpful.

Latest Post

20-Somethings, Bedsider, Colleges, Contraception, Education, Men, Relationships
September 01, 2015

Four graduation parties, three shopping trips, two nervous breakdowns and one awkward conversation with my future roommates later, I was finally ready to pack my car and start the next chapter of my life—I was going to college. It was a liberating feeling of being able to live on my own and (finally) be independent. The only thing that stood in the way was the pre-orientation online classes that my college had put in place for all incoming freshman. Intended to help acclimate students to the college’s norms and policies and provide other general health and safety tips, the classes provided students with strategies to manage common problems. While the classes were informative and helpful, they had no information on sexual education, which was rather disconcerting. As the festivities of college orientation started and eventually came to an end, I kept thinking that, while topics like stress reduction and time management were extensively covered, a comprehensive sex education lesson wasn’t.

It seemed bizarre to me that when my classmates and I were newly independent and in an explorative stage, we were given no resources on safer sex or birth control. For orientation programs, colleges often have to make certain assumptions to figure out which topics to discuss. Assuming that incoming students will experiment with newfound freedom and illicit substances, they run programs that inform students of the problems associated with certain risky behaviors and attempt to teach them how manage risks. At my college, all students attended a mandatory assembly and took an online lesson about drinking. Even though it was illegal for most of the (still underage) freshmen to drink, they taught us about the potential risks anyways. Why are the same lessons not being taught for sexual health education? Are these other topics more important?  With the consequences of getting pregnant and having a child in college being so detrimental to a student’s education, as well as the student’s overall wellbeing, not to mention the risks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), I am baffled that my college was doing little to inform us about the risks of unprotected sex. Why is there a lack of conversation occurring on college campuses on how to have safe sex? Is the topic of sex taboo? Or are colleges leaving the responsibility to parents, prior teachers, or even the teens themselves?

If colleges are assuming that students have a prior understanding of comprehensive sex education, major adjustments need to be made. The last time I had sex education was my freshman year of high school when, for 45 minutes, I learned about abstinence because my teacher was not legally allowed to discuss any other forms of birth control. Other than the fact that it is difficult to retain content over four years, what I learned wasn’t applicable at that point in my life.  Above all else, sex education programs are different in every school system and lacking in many, meaning that lots of incoming freshman either have only a limited exposure to sex ed or have received zero education.

With the vast amount of resources available today, colleges can teach students comprehensive sexual education lessons in little time with little to no money spent. The National Campaign has both an online birth control resource for teens 13-17 (StayTeen.org), one for young people 18-29 (Bedsider.org), and lessons designed specifically for college students that provide comprehensive information about sex and birth control. If colleges made these free resources available to students as sex education and pre-orientation online programs, it could alleviate a majority of these issues. There are a variety of easy, fast solutions that will provide students the knowledge needed to make well informed decisions, but the solutions are there, now we need them to be implemented.

Providing students with sexual education needs to be viewed as an imperative discussion that needs to start sooner rather than later. Rather than ignoring the topic or making assumptions about students’ awareness, it is vital that we take the adequate steps forward and provide them with the resources necessary.  Getting students through college with the least amount of distractions should be a major priority for schools and will make a major difference in the students’ lives.

Other Recent Posts

August 28, 2015
Authored by: Liz Sabatiuk

Liz Sabatiuk is Senior Manager of Digital Media at The National Campaign. She’s responsible for developing and managing content for The National Campaign’s award winning website, Bedsider.org—a birth control support network for 18- to 29-year-olds. Liz works closely with consultants, content creators, and partners to produce engaging, medically accurate content that represents and extends the Bedsider brand. This includes everything from Bedsider feature articles to tumblr posts to the Guy’s Guide to Birth Control.

 

Liz began working at The National Campaign in 2008 for the Latino Initiative and co-authored the report Toward a Common Future: Latino Teens and Adults Speak Out About Teen Pregnancy. She earned a BA in English Literature from Goucher College and is currently working toward an MA in Communication, Culture & Technology at Georgetown University.

Is anyone else having trouble believing it’s that time of year again? In honor of the return to school, here’s an oldie but a goodie about getting birth control in college. Share it with the special student in your life! And in other sexual-health-nerd news:Yup, the pill prevents uterine cancer. We...
Bedsider, Contraception, Unplanned Pregnancy
Thanks, Birth Control: Homepage Movie
August 24, 2015
Authored by: Daniela Kucz

Daniela Kucz is the Development Analyst at The National Campaign. Daniela oversees individual giving and supports the Campaign’s fundraising activities. Daniela also serves as the Special Assistant to the CEO and coordinates Board of Directors events as the Corporate Secretary.

Prior to her work at the Campaign, Daniela honed her donor relations and fundraising experience as a Development Fellow at the Women’s Campaign Fund and a Special Projects Assistant at Move This World.

Daniela received her Bachelor’s degree in Gender & Sexuality Studies and Biology from Swarthmore College. Having lived in seven countries across the world, Daniela now resides in Washington, DC.

A few days ago, I attended a conference hosted by a foundation that aims to increase the number of women with MBAs. The highlight of the evening was a panel of MBA alumna sharing their experiences. During the panel, the women spoke about business school itself and their careers following it, noting...
20-Somethings, Contraception, Education, Thanks, Birth Control, Unplanned Pregnancy
August 21, 2015
Authored by: Carlos Pinto

Carlos Pinto is the Media and Project Manager for The National Campaign’s Latino Initiative. Carlos possesses over decade of experience specializing in collaborating with Latino media, gatekeepers, and community-based organizations. At the Campaign, he is responsible for creating and developing culturally adapted teen pregnancy prevention messages and collaborating with Latino-targeted media and entertainment networks to ensure these messages reach the Latino community.

Since joining The National Campaign in 2009, Carlos has also managed a project targeting Latino-faith leaders through which he helped develop Countering the Silence, a bilingual teen pregnancy prevention toolkit that incorporates Campaign data and research and includes over a dozen bible studies and activities and ideas on how faith leaders can openly discuss topics such as sex, dating, and relationships with teens and parents from a religious perspective.

Additionally, Carlos has helped create several Campaign videos including Demasiado Joven (Too Young), a short film that explores teen pregnancy in the Latino community and Life As We Know It, a short film and series of public service announcements (PSAs) featuring Latino teens discussing their views about teen pregnancy.

Carlos is a graduate from Rollins College, lives in Washington, DC and in his free time enjoys collecting records, cycling, and traveling.

By now you may have heard that Congress wants to mess with success by voting to gut the teen pregnancy prevention program.Click here to read a brief, yet insightful overview of Idaho’s Latina teen pregnancy rates, which highlights the efforts being undertaken by El Centro de Comunidad y Justicia to...
Federal Funding, Latino Initiative, Public Policy, Teen Pregnancy