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Sex Education not lowering Teen Pregnancy Rates
Professor David Paton, chair of industrial economics at The University of Nottingham, has said that despite schools’ attempts to educate students under the age of 16 about sex, annual pregnancy rates from 1969 to 2009 have remained “almost exactly the same.”
While the rate has seen peaks and valleys over that time, rising and/or falling between 7 to 10 per 1,000 girls each year, Paton said that it tends not to correlate with UK efforts to prevent such occurrences.
To illustrate his point, Paton explained that the all-time highest teen pregnancy rate was reached in 1996, just four years after the introduction of the Health of the Nation initiative that made contraception and information more readily available to young women.
Family planning groups strongly dispute his findings, arguing that the evidence actually shows initiatives do work if given time. Drops since 2009 mean the rate is now the lowest since the end of the 60s, and they say credit should be given to governments that have adopted a more liberal approach. Brook, the sexual health charity, said the under 16 pregnancy rate in 2010 was the lowest since 1969, at 7.0 per 1,000.