Over the last two decades teen births have dropped 37 percent in the United States and are now at a record low, government health officials report. While this is good news, the US teen birth rate is the highest in all developed countries and still up to nine times that of other affluent nations.
Speaking at a press conference recently Dr. Wanda Barfield, Director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion's Division of Reproductive Health said that teens may still not be getting the sex education they need to protect themselves. "Only 50 percent of high school students are getting comprehensive sexuality education including abstinence and contraception," Barfield added.
See more about the press conference at:
In NH we have the lowest teen pregnancy rate in the country. In my region, we provide abstinence based comprensive sexuality education to teens beginning in the 7th grade and continung through high school. In addition, we offer a teen clinic and peer education program as part of our family planning services.
It works.In addition to using evidence based programming and practices, we connect with teens on many levels and in many vanues and help them build assets and develop effective support systems.
Unfortunately, we are facing huge budget cuts for the upcoming fiscal year. If things end up the way they seem to be headed, we will have to cut programs significantly. We will certainly lose ground and our rates will undoubedly go up.
I find it incomprehensible that some of our legislators are voting to defund Title X Family Planning services and others are supporting deep cuts in the short term that will result in long term negative outcomes.
I also find it a waste of time and energy to engage in the debate over what we should or should not be doing with regard to sexuality education. We know what works. We simply need to be doing it. I am doing it in my program and hope to be able to survive the cuts and continue doing it.
Both are conversations for another time.I prefer to focus my energy and attention on what's nextt moving forward.
I am hoping to take it what we have accomplished one step further to bring in some of the newer brain research into current family planning practice!
Here's what I see in my practice and here's what I'm interested in investigating:
We are seeing increased pregnancy rates in 18-22 year olds. Case studies indicate that these teens and young adults report having limited or vision for their future. Many report being the child of a teen mom. Some are choosing to drop out of high school. Many are in unstable or less than stable relationships and expect to evenutally be raising their child as a single parent with the support of family and friends. Some have no definitive plan. Many tell me that access to birth control wasn't an issue in their pregnancy, but aren't really clear about why it happened. Some cite their decision being a subconscious one.
I am a passionate student of the subconscious mind and the limiting beliefs lthat can lead us to limiting behavior patterns that keeps many of us stuck. In my own personal growth, I had and continue to explore limiting beliefs that were downloaded into my subconscious mind, according to current research, by the time I was 6 or 7.
I would love to explore the impact of limiting beliefs on teen risk behavior and outcomes, including unwanted or unintended pregnancy. In my work with students at risk of dropping out of high school, it is clear that limiting beliefs play a role in academic performance and success.
Fascinating. In a way that makes the passion within me rise. I'm thnking that my experience with teens and pregnancy prevention and risk behavior, as well as my expertise as a hypnotherapist may well be an interesting combination to explore the connection!
Now, to connect with some innovative thinkers with high impact and find some funding!
If any of you were teen moms and would like to share your story, thoughts, insights and opinions confidentially, I would love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If any of you have ideas or contacts for private funding, Please share them with me at email@example.com or feel free to pass on my contact information.
As Jack Canfield suggestsin his Success Principles , I'm being an inverse paranoid. I am trusting that this passion is driven by purpose. That we will find the funding we need to support our current level of service and develop more to explore this new theory. I am taking action by writing about this and asking for your help.
Let's see what the Universe comes up with!
Transition on Purpose