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AdolescenceGrowing Up in America Today$
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Joy G. Dryfoos and Carol Barkin

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179613

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179613.001.0001

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(p.24) (p.25) Chapter Three Sex

Joy G. Dryfoos

Carol Barkin

Oxford University Press

Despite all efforts to stop the trend, American teenagers have initiated sex at earlier ages over the last few years, and for many years the consequences have been very high rates of teenage pregnancy. However, all of the current indicators related to sexual behavior appear to be on the downturn—early initiation of sexual intercourse, intercourse without protection, rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), pregnancy, births, and abortions. Whether we can attribute these reductions to the abstinence message, to better sex education in general, to access to contraception, to media, or to other, more subtle factors is up for discussion. This chapter examines sexual behavior in teenagers and looks at five programs designed to prevent teen pregnancy or unsafe sex. The programs' foci include service learning, youth development, school-based social skills building, HIV/STD education with teenage males, and individual case management for the siblings of teen parents.

Keywords:   teenagers, sex, sexual behavior, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, births, abortions, abstinence, sex education, contraception

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