Let’s Put This Myth to Rest: Study Proves Young People ARE Responsible With Sexual Health

For Immediate Release: Monday, August 29
Contact: Rachel Cooke, 202-419-320

Washington, DC – Young people are making healthy choices and planning their futures. That’s what we learn from research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health today, which found that the drop in the teen pregnancy rate since 2007 is due to increased contraceptive use.

The study found that among teenagers ages 15-19, the percent who were sexually active in the last three months, a key measure of pregnancy risk, remained stable from 2007-2012. Yet over this period, the percentage of teens who report using birth control has increased significantly, leading to a drop in teen pregnancy and birth rates.


“Do the math,” said Debra Hauser, President of Advocates for Youth. “When teens use contraception they are less likely to become pregnant. And their contraception use is increasing. Let’s follow their lead and support their choice to prevent unintended pregnancy.”

Twenty-six states require that students receive information about abstinence but do not require that they be taught about contraception. This head-in-the-sand approach ignores the realities of young people’s lives and deprives them of crucial skills they can use across their lifetimes. Young people have the right to lead healthy lives. We should give them the tools they need to protect their health – including access to condoms, contraception, and the full array of reproductive health care services.

“The truth is, as they move into older adolescence, many young people will be sexually active and that’s normal. To pretend otherwise, and to deny young people information about and access to contraception defies science, perpetuates ignorance, and tramples on young people’s rights,” said Hauser.

About Advocates for Youth: Advocates for Youth is a 501(c)3 organization that champions efforts that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Advocates believes it can best serve the field by boldly advocating for a more positive and realistic approach to adolescent sexual health. Advocates focuses its work on young people ages 14-25 in the U.S. and around the globe.