03/19/2009 – Teen Birth Rate Up Again
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released 2007 numbers for birth rates, and unfortunately we saw an increase in teenage birth rates for the second year in a row. Here’s the link:
While Utah’s rates are still lower than the national average, we are not immune from these recent increases. And, of course, our STD rates are still rising far too fast for comfort as well:
So thank you for your support of comprehensive sex education in Utah! Expanding our schools’ education is the most important step we can take in addressing these growing problems.
In case you hadn’t heard, the State Legislature decided to hold our sex education bill, House Bill 90, over for further study. This means there will be at least one public hearing on the subject over the summer and an ongoing dialogue on the issue. So stay tuned! We’ll let you know as soon as a meeting is scheduled.
In the meantime, you can still help promote responsible sex education by speaking out to your local school district, its board of education, and even your school’s principal and PTA association. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-328-8939 to find out who you should call, write, and email in your community about this important issue.
Knowledge is power – knowledge is prevention!
02/10/09 - We have a bill!
That’s right, a comprehensive sex education bill has been officially introduced on Capitol Hill! House Bill 189 – Instruction in Health Amendments is being sponsored by Rep. Lynn Hemingway of District 40. Here’s a link to the bill’s page.
If you live in District 40 (here’s a map), please send Rep. Hemingway an email here and thank him for taking on this important issue. The bill is now in the House Rules Committee and is waiting to be assigned to a Standing Committee.
Please take a moment to review the bill and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. And please consider volunteering to help us pass this important piece of legislation! We can’t do it without your help, and now that we have a bill we’ll be very busy promoting HB189 and need all the volunteers we can get.
Knowledge is power…knowledge is prevention!
01/26/09 - The Time has Come!
It’s that time of year again – time for the Utah State Legislature’s annual General Session. That means it’s time to start speaking out and make sure the Legislature hears our message loud and clear: it’s time for Comprehensive Sex Education!
In preparation for the start of the General Session, the Prevention Now campaign is helping to organize a community meeting on Wednesday, January 28, at 7:00 pm at the Murray City Library – 166 East 5300 South.
This is your chance to meet others in your community who are concerned about this issue and, because legislators from the Murray, Midvale, Taylorsville, and West Valley City areas have been invited, you may have the opportunity to talk directly with your State Representative. We hope you can make the meeting so you can tell your own story and make sure your voice is heard.
Even if you are not available on the 28th, we need your help in spreading the word. The meeting is open to the public, so please tell all your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers about this unique opportunity. We hope that you take this opportunity to invite anyone you can think of who might be interested in expanding Utah’s sex education laws.
It’s time to make our voices heard. The Legislative Session is now only a week away so there is no time to lose. Stand up, speak out, and help us make a difference in the lives of our children and our families.
Please don’t hesitate to call us at 801-328-8939 or email us at email@example.com if you have any questions or would like to know more about the meeting.
See you there!
Knowledge is power – knowledge is prevention!
11/13/08 – “Red Sex, Blue Sex”
There is an excellent article titled Red Sex, Blue Sex by Margaret Talbot in the current issue of The New Yorker magazine. It explores a rather odd gap in the lives of American teenagers – a surprisingly high rate of teenage pregnancy among self-described evangelical adolescents. An excellent excerpt:
[Mark] Regnerus [a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin] argues that religion is a good indicator of attitudes toward sex, but a poor one of sexual behavior, and that this gap is especially wide among teen-agers who identify themselves as evangelical. The vast majority of white evangelical adolescents—seventy-four per cent—say that they believe in abstaining from sex before marriage. […] But, according to Add Health [a comprehensive government study of adolescent health] data, evangelical teen-agers are more sexually active than Mormons, mainline Protestants, and Jews. On average, white evangelical Protestants make their “sexual début”—to use the festive term of social-science researchers—shortly after turning sixteen. Among major religious groups, only black Protestants begin having sex earlier. 1
Here’s the link to the online version:
This comes on the heels of another recently published study which found that teenagers who have a high opinion of abstinence-until-marriage as a concept are not necessarily less likely to engage in pre-marital sex. The conclusion of The Opposite of Sex?, published in the peer-reviewed journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health in June 2008:
Youth do not consider abstinence and sexual activity opposing constructs, and solely instilling positive abstinence attitudes and intentions in youth may not have robust effects in preventing sexual activity. 2
Here’s the online version:
Both of these bodies of work indicate that the abstinence-until-marriage message alone is not enough to significantly and sustainably reduce the rates at which our teenagers have sex.
Even when the abstinence message alone does get through – and even when it succeeds in delaying first intercourse for some amount of time, usually several months – it is still very likely that our teenagers will have sex before they are married.
It’s time to make sure that our teenagers hear more than just abstinence. It’s time for comprehensive sex education.
1. Talbot, Margaret. Red Sex, Blue Sex. Why do so many evangelical teen-agers become pregnant? The New Yorker Magazine, November 3, 2008.
2. Masters, Tatiana A, et al. The Opposite of Sex? Adolescents' Thoughts About Abstinence and Sex, and Their Sexual Behavior. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Volume 40 Issue 2, Pages 87 – 93.
11/10/08 – New Website!
Welcome to the new and improved Prevention Now website! Please, stay a while, have a look around, and enjoy your stay.
Things have been busy with Prevention Now, and a big, BIG THANK YOU!!! goes out to all the awesome volunteers who have been helping us canvass neighborhoods, make phone calls, staff tables, and so on. It’s been both exciting and productive; through all our hard work we have identified nearly 6,000 Utahans statewide who are supporters of a more comprehensive approach to sex education here in Utah!
But as with any cause worth fighting for, we still have a lot of work to do. With the summer over, Election Day behind us, and the legislative session fast approaching, it’s time to take Prevention Now to the next level. We need to identify as many supporters as possible before the legislative session gets under way in late January, and we need your help to become a well-trained, well-oiled machine and change Utah’s sex education for the better. Join us today!
Tell your friends, your family, your neighbors, your coworkers, even some strangers – and send the www.preventionnowutah.org link on to everyone in your address book. Spread the word!
Volunteer with us today to help us promote the campaign. Sign up by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 801-328-8939.