Ohio: Teens Speak Up About Sex; Adults Listen
May 11, 2009
In Ohio, town hall meetings are the latest vehicle to get teens to talk about, and ultimately delay, having sex.
Nationally, however, the picture is not as promising. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, birth rates for women 15 to 19 dropped 35 percent between 1991 and 2005, but have risen about 5 percent since.
The structure of the town hall meetings at a local auditorium puts teens front and center. Presenters interact with the teens, who are encouraged to sit up front and speak freely. Adults are invited, but in at least one of the meetings, they are relegated to the back of the room and asked to listen.
The back-and-forth in the meetings suggests that teens can disagree with each other as much as they might with the adult authority figures in their lives. One girl said parents should view teen sex as inevitable, but some of her peers took exception to that view. When Peter Kraus, the program's director, asked teens whether a 15-year-old could ever be mature enough to have a sexual relationship, 16-year-old Anastasia Jasper said no. "You're still a child yourself," she said.
For more information about PSI, visit www.cincinnatichildrens.org/psi or telephone 513-636-7615.
05.06.2009; John Johnston
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.