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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.

A three-part series of meetings entitled "Let's Talk About Sex" is being sponsored by the Postponing Sexual Involvement (PSI) program, a peer-education program of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Light of the World Ministries; and Radio-One Cincinnati.

In 2008, 175 girls ages 12-16 in the Cincinnati Public School System gave birth, PSI recently announced. It is the lowest number since PSI started keeping track in 1988.

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 or telephone 513-636-7615.

Back to other news for May 2009

Adapted from:
Cincinnati Enquirer
05.06.2009; John Johnston

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Prevention in Young People


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