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Tuesday 25th June 2019

Sex education 'doesn't cut teen pregnancies'

28th August 2012

The results of a study carried out by a professor of industrial economics at Nottingham University have suggested teenage pregnancies are not affected by sex education lessons or free contraception.


Professor David Paton said the number of pregnancies for girls aged under 16 had remained roughly the same since 1969.

He said the number of conceptions in the under-16 age group had ranged from seven to 10 per 1,000 since 1969.

The rate had risen three times over nine per 1,000 per year; in the 1970s, the beginning of the 1990s and in 1996.

Professor Paton wrote in the Education and Health journal: "Millions of pounds have been spent by policymakers on numerous initiatives aimed at cutting teenage pregnancy rates."

"However, identifying the impact of policy interventions...[is] something of a challenge."

He added that there was no link between sexual health campaigns and falls in the number of teenage pregnancies, and wrote: "unwanted pregnancy among minors in England and Wales has proved remarkably resilient to policy initiatives."

He explained that there should be a shift in the campaigns to being "aimed more directly at reducing the level of underage sexual activity."

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