Fox News Health
Formal instruction about birth control and other aspects of sexual health in the U.S. is on the decline, according to an analysis of survey data from 2006 to 2013.
"The declines in formal sex education we observed since 2006 are distressing, but unfortunately are part of a longer term retreat from sex education, especially instruction about birth control methods," said lead study author Laura Duberstein Lindberg of The Guttmacher Institute in New York.
"For example, in 1995 more than four out of five teens were taught about birth control-in the most recent data this is only about half," she said.
The researchers used interviews taken from nationwide household surveys administered continuously between 2006 and 2010 and between 2011 and 2013, focusing on respondents aged 15 to 19 years. The analysis included responses from about 2,000 teen boys and 1,000 teen girls in each wave of surveys.
The surveys included questions about whether the youth had ever received formal sex education at school, church, a community center or elsewhere before age 18. Examples of sex education topics used in the surveys included how to say no to sex, methods of birth control, sexually transmitted diseases and how to prevent HIV and AIDS. The second wave of surveys also asked about learning where to get birth control and how to use a condom.