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CGM Academy Louisian Group

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Sex Teen 13 Model

The various input data is used in projection models to illustrate what the future religious composition of the U.S. might look like under a range of hypothetical scenarios. See Methodology for more information on inputs and modeling.

sex teen 13 model


Fertility and mortality rates are held steady, as are rates of intergenerational transmission. In each scenario, the groups begin with their current profiles in terms of age and gender. Christians, for example, are older than the religiously unaffiliated, on average, and include a higher share of women.Finally, the models assume that migration remains constant, which helps explain why non-Christian groups follow the same trajectory in each of the four scenarios. Immigration has an outsized effect on the composition of non-Christian groups in the U.S. because adherents of religions like Islam and Hinduism make up a larger share of new arrivals than they do of the existing U.S. population.

Intergenerational transmission differs from switching because it describes what happens before the age of 15 and is measured by comparing the religious affiliation of mothers with the affiliations reported by their teenage children. Switching, by contrast, describes a change that happens after the age of 15; it is measured by comparing the religions in which respondents say they were raised with the affiliations they report today.

Today, among Americans who recently turned 30 and grew up Christian, disaffiliation rates are already above 30%, so the projection models assume that, on average, they will not switch religions again. However, among groups of older adults born after World War II, we model ongoing switching in which 7% of Americans who were raised Christian will switch out between the ages of 30 and 65. This rate of switching among older adults is held constant in each projection model except the no-switching scenario, which does not include any switching among older or younger adults. Switching by religiously unaffiliated, older Americans into Christianity is not modeled in the projections because there is no clear trend in this direction.

Other contemporary publications also shed some light on what implementation looked like on the ground, including what forms the programs took, where they were delivered, and which populations of teens they were delivered to. The Office of Adolescent Health contracted Abt Associates to evaluate the implementation and impacts of three evidence-based program models: Reducing the Risk (RtR), Cuidate!, and Safer Sex Interventions (SSI). SSI, a clinic-based program focused on HIV/AIDS prevention, was implemented by clinic operators such as Planned Parenthood and county health departments. RtR, a curriculum-based program focused on sexual health and risk prevention, was implemented in classrooms during the school day. Cuidate!, a curriculum-based program focused on HIV/STI risk reduction, was targeted specifically to Latino adolescents.

By contrast, the observational studies cited above relied on nationally representative survey data that included retrospective self-reports by female respondents on sex education and births, thus capturing long-term impacts at the population level. But these studies almost certainly overstate the true relationship between comprehensive sex education and teen births, due to their inability to control for all potentially important confounds and because of the likely nonrandom selectivity of those who recall enough about their sex education to categorize it as comprehensive.

It is likely that our findings understate the true effect of more comprehensive sex education at the individual level. On the one hand, our quasi-experimental evidence shows that the federal funding received by local organizations played a causal role in reducing teen births at the county level. On the other hand, our binary funding indicator for whether any organization in the county received federal funding ignores other critical aspects such as the numbers of teens treated, the specific topics covered, or the fact that some funded programs, in fact, provided little or no comprehensive information on ways to prevent a pregnancy. It is thus only a limited proxy for whether or not an individual teen received more comprehensive sex education. On balance, these and other factors could imply that our causal evidence is conservative with respect to the magnitude of the true effect of federal funding for more comprehensive sex education on individuals.

Our findings leave many questions unanswered. First, our focus on teen births examines only one aspect of the multifaceted nature of sex education, thus ignoring whether more comprehensive sex education might affect other sexual, reproductive, or developmental outcomes (18). Reductions in teen births are thus only one way in which more comprehensive sex education may influence adolescent and young adult behaviors.

Third, our findings speak only to the actual mix of programs implemented by funded counties, leaving open the question of whether they generalize to a different mix of programs. Our quasi-experimental design also provides estimates only of the effect of treatment on the treated, leaving unanswered the question of whether effects would be similar for untreated counties that did not receive funding. Still, more comprehensive sex education could, in principle, be implemented using standardized curricula, raising the possibility that the reductions in teen births caused by funding for more comprehensive sex education might also hold at scale for the 2,800+ counties that did not receive funding. That unfunded counties saw fewer reductions in teen births thus could reflect an unmet need for effective ways to reduce teen pregnancies and births and, if so, that teens in counties that never received funding could benefit from more comprehensive sex education.

Teen sexual health outcomes over the past decade have been mixed. On one hand, teen pregnancy and birth rates have fallen dramatically, reaching record lows. On the other hand, rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among teens and young adults have been on the rise. Many schools and community groups have adopted programming that incorporates abstinence from sexual activity as an approach to reduce teen pregnancy and STI rates. The content of these programs, however, can vary considerably, from those that stress abstinence as the only option for youth, to those that address abstinence along with medically accurate information about safer sexual practices including the use of contraceptives and condoms. Early action from the Trump administration has signaled renewed support for abstinence-only programming. This fact sheet reviews the types of sex education models and state policies surrounding them, the major sources of federal funding for both abstinence and safer sex education, and summarizes the research on impact of these programs on teen sexual behavior.

The type of sex education model used can vary by school district, and even by school. Some states have enacted laws that offer broad guidelines around sex education, though most have no requirement that sex education be taught at all. Only 24 states and DC require that sex education be taught in schools (Text Box 1). More often, states enact laws that dictate the type of information included in sex education if it is taught, leaving up to school districts, and sometimes the individual school, whether to require sex education and which curriculum to use.

Under the Obama Administration, there was a notable shift in abstinence education funding toward more evidence-based sex education initiatives. The current landscape of federal sex education programs is detailed in Table 2 and includes newer programs such as Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), the first federal funding stream to provide grants to states in support of evidence-based sex education that teach about both abstinence and contraception. In addition, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) was established to more narrowly focus on teen pregnancy prevention, providing grants to replicate evidence-based program models, as well as funding for implementation and rigorous evaluation of new and innovative models.

In 2007, a nine-year congressionally mandated study that followed four of the programs during the implementation of the Title V AOUM program found that abstinence-only education had no effect on the sexual behavior of youth.7 Teens in abstinence-only education programs were no more likely to abstain from sex than teens that were not enrolled in these programs. Among those who did have sex, there was no difference in the mean age at first sexual encounter or the number of sexual partners between the two groups. The study also found that youth that participated in the programs were no more likely to engage in unprotected sex than youth who did not participate. While teens who participated in these programs could identify types of STIs at slightly higher rates than those who did not, program youth were less likely to correctly report that condoms are effective at preventing STIs. A more recent review also suggests that these programs are ineffective in delaying sexual initiation and influencing other sexual activity.8 Studies conducted in individual states found similar results.9,10 One study found that states with policies that require sex education to stress abstinence, have higher rates of teenage pregnancy and births, even after accounting for other factors such as socioeconomic status, education, and race.11

There is, however, considerable evidence that comprehensive sex education programs can be effective in delaying sexual initiation among teens, and increasing use of contraceptives, including condoms. One study found that youth who received information about contraceptives in their sex education programs were at 50% lower risk of teen pregnancy than those in abstinence-only programs.14 It also found that teens in these more comprehensive programs were no more likely than those receiving abstinence-only education to engage in sexual intercourse, as some critics argue. Another study found that over 40% of programs that addressed both abstinence and contraception delayed the initiation of sex and reduced the number of sexual partners, and more than 60% of the programs reduced the incidence of unprotected sex.15,16,17 Despite this growing evidence, in 2014, roughly three-fourths of high schools and half of middle schools taught abstinence as the most effective method to avoid pregnancy, HIV, and other STDs, just under two-thirds of high schools taught about the efficacy of contraceptives, and about one-third of high schools taught students how to correctly use a condom (Figure 2). 041b061a72


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