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RUNNING HEAD: Community Problem Peer Review 1

Carla Egan

RWS 1301

University of Texas at El Paso

April 9, 2017
RUNNING HEAD: Community Problem Peer Review 2

Abstract

According to Texas State Profile, many private and public high schools are not required

to have Sex Education classes. Due to not having these classes a required, it had been issued that

it is an outcome to more unintended pregnancies throughout Texas and El Paso. It had been

shown statistically that Texas is one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies and also the 5th state

to have the highest pregnancies. Showing an estimate of 45 unintended pregnancies per every

1,000 women aged 15-44, a rate significantly higher than that in many other developed

countries (Guttenmcher Institute: State Facts about Unintended Pregnancy: Texas), which could

also be at fault of not having Sex Education as a required class. Focusing on how to prevent

abortions and unintended pregnancies to help keep teens financially stable and healthy, maintains

a big part of having Sex Education classes taught in public and private high schools.
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Sex Education

During teen pregnancy, many teenagers did not have the opportunities of choosing

different methods of preventing the cause due to Sex Education not being taught for safety in

high schools in the Texas location. This will lead us to more unplanned and unsafe teen

pregnancies and even worse situations such as sexually transmitted diseases. Also mentioning the

outcomes of Abstinence-Only Programs and if they are actually helpful or not. Due to Texas

being rated fifth in the nation for teen pregnancies, Sex Education could also be something to

help lower the rankings. Although Sex Education classes, may not decrease the amount of teen

sexual intercourse, it could possibly give them some more knowledge on the outcomes of not

having safe sexual intercourse.

According to Cassandra Pollocks article, they have left it up to the school districts to see

if they wanted to keep Sex Education as a required class or an elective class. Many argue that

parents would find it more respectful if they themselves taught their children about sex instead of

teachers or faculty. Yet others believe it is much better for students to gain as much information

as possible to continue being safe if the situation comes up. Knowing the information will more

than likely prevent teen pregnancies because they are more aware of what they are doing and the

consequences of what it could lead up to. Not only will it provide them more information, but it

will also educate students on the outcomes such as unintended pregnancies, diseases, financial

problems, and unnecessarily family/friend issues.

Another article by Chorus Nylander states that there were nearly 20 thousand teenagers

that believed they were pregnant and about 20 percent of them were actually pregnant. The lack

of Sex Education was shortly said below stating that a quarter have no sex education at all in

Texas public schools (Chorus Nylander). After stating that there are no sex education classes
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being taught, EPISD states that they do have classes yet they are not considered course classes

which could also mean required classes. Once again, during the end of this article, Segura says

that some parents should be the first teachers of their own children about sex education. As for

some parents, they are more comfortable teaching their own children about sex education than

some strangers they hardly know.

Moving on to statistics, it has been said that most of teen pregnancies are unplanned and

in Texas, more than half of the pregnancies were unintended. According to Guttmacher Institute,

Texass unintended pregnancy rate in 2010 was 56 per 1,000 women aged 15-44. Many of

these unplanned pregnancies either result in miscarriage or abortions due to not being prepared

either financially or physically or not knowing the outcomes of having unsafe sex. Further along

this article, it states that in 2014, Texas had over 16,000 abortions which could have been

reduced if Sex Education was being taught in high schools to prevent these negative outcomes.

Not only is it sad that many of these babys lives were taking away because of not knowing how

to prevent it in the first place but financially, Texas spend billions of dollars due to the outcomes
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of unplanned pregnancies. Below is a visual of the pregnancy rates in the United States per 1,000

women in 2011.

Corrie Maclaggans article in Texas Tribute also states that sex education classes not

being taught in high schools could be a major outcome to teen pregnancies. In this article, it says

that teenage mothers often drop out of school (Corrie Maclaggan). Not only do they drop out

of school but their children are more than likely to be same as their parents and become teenage

parents as well. Although the teen pregnancy rates have decreased extremely, not having the right

education being taught to teenagers could not only lead them to unwanted/unintended teen
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pregnancies. This could also them to dropping out of school to care for the child and stop or put a

pause on their future. Not only dropping out but also sexually transmitted diseases could be an

outcome. Texas was getting advice by California no follow their example in order to lower the

teen pregnancy and birth rate in different categories such as sex education and access to

contraception, in order words birth control or family planning.

According to Education Week: Should Sex Education Be Taught In Schools?, also

mentioned the risks of catching any sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). This article mentions

that the more knowledge they know about sexual intercourse, the more decision-making skills

they will gain in order to become more safe and protective. Not only does it help you make

decisions but it also lowers the risk of catching any STIs, unintended pregnancies, and even to

lower the chances of abortions. Along with strategies on preventing unwanted pregnancies, STIs,

and abortions, this article makes comments about Abstinence-Only Programs. Abstinence-Only

Programs are programs that teach about the safety of sexual intercourse such as condoms and

birth control. Not only does it teach about the safety of sexual intercourse but it also mentions a

different way of seeing sex such as sex before/after marriage. These programs were set out to

prevent teen pregnancies and any outcomes of the issue. Although, several billion dollars were

put into these programs which claim reduces teen pregnancies, abstinence-only education

programs are not effective at delaying the initiation of sexual activity or in reducing teen

pregnancy (The Truth About Abstinence-Only Programs).

Statistics

According to Guttenmacher Institute, it had been a rollercoaster throughout the years of

1988-2011. Teen pregnancy has either increased or decreased yet mostly decreased amongst the

states. During 2010 and 2011, the teen pregnancy rate declined in every state but Vermont,
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where it remained unchanged (Tables 1.3-1.6). Also, teenage pregnancy in 2010-2011 decreased

7 points in the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, and

South Caroline. The number of teen pregnancies in Texas decreased from 80 to 72 in just a

matter of a year. The rollercoaster seems to continue as the years come.

Conclusion

Several articles make it clear that not having the right sex education in high schools could

lead you to negative outcomes such as teen pregnancies, a pause to your academic future, and a

rough financial situation. Not only could it lead you to teen pregnancies but it also leads to

getting a sexually transmitted disease (STIs) or even to abortion. With the right sense of

knowledge that could be provided in public or private high schools, we could prevent teen

pregnancies by improving Sex Education courses in the El Paso location to insure teenagers are

safe and responsible of their actions. Gaining the right information and understanding the

consequences could help you think twice about your actions. Even if it does not reduce the rate

of sexual intercourse occurring, it will certainly help decrease the rate of unintended pregnancies

and abortions.

References

DeWitt, P. (2015, June 04). Should Sex Education Be Taught in Schools? Retrieved March 10,

2017, from

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2015/06/should_sex_education

_be_taught_in_schools.html
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L. (2017, February 15). Are El Paso teens receiving enough "sex ed" in school? Retrieved March

10, 2017, from http://www.elpasoproud.com/news/local/el-paso-news/are-el-paso-teens-

receiving-enough-sex-ed-in-school/657146758

L. (2017, February 14). Study: A quarter of Texas public schools no longer teach sex ed.

Retrieved March 10, 2017, from http://www.elpasoproud.com/news/study-a-quarter-of-

texas-public-schools-no-longer-teach-sex-ed/656061378

MacLaggan, C. (2014, July 06). In Texas, Less Progress on Curbing Teen Pregnancy. Retrieved

March 25, 2017, from https://www.texastribune.org/2014/07/06/teen-births-texas/

Singh, S., Sedgh, G., & Hussain, R. (2010, December 10). Unintended Pregnancy: Worldwide

Levels, Trends, and Outcomes. Retrieved March 25, 2017, from

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1728-4465.2010.00250.x/abstract

State Facts About Unintended Pregnancy: Texas. (2017, February 07). Retrieved March 25,

2017, from https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/state-facts-about-unintended-

pregnancy-texas?

gclid=CjwKEAjwh9PGBRCfso2n3ODgvUcSJAAhpW5o0JaTB9TGPGkVJ1-

srp2Z5OaDepShRpW48WpW_ZuoSRoCuhDw_wcB

Teenage pregnancy. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2017, from https://plan-

international.org/because-i-am-a-girl/teenage-pregnancy?

gclid=CjwKEAjwh9PGBRCfso2n3ODgvUcSJAAhpW5o7a6fNcdcl2c_vDs8T-

JiIIJ5EJGyWLDHb4h4-1JrCRoCSo_w_wcB

Texas. (1970, January 01). Retrieved March 25, 2017, from

https://thenationalcampaign.org/data/state/texas
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Texas State Profile. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2017, from http://www.ncsse.com/index.cfm?

fuseaction=Page.ViewPage&PageID=1051

U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births and Abortions, 2011: State Trends by Age, Race and Ethnicity.

(2016, April 11). Retrieved March 25, 2017, from https://www.guttmacher.org/report/us-

teen-pregnancy-state-trends-2011

(n.d.). Retrieved April 09, 2017, from

http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/publications-a-z/409-the-truth-about-

abstinence-only-programs