Information for Teachers

 

The Teen Awareness Group program works to help youth develop positive attitudes and behaviors to promote personal responsibility for their health and safety. We work with parents, educators and community organizations in Warren and Washington counties to reduce teen pregnancy rates, STI and HIV/AIDS rates, and to improve health outcomes through education and improved access to reproductive healthcare and family planning services.

Did you Know??

New York State doesn’t require comprehensive sex education in public schools, even though 30.6% of high school students in New York State report having had sex. (According to the 2017 YRBS reported by the CDC.)

Sex Education Policy

New York has no law that mandates sex education or regulates its content if taught – it has not taken the necessary action to guarantee complete, comprehensive sex education for its students. However, New York does require that students be taught about HIV as part of health classes. Sex education policy is governed by New York Commissioner’s Regulations 135.3 and Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences. The framework does not specifically mention sexuality education though certain topics within sexuality education are included, such as “understanding of the changes that accompany puberty.”

Health Outcomes

In 2015, the birth rate for women aged 15-19 years old was 22.3 per 1,000 women in this age group.  The teen birth rates have declined in recent years.  Two factors that are important to note are that more teens are reporting that they are abstaining from sexual activity and for those that are sexually active, they are reporting an increase in birth control use to prevent pregnancy. 1  Educational efforts can help to raise awareness within communities across the State and contribute to better health outcomes for youth.

Additional Statistics Related to Youth Sexual Health Outcomes:

  • In the U.S., New York came in at number 44 for teen pregnancy rates per 1,000 females ages 15-19 in 2016.  Better translated, there are only  7 states with lower teen pregnancy rates for the reported period.2
  • In 2017, 31.6% of female high school students and 29.4% of male high school students reported having had sexual intercourse in their lifetime.  Additionally, from those that were sexually active, 5.6% of the females and 7.0% of the males reported having had four or more lifetime sexual partners.   Both of these indicators are much improved from previous survey years.3
  • While sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) affect individuals of all ages, STDs take a particularly heavy toll on young people. CDC estimates that youth ages 15-24 make up just over one quarter of the sexually active population, but account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections that occur in the United States each year.4   For more information specific to NYS, please click this link for a summary fact sheet compiled by the CDC.

From Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), this gives an overview of their work on advancing comprehensive sexuality education.

Educator Resources

Citations:

 1Teen Pregnancy in the United States 

2Birth Rates per 1,000 Females ages 15-19 year olds, by state, 2016

3CDC YRBSS New York 2017 Results, Sexual Behaviors

4CDC Impact of STDs on youth aged 15-24 years