Teen Sex Rates High in the Panhandle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Teen Sex Rates High in the Panhandle

Claudia Stravato with Planned Parenthood says, "It's kind of stupid in a way. Not to give a kid the information they need to make the best decision possible." Claudia Stravato with Planned Parenthood says, "It's kind of stupid in a way. Not to give a kid the information they need to make the best decision possible."

Teenagers in the panhandle have the highest pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease rates in the state.

More than half of teens in our area are sexually active... But instead of being taught about safe sex in class, students only hear the message of abstinence. While it's a good idea in theory, is it working?

Texas ranks number one on the list of sexually active teens... Of that Potter and Randall counties are in the top five for pregnancy and STD's. Leaving some asking if years of teaching abstinence is working.

Claudia Stravato with Planned Parenthood says, "It's kind of stupid in a way. Not to give a kid the information they need to make the best decision possible. But I would not knock them for keeping the kids that are going to be abstinent, to continue to be abstinent."

Micheal Miracle with Worth the Wait says that teaching abstinence is the only safe method, since a condom cannot protect against all STD's. He stresses that just teaching kids about condoms and birth control still leaves them vunerable.

Stravato says the problem is only getting worse... Due to a lack of communication between parents and kids.. "Half the kids are going to be sexually active. And if we don't acknowledge that, if we don't stop sticking our heads in the sand, we as parents are going to end up being grandparents before we thought we were."

She stresses it's important to give kids the tools to make responsible decisions... Because in the end... They are going to have sex if they want.. No matter how much they have been told about abstinence. But teaching them about protection can change their lives. "If they think they are going to be sexually active. They need to be on birth control, which only protects against pregnancy, not STD's. And so, a condom and birth control are a bare minimum."

For more information on Planned Parenthood and their services call 372-8731.

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