A study released by the Federal Interagency forum on Child and Family Statistics last week showing that teen birth rates on are the decline, continuing a downward decade-long trend. While the number of teens engaging in sexual behavior has stayed the same, birth rates have gone down, seemingly due to an increase in condom usage (up to 63% reporting using condoms during their last sexual encounter).
One thing we can’t conclude from this study–that abstinence-only education can take ANY credit for this decrease. If anything, it shows that what will bring down teen birth rates (if that’s even our goal) is safer sex, not a no-sex message. Another thing not mentioned in the articles about this study are abortion rates, which could also account for the decrease in teen birth rates (note that it’s not teen pregnancy rates, but birth rates).
The study also reported that more teens are finishing high school (88%) and more teens are being incarcerated for violent crimes (17 per 1000 teens).