Teen Pregnancy Prevention Strategies
NM DOH FPP & New Mexico Teen Pregnancy Coalition recommended strategies to reduce teen pregnancy
Family Planning Services that offer access to confidential reproductive health services at low or no cost. In NM, services are provided at all local public health offices, and some community health centers and school-based health centers
Service learning programs that engage youth in constructive activities to build on their strengths and interests, and increase their motivation to delay childbearing by providing positive alternatives and leadership opportunities. The Teen Outreach Program (TOP) decreases teen pregnancy and increases school success, with curriculum-guided activities and community based volunteer service throughout the school year.
Adult-teen communication programs that give adults information and skills to communicate effectively with young people about reducing risky sexual behavior. Parents influence teen decisions about sex more than their friends, the media, or their siblings. Raíces y Alas, a two-hour workshop for parents of adolescents, is designed to increase parents’ confidence in talking with their children about sex and sexual health topics.
Comprehensive sex education programs like Cuídate! teach that abstinence is the best method for avoiding sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy, and also teach about the use of condoms and contraception. These programs help youth to make responsible decisions and to develop healthy life skills and healthy relationships
Male involvement programs that specifically target prevention efforts for boys and young men. Effective programs for boys include programs with community service or other out-of-school activities with a cultural component.
Why focus on males?
- Men’s sexual and reproductive health needs are often overlooked.
- Engaging men in the sexual and reproductive health care system promises benefits for men, women and families.
- Men’s involvement is crucial to addressing sexual and reproductive health concerns such as sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies.
- Men’s behavior puts them at risk; they are more likely than women to have multiple sex partners and to use drugs.
- Men’s behavior also puts women at risk for contracting STDs.
“What is increasingly seen as good for men in their own right should turn out to be just as good for women - to the benefit of men and women as individuals, couples, families and society as a whole.”
(In Their Own Right: Addressing the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of American Men-The Alan Guttmacher Institute)