UK Initiative to Cut Teenage Pregnancies Had Reverse Effect
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2009 Jul 09
A government drive to lower the rate of teenage pregnancies has backfired, actually increasing the number of school-age mothers in England, a study confirms today.
The Young People’s Development Programme (YPDP) was extended to 27 parts of England between 2004 and 2007 after reports from the United States suggested that it could reduce unplanned pregnancies and alcohol and cannabis misuse among teenagers. It cost £5.9 million.
Independent research published in the British Medical Journal found that young girls who attended were “significantly” more likely to become pregnant than those in a comparison group.
A total of 16 per cent of the YPDP group became pregnant, compared with 6 per cent in the other group, a youth programme not receiving YPDP funds. This was despite those in the YPDP group having education about sex and drugs and being no more sexually active than the other group.
The girls were given intensive health education and free condoms in the hope that this would enable them to avoid unprotected sex.