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Texas Teens Get the Straight Talk on Teenage Pregnancy - Part 1

Texas child support officials have recently put together two new programs called Parenting and Paternity Awareness and No Kidding that teach high school students about the consequences of irresponsible sexual behavior. Both of the programs' focus is to show how real life teenagers have adopted and dealt with their new lives as teenage parents. The programs teach high school students about relationships, marriage, money and of course children. Over the next two posts we will discuss the programs and the effect the programs have had on teenagers who have been a part of them.

The United States has one of the highest teenage birth rates among developed countries. According to federal data from 2008, the teen birth rate in the United States is 41.5 births per 1,000 girls age 15 to 19. According to statistics from the United Nations teenage pregnancy rates in other developed countries is much lower. The teen birth rate in Switzerland is 4.3 births per 1,000. In Germany, the teen birth rate is 9.9 per 1,000 girls, and in Spain the teen birth rate is 4.3 births per 1,000.

The Texas programs do not focus on sex education. Instead the programs focus on legal and financial obligations that a teenage parent has. Both of the programs focus on why teenagers do not want to become pregnant. The Parenting and Paternity Awareness program consists of a 14 hour curriculum and is a required course for all Texas high school students. The No Kidding program consists of three 50 minute presentations that include personal stories from teenage parents. Next time we will continue to discuss the two programs and the programs effect on Texas high school students.

Source: USA Today, "Teen Parents Talk Legal, Financial Consequences of Sex," Sharon Jayson, 12/14/10

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