#NoTeenShame

This is a Tumblr is written by young mothers who believe there should not be any shame and stigma in being a young parent. This website offers inspiration and information. #NoTeenShame is also a good internet site for those looking to find resources on how to talk about young parents or those who work with or want to work with young parents.

This site offers a list of ways to be allies to young parents.

Click here to read the rest of the posts.

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Doula support during first-trimester surgical abortion: a randomized controlled trial (2014)

This study found that having a doula makes first trimester surgical abortion more manageable. 96.2% recommended routine doula support for abortion and 60.4% indicated interest in training as doulas. Among women who did not receive doula support, 71.6% of women would have wanted it. Additional clinical staff was needed to provide support for 2.9% of women in the doula group and 14.7% of controls (P < .01).

Conclusion

Although doula support did not have a measurable effect on pain or satisfaction, women overwhelmingly recommended it for routine care. Women receiving doula support were less likely to require additional clinic support resources. Doula support therefore may address patient psychosocial needs.

This study can be used by health professionals, youth workers, nurses and clinics.

Click here to read the full study.

Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center. Reproductive Justice Agenda, 2001.

This report is from a gathering of indigenous women that came together in South Dakota to talk about their reproductive justice rights and agenda. From this gathering they created the Agenda for Native Women’s Reproductive Justice. Some of the things listed in the agenda are:

  • sexuality and reproduction education
  • right to safe and affordable abortions
  • right to north safe deliveries

At the end of the report you will find the authors of the agenda.

This report is helpful for those who want to know more about Native American/Indigenous reproductive justice advocates and supporters during the early 1900s.

Click here to read the full report.

 

Young Women Speak Out – Perspectives and Implications of Reproductive Health, Rights & Justice Policies. (2010)

This report focuses on focus groups that were conducted with Latinas. Latinas were asked about family communication and sexual health education.

  • All Latina women should have access to healthcare in their language and providers must be culturally competent
  • Young Latina mothers shall have access to education and finishing their degrees
  • The government should provide resources to young Latina mothers so they can be the main educators of sexual health for their children

This report is useful to teachers working with young mothers in their classrooms & health care providers working with Latinas. It also useful to counselors, school nurses and health educators and promoters.

Click here to read the report.

Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing (2014)

This article contains data and statistics from 2013 from the Office of Adolescent Health.

Teen pregnancy has declined because youth are waiting longer to have sex and are using contraceptives. There are lower rates of pregnancy in the Northeast and higher rates in the South. This article has a link to reproductive health state fact sheets. There are higher rates of pregnancy among the working class and those that have not yet attained their college degree. There are lower rates of pregnancy among those that grow up with both parents until the age of 14.

  • In 2013 there was a 10% decrease in teenage pregnancy
  • Teenage pregnancy rates are higher in the south
  • Teenage pregnancy rates are low in the Northeast

Check out the article here.

 

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action Committee

OUR POLICY POSITIONS

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL).

PPIA engages in educational and electoral activity, including public education campaigns, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy, on behalf of commonsense policies that protect the reproductive health and rights of women, teens, and families. The Planned Parenthood Illinois Political Action Committee (PAC) is a nonpartisan political action committee committed to supporting pro-choice, pro-family planning candidates for office.

PPIA is a visible and passionate supporter of policies that enable Illinoisans to access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care, education, and information. Whether talking to members of Congress, members of the Illinois General Assembly, parents or community leaders, they fight for an agenda that promotes women’s health and access to reproductive health care, as well as an agenda that protects the health and safety of young people by providing them with comprehensive sex education.

PPIA has thousands of activists, supporters, and donors statewide. The action network helps pass and defeat legislation, elects public officials, and influences the political climate in the state of Illinois.

To learn more about the Planned Parenthood Illinois Political Action Committee, click here.

The Risk of Unintended Pregnancy Among Young Women with Mental Health Symptoms (2014)

Every year in the United States, an estimated 3.2 million unintended pregnancies occur and inadequate contraceptive use accounts for 90% of these unintended pregnancies.  A great volume of research has associated women’s mental health with risky contraceptive behaviors, sex behaviors and relationships.  Risky contraceptive behaviors include contraceptive nonuse, misuse, discontinuation, and less effective method use while risky sex behaviors include having sex under the influence of alcohol and drugs, intimate partner violence and non-consensual sex.  From a biological and cognitive framework, mental health symptoms have been found to affect women’s cognitive capabilities for decision-making, risk assessment and planning and have been found to distort their perceived susceptibility to an outcome like pregnancy.  Naturally, many researchers have wondered whether there was a direct link between mental health and unintended pregnancy.

Drs. Hall, Kusunoki, Gatny and Barber, researchers from the University of Michigan, wanted to know exactly whether depression and stress symptoms directly translate to an actual effect on women’s risk of unintended pregnancy.  They collected data from 992 young women ages 18-20 years old who reported a strong desire to avoid pregnancy.  The researchers conducted interviews and analyzed journal entries over one year.  They measured contraception use, relationships and pregnancy outcomes and looked at a variety of factors such as race/ethnicity, educational attainment, relationship status, religion, birth control usage and etc.

The researchers found that:

  • Women with baseline stress symptoms had a 1.6 times higher risk of becoming pregnant over one year than women without stress symptoms.
  • Women who had co-occurring stress and depression had 2 times the risk of pregnancy than women without symptoms.
  • The sole effect of depression on pregnancy risk remains unclear

This research study highlights the negative impact of mental health symptoms, especially stress and co-occurring depression and stress, on young women’s risk of unintended pregnancy over one year.  This is important, especially for healthcare providers, who may want to consider young adults’ mental health during discussions about choosing the best form of contraception.  This is also important for health educators who may want to educate young women about the importance of stress management and provide resources and/or referrals to young adults who are experiencing mental health symptoms.

Citation:

Hall, K.S., Moreau, C., Trussell, J., Barber, J. Young women’s consistency of contraceptive use–does depression or stress matter? 2013. Contraception. 88:5. 641-649.

Link to “The Risk of Unintended Pregnancy Among Young Women with Mental Health Symptoms.”

California Core Competencies for Providers of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs/Services (2008)

The Core Competencies are intended for adult providers of adolescent sexual and reproductive health and serve as a foundation of professional capabilities that all providers should strive to possess in order to deliver effective, sensitive and appropriate sexual health care and services to adolescents.

The Core Competencies are divided into 5 major domains:

  1. Professional and Legal Role
  2. Adolescent Development
  3. Youth-centered Approach and Youth Culture
  4. Sexual and Reproductive Health
  5. Pregnancy-STIs-HIV

Information is provided that details what a provider should know and should be able to do for each domain.

Citation:

Core Competencies Subcommittee of the Adolescent Sexual Health Work Group (ASHWH), California Core Competencies for Providers of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs/Services. 2008. Core Competencies.

Link to “California Core Competencies for Providers of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health.”

Howard Brown Health Center (Chicago, IL)

Image Source: http://www.howardbrown.org/hb_locations.asp

Howard Brown Health Center was founded in 1974 and is now one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations.  Howard Brown Center is based in Chicago and serves men, women, infants, youth, and children through many health clinics and research centers.  For more information about Howard Brown Health Center’s history, click here.

Mission:

“Howard Brown exists to eliminate the disparities in health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people through research, education and the provision of services that promote health and wellness.”

The Howard Brown Health Center provides many services including:

  • Walk-in Clinic
  • STD & HIV Rapid Testing
  • Transgender Health
  • HIV/STD Prevention & Services
  • Youth services
  • Elder services
  • Community initiatives
  • Alternative Insemination (AI) Program
  • Case Management
  • Counseling & Psychotherapy
  • Domestic Violence Support
  • Workshops & Support Groups

Howard Brown Health Center offers discounted health services to qualifying patients who are uninsured and have low income.  They also accept many insurance plans, in addition to Medicaid and Medicare.

For a list of locations, hours and specific services, click here.

For health related matters, please phone Howard Brown Health Center at 773-288-1600.  For urgent health issues, please call 911.

Connect with them via Facebook or Twitter.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood, founded in 1916, is an organization that is committed to providing trusted health care, educating and informing the community, leading the reproductive health and rights movement, and advancing global health.

“Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence.”

The website provides up-to-date, clear, and medically accurate information about a variety of topics such as:

Planned Parenthood health centers also provide a variety of services such as:

  • Abortion
  • Birth Control
  • Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)
  • General Health Care
  • HIV Testing
  • LGBT Health Care
  • Men’s Health Care
  • Pregnancy Testing & Services
  • STD Testing, Treatment & Vaccines
  • Women’s Health Care

Click here to find your closest Planned Parenthood Health Clinic.

Connect with Planned Parenthood via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Youtube.

Advocates for Youth

Advocates for Youth, established in 1980, aims to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive rights.  They focus on working with young people ages 14-25 in the U.S. and abroad and treat young people as a valuable resource.

Advocate for Youth’s Rights. Respect. Respnsibility (3Rs) Core Values:

RIGHTS: Youth have the right to accurate and complete sexual health information, confidential reproductive and sexual health services, and a secure stake in the future.

RESPECT: Youth deserve respect. Valuing young people means involving them in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies that affect their health and well-being.

RESPONSIBILITY: Society has the responsibility to provide young people with the tools they need to safeguard their sexual health, and young people have the responsibility to protect themselves from too-early childbearing and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

Their website contains information such as:

They also publish a variety of publications ranging from topics such as “Peer Education” to “State Facts” and “Abstinence Only Programs.”

You can connect with Advocates for Youth via Facebook, Twitter, & Tumblr

Office of Population Affairs Website

The Office of Population Affairs (OPA) oversees the Title X program, the only federal program dedicated to family planning and related preventive services, and also advises the Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Health on reproductive health topics, family planning, adolescent pregnancy and other population issues.

The OPA oversee research and grants that support:

  • Family Planning— assists individuals in determining the number and spacing of their children through education, counseling and comprehensive medical services
  • Embryo Adoption Program–increases public awareness of embryo donation and adoption

* Title XX Adolescent Family Life was originally administered by the Office of Population Affairs but has moved to the Office of Adolescent Health since 2012.

The OPA website also has information regarding general reproductive health, contraception, and STIs.

You can connect with them via Twitter.

Effective Sex Education (2006)

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This article, written by Brigid McKeon (Advocates for Youth) provides an overview of the effectiveness and characteristics of comprehensive sex education and the dangers of abstinence-only programs .

By age 18, 70% of U.S. females and 62% of U.S. males have initiated vaginal sex.  Adolescents have a fundamental human right to comprehensive and accurate sexual health information in order to make healthy decisions about sex and healthy sexual behaviors.

The article provides statistics and data supporting several points–

  • Comprehensive sex education is effective and does not promote sexual risks
  • Abstinence-Only programs are dangerous, ineffective and inaccurate
  • Medical organizations, parents and the public support comprehensive sex education

The fact sheet also includes characteristics of effective sex education as well as medical and public health recommendations to support comprehensive sex education.

Link to “Effective Sex Education”

Educating Teenagers About Sex in the United States (2010)

This data brief published by the Centers for Disease Control shows data collected from teens (ages 15-19) who answered questions about formal sexual education they have received and whether or not teens talk to their parents about sex .  Sex education in schools and other places, as well as received from parents, provides adolescents with information to make informed choices about sex at a crucial period of their development.

  • Female teenagers were more likely than male teenagers to talk to their parents about “how to say no to sex,” methods of birth control, and where to get birth control
  • Parental communication about sex education topics with their teenagers is associated with delayed sexual initiation and increased birth control method and condom use among sexually experienced teenagers
  • About one-half of teenagers reported first receiving instruction on “how to say no to sex,” STDs, and how to prevent HIV/AIDS while in middle school.

Citation:  Martinez, G. (2010).  Educating Teenagers About Sex in the United States.  CDC Data Brief.

Link to “Educating Teenagers About Sex in the United States”

Douglas Kirby’s 17 Characteristics at a Glance (2007)

“17 Characteristics at a Glance” is taken from Kirby et al.’s report, Sex and HIV Education Programs for Youth: Their Impact and Important Characteristics and their publication, Tools to Assess Characteristics of Effective Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs (TAC).  This is a brief one page description of the 17 common characteristics of programs found to be effective in changing behaviors that lead to STD, HIV and unintended pregnancy among young people.

To identify those characteristics, Kirby and his colleagues conducted a systematic review of 83 studies of HIV prevention and sex education programs that were from both the developed and developing world.  About 66% of these programs showed positive behavior changes.  The researchers then conducted a more in-depth analysis of characteristics of these curriculum-based programs that showed positive changes.

Citation:

Kirby, D., Rolleri, L. A., Wilson, M. M. Tools to Assess Characteristics of Effective Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs (TAC). 2007.

Link to PDF of “17 Characteristics At A Glance”

What the Research Says About Abstinence Only (2008)

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Over the past 25 years, Congress has spent over $1.5 billion on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.  However, no professional scientific study has found these programs broadly effective.  This fact sheet, compiled by Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), lists several professional study published in peer-reviewed journals with their findings about abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

Several interesting conclusions include:

  • According to the researchers, in communities where there are a higher proportion of pledgers, overall STD rates were significantly higher than in other settings. Specifically, in communities where more than 20% of young adults had taken virginity pledges, STD rates were 8.9% compared to 5.5% in communities with few pledgers.
  • Further research found that, among those young people who have not had vaginal intercourse,pledgers were more likely to have engaged in both oral and anal sex than their non-pledging peers.  In fact, among virgins, male and female pledgers were six times more likely to have had oral sex than non-pledgers, and male pledgers were four times more likely to have had anal sex than those who had not pledged.
  • The average age of sexual debut was the same for the abstinence-only-until-marriage participants and control groups (14 years, 9 months).

Citation:  SIECUS (2008).  What the Research Says About Abstinence Only.

Link to “What Research Says About Abstinence Only Until Marriage Programs

The Impact of Abstinence and Comprehensive Sex and STD-HIV Education Programs on Adolescent Sexual Behavior (2008)

There has been an ongoing debate about the effectiveness of abstinence-only versus comprehensive sex education and the impacts these two programs have on adolescent sexual health and behaviors.  Over the past 15 years, many researchers have studied the impact of abstinence programs on adolescents’ sexual knowledge, behaviors, and intentions but Dr. Kirby considers these research studies poorly designed and not objective.  By reviewing and evaluating both abstinence-only and comprehensive sex education programs, Dr. Kirby hopes to come clearer conclusions as to which program is most effective.

Dr. Kirby rigorously reviewed and evaluated 56 studies that assessed the impact of such curricula (8 that evaluated 9 abstinence programs and 48 that evaluated comprehensive programs) and studied whether these caused positive or negative changes to adolescents’ behaviors.

Dr. Kirby’s study results indicated that most abstinence programs did not delay initiation of sex and only 3 of 9 programs had any significant positive effects on any sexual behavior. On the other hand, about two thirds of comprehensive programs showed strong evidence that they positively affected young people’s sexual behavior, including both delaying initiation of sex and increasing condom and contraceptive use among important groups of youth.

Dr. Kirby concludes that:

  1. Some evidence (but no strong evidence) currently supports the assumption that abstinence program is effective at delaying first sex for adolescents
  2. Abstinence programs are not more effective at delaying initiative of sex compared to comprehensive sex education programs
  3. Abstinence programs are not sufficiently effective in eliminating teen’s sexual risks or eliminating comprehensive sexual education programs
  4. There is stronger evidence that comprehensive sex education can delay initiation of sex and increase contraception use

Citation:  Kirby, D. B. (2008). The Impact Of Abstinence And Comprehensive Sex And STD/HIV Education Programs On Adolescent Sexual Behavior. Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC5(3), 18-27.

Link to “The Impact of Abstinence and Comprehensive Sex and STD-HIV Education Programs on Adolescent Sexual Behavior”

The Efficacy of a Theory-Based Abstinence-Only Intervention Over 24 Months

This research study evaluates the efficacy of an abstinence-only intervention in preventing sexual involvement in young adolescents.  Dr. Jemmott et al. randomly assigned 662 African American students in grades 6 and 7 to an 8-hour abstinence-only intervention, an 8-hour safer-sex-only intervention, or an 8-hour health-promotion control group.  

The results showed that abstinence-only intervention reduced sexual initiation and recent sexual intercourse.  None of the interventions had significant effect on consistent condom use or unprotected intercourse.

Although other studies in the past have reported intervention-induced reductions in sexual intercourse among adolescents, this is the first randomized controlled trial that demonstrates a reduction in the percentage of adolescents who reported any sexual intercourse for 24 months after intervention.  The article concludes that theory-based abstinence-only interventions may have an important role in preventing adolescent sexual involvement.

Citation: The Efficacy of a Theory-Based Abstinence-Only Intervention Over 24 Months (2010).

Link to “The Efficacy of a Theory-Based Abstinence-Only Intervention Over 24 Months”