Teenage Birth & Pregnancy Data
Download our one-page fact sheet (“Facts on Teenage Pregnancy and Sexual Health”) to learn more about teen pregnancy and STIs in Mississippi.
Mississippi has the highest teen birth rate in the country but the 3rd highest teen pregnancy rate. (The teen birth rate includes all live births, the teen pregnancy rate does not.)
Teen pregnancies are at their lowest rate in nearly 40 years. This trend is due to the combination of “less sex and more contraception.” Fewer teens are having sex and teens who are sexually active are using more effective contraception. The teen birth rate in Mississippi declined 21% from 2007 to 2010. Despite this decline, Mississippi still has the highest teen birth rate.
Instead of arguing about abstinence-only and abstinence-plus, we should be looking at what science says works. The Department of Health and Human Services has developed a list of 31 evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs. A majority of these programs (28) are considered abstinence-plus or comprehensive sex education programs.
Teens say that parents most influence their decisions about sex, love, and relationships. Unfortunately, many parents don’t have these conversations with their teen because they are embarrassed or don’t have enough information themselves.
Want to know your county’s teen pregnancy rate? You can view your county’s teen pregnancy rate for 2010 by going to the Kids Count teen pregnancy data center.
This presentation describes the sexually transmitted infection rates for Mississippi youth. Overview of Sexual Health Statistics in Mississippi: Mississippi vs. U.S. with Dr. Nicholas Mosca, Mississippi State Department of Health.
Research & Policy Reports
What do Parents Think About Sex-Related Education in Public Schools? This 2011 survey of parents by the Center for Mississippi Health Policy found that a majority of parents support comprehensive sex-related education that begins in middle school and includes a curriculum determined by public health professionals.
Profile of Mississippi Sex Education Laws, Policies, and Funding Streams. This fact sheet provides an overview of federal funding for teen pregnancy prevention to Mississippi and a description of HB 999, the current state law mandating sex education in public schools.
Report on Economic Cost of Teen Births to Mississippi Taxpayers. This report describes the tax payer cost of teen births for the state and each county. The report also describes the solutions to preventing teen pregnancy.
How did the Mississippi Economic Policy Center (MEPC) develop the taxpayer cost of teen births? This fact sheet describes the economic model used by MEPC to develop the data for the economic cost report above.
Federal and state funding is increasingly tied to whether a program is evidence-based. But what does this mean? This presentation (Evidence-Based Strategies to Prevent Teen Pregnancy) by Dr. Susan Tortolero describes why some programs are better than others. Dr. Susan Tortolero is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Science and Health Promotion and Epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health.
A list of evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs from the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Interested in Adopting an Abstinence-Plus, Evidence-Based Curriculum?
Mississippi State Department of Health’s Personal Responsibility Education Program
Creating Healthy and Responsible Teens (CHART) Initiative. CHART is a partnership between the Mississippi State Department of Health and Mississippi First. The initiative works with Mississippi school districts to increase adoption and implementation of comprehensive or “abstinence-plus” sex education policies and evidence-based, medically accurate, and age-appropriate programs. CHART is not a curriculum, and neither Mississippi First nor the Mississippi State Department of Health is trying to sell curriculum or any services to school districts. Rather, CHART provides free resources, tools, and technical assistance to districts through the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grant. As of June 2012, 30 school districts have adopted the CHART policy.
What a School Can Do (CHART Presentation): Stories from Schools that Have Adopted an “Abstinence-Plus, Evidence-Based” Sex Education Policy by Sanford Johnson, Mississippi First