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Monday, July 20, 2009

Graphing Youth Sex Habits

I pulled some interesting charts from the today-released CDC report on STDs among youth.

Apparently, there was an increase in teen pregnancies and youth STDs during the Bush years.

Here are the charts:

TABLE 22. (Continued) Estimated number of cases and cumulative rates* of persons aged 10--24 years living with acquired immune deficiency syndrome, by age group and area of residence --- HIV/AIDS Reporting System, United States, 2006

 

Age group (yrs)

 

10--14

15--19

20--24

Area of residence

No.

Rate

No.

Rate

No.

Rate

Region

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northeast

531

14.6

1,025

26.4

1,473

39.7

Midwest

129

2.8

205

4.3

653

13.9

South

600

8.1

1,057

13.8

2,482

32.6

West

114

2.3

199

4.0

760

15.0

SOURCE: Special tabulations for this report from CDC's HIV/AIDS reporting system.

* Per 100,000 population. Rates exclude data for U.S. territories.

TABLE 23. Number of reported cases and annual rates* of chlamydia among persons aged 10--24 years, by age group and region of residence --- Nationally Notifiable Disease Surveillance System, United States, 2006

 

Age group (yrs)

 

10--14

15--17

18--19

20--24

Region

No.

Rate

No.

Rate

No.

Rate

No.

Rate

Northeast

2,229

61.4

25,525

1,099.8

30,197

1,933.2

57,924

1,562.5

Midwest

3,260

71.1

36,389

1,251.1

46,166

2,470.3

85,554

1,814.1

South

5,690

76.5

61,718

1,319.0

80,100

2,697.9

145,157

1,904.8

West

2,418

48.6

30,655

997.9

41,545

2,137.4

89,138

1,759.0

Total

13,597

65.9

154,287

1,188.6

198,008

2,373.2

377,773

1,789.4

SOURCE: Special tabulations from sexually transmitted disease data, Nationally Notifiable Disease Surveillance System.

* Per 100,000 population.

TABLE 24. Number of reported cases and annual rates* of gonorrhea among persons aged 10--24 years, by age group and region of residence --- Nationally Notifiable Disease Surveillance System, United States, 2006

 

Age group (yrs)

 

10--14

15--17

18--19

20--24

Region

No.

Rate

No.

Rate

No.

Rate

No.

Rate

Northeast

416

11.5

4,677

201.5

5,438

348.1

11,761

317.3

Midwest

1,136

24.8

11,712

402.7

14,749

789.2

27,997

593.7

South

2,191

29.4

20,608

440.4

27,348

921.1

55,073

722.7

West

499

10.0

4,959

161.4

7,045

362.4

16,103

317.8

Total

4,242

20.6

41,956

323.2

54,580

654.2

110,934

525.5

SOURCE: Special tabulations from sexually transmitted disease data, Nationally Notifiable Disease Surveillance System.

* Per 100,000 population.

I wanted to see if the increase in risky sexual behavior was more prevalent in the South/Bible belt, where abstinence-only and a "faith-based" approach to sexual education is more prevelant.

Using the bottom two charts, and employing this cool web graph-maker thingee, I got this:

Graph

Hmmmm.  Looks like those coastal elite liberal might know a thing or two about how to teach kids about sex.

UPDATE --  The Guardian confirms:

The CDC says that southern states, where there is often the greatest emphasis on abstinence and religion, tend to have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and STDs.

Yeah, I know.

The article also contains this quote from Kristi Hamrick, a spokeswoman for American Values (a group advocating abstinence-only education).  She dismisses the CDC report, arguing:

"In every other area of public policy - food, drugs, alcohol - we tell children what is the best choice. It seems very bizarre that the sex education establishment rejects the idea that we should talk to kids about what is best for them. We don't take vodka to drivers education because children will drink and drive."

Ms. Hamrick, your driver's ed analogy is flawed.  We teach children (and adults) "don't drink and drive".  We don't teach them "don't drink, period."  Yet that is what you're abstinence-only education does -- it tells them the "best choice" ONLY.  Telling them to abstain from sex is fine, but it doesn't give them options or information.  It doesn't educate.  It merely mandates a course of action ("don't have sex until your married") which, while laudable, is completely unrealistic.  And in the long run, creates a health care problem.  The graph itself bears this out.

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