Teen Knowledge of EC Does Not Increase Sexual Activity
A study appearing in the British Medical Journal concludes that incorporating information about emergency contraception (EC) into regular high school sex-education courses does not make students more sexually active. Twenty-four high schools in the UK participated in the study. Trained teachers gave 14- and 15-year old students participating in sex-education programs one specific lesson on EC and its use. Six months later, as expected, these students had more knowledge of EC than other students participating in sex-education programs and were no more sexually active than before the lesson. The study came after controversy in the UK surrounding educating students on EC. Women over the age of 16 in the UK can obtain EC over-the-counter for a fee. With a prescription, the pills are free.
The Feminist Majority Foundation is leading a nationwide campaign to make EC available over-the-counter in the US. If used within 72 hours of intercourse, EC can prevent unwanted pregnancy in cases of in cases of unprotected sex, birth control failure, and sexual assault. To learn more about the campaign, visit www.PrescribeChoice.org.
Media Resources: Reuters Health, 5/17/02; Feminist Majority Foundation