Local & Regional
6:58 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Report Points to Sex Ed Need in Tulsa

Nearly nine out of 10 Tulsa adults believe that comprehensive sex education curriculum that includes abstinence education should be taught in Tulsa’s middle and high schools, according to a survey conducted by the Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy in 2013. Tulsans support sex education regardless of race, religion, political affiliation or parental status.

“We are encouraged that Tulsans support the Campaign’s efforts to get sex education in our schools,” said Kim Schutz, executive director of the Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. “Research has shown time and time again that when teens get comprehensive sex education in schools, teen pregnancy rates go down. The link is clear.”

The Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, launched earlier this year, will put comprehensive sex education in local middle and high schools. The Campaign will also raise public awareness and garner community support to reduce teen pregnancy rates in Tulsa. The survey also found that nearly nine out of 10 Tulsans agree it would be best if teenagers would wait to have sex, but those who are not going to wait should have knowledge of and access to contraception. With that in mind, the campaign will also work with local health clinics to build capacity to attract and serve teen patients.

“We will work closely with community organizations, business leaders, clinics and faith-based institutions to ensure that the campaign has a far and deep reach,” Schutz said. “The campaign will educate the adults in our community on the high rates of teen pregnancy in Tulsa, and the impact teen pregnancy has on the community, and provide them with tools for talking to their kids about the issues.”

Survey results also reveal that only one in four Tulsa residents is aware that Oklahoma has a higher birth rate than the national average, let alone that certain zip codes in Tulsa have rates which are double the national average. Teen childbearing in Tulsa alone costs approximately $38 million annually.