Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Today is National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Did you know that today, May 5th is National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy? The purpose of this day is to have teens focus on the importance of avoiding teen pregnancy and other consequences of unprotected sex, (i.e., STDs, HIV, etc.):

About the National Day
"The ninth annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy will take place on May 5, 2010. The purpose of the National Day is to focus the attention of teens on the importance of avoiding teen pregnancy and other serious consequences of sex. On the National Day, teens nationwide are asked to go and take a short, scenario-based quiz (available in English and Spanish). The online quiz challenges young people to think carefully about what they would do in a number of risky sexual situations.
In addition to the online quiz, The National Campaign is also offering an online game with challenging puzzles testing teens’ knowledge about issues related to teen pregnancy. Teens can add the game their social networking profiles and those who complete the puzzles will be eligible to win prizes. Also, The National Campaign is launching a PSA design contest encouraging teens to submit their artwork and ideas about teen pregnancy prevention. Winning submissions will be distributed nationwide.
Organized by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the National Day has widespread support from more than 200 national organizations and media outlets who serve as official National Day partners.
Why a National Day?
The extraordinary declines in teen pregnancy and childbearing over the past two decades have proven to cynics that progress can be made on tough issues. In fact, few social problems have improved quite as dramatically over the past decade as teen pregnancy. The most recent news on this front, however, has not been positive. After consistent and steady declines beginning in the early 1990s, the nation's teen pregnancy rate rose 3% in 2006, according recent data from the Guttmacher Institute.Clearly a renewed focus on preventing teen pregnancy is needed. We hope that—in some modest way—the National Day will help teens think carefully about sex and contraception, the possibility of pregnancy, and the lifelong challenges of being a parent

How Do Teens Participate?
Teens can support the National Day by simply logging onto on May 5th (and throughout May) and taking the National Day Quiz. The online Quiz will be posted in both English and Spanish on May 1, 2010 and will be available throughout May. Print versions of the Quiz will also be available so that teens without internet access can still participate. The National Day Quiz is appropriate for teens ages 13 and up.

Making a Difference
Each year, we ask teens to tell us what they thought about the National Day Quiz in a post-quiz evaluation survey and many do. Among the findings from last year’s survey:
74% said the Quiz made them think about what they might do in such situations;
61% said the Quiz made the risks of sex and teen pregnancy seem more real to them;
56% said they’d learned something new from the Quiz about the consequences of sex;
62% said they’d talk to their friends about the situations described in the Quiz;
53% said the Quiz made them think about things they hadn’t thought about before;
54% said they’d encourage others to take the Quiz;
59% said some of the situations in the Quiz were things that they or their friends had faced; and
45% said they’d talk to their parents or other adults about the situations described in the Quiz.
Additionally, one-helf (50%) of the respondants reported taking the quiz as part of a school activity and 35% said they took the quiz at home. Nearly one-third of teens (31%) learned about the quiz from a parent, teacher, or another trusted adult and more than one-quarter (27%) of teens learned about the quiz from one of our National Day partners.
Teens were also given the opportunity to comment on the quiz. Here is a sampling of their responses:
“I thought it was a very good eye-opener. Most teens don’t think about how much getting pregnant could screw up their lives. I think this quiz will help people start thinking about sex and teen pregnancy and help them realize that they might not be as smart as they think.” ~ Girl, age 15
“I thought the quiz was put together in a way that made it both informational and entertaining. I know lots of people who could have benefited from this quiz and will recommend it my friends so they don’t get caught up in similar situations.” ~ Guy, age 17
“I thought the quiz was a great way to show what could happen if you don’t protect yourself. Sex is very serious, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. This quiz is a wake up call to many teens.” ~ Girl, age 15
“I thought it was a good quiz. It seems like a good way to teach teens about sex if they are too afraid to ask their parents and are afraid of what they might say or do.” ~Guy, age 15
“This quiz made me think about how this stuff really does happen in real life. Before prom, many of my friends told me that they were thinking about having sex. If I had known about this website, I definitely would have recommended it!” ~ Girl, age 16
Are you a Cut It Out! Girl?!

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