Teenage abortions increase as sex education declines
20 September 2006
MADRID — Teenage abortion rates are rising in Spain, new official figures published on Wednesday revealed.
In 2003, there were 8.8 abortions for every 1,000 girls under 19 — up from 5.5 in 1995, according to the figures from the National Institute for Statistics.
Other figures show ignorance about contraception, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancies
are on the rise among increasingly sexually active young people.
The average age of the first sexual experience is going down
but many young Spaniards reach that moment without having received proper information about sex education, the report says.
Among 18 and 19-year-olds, the average age which they first had sex was 16.
But 24 percent of boys and 19 percent of girls had had sex before the age of 16, according the study.
Experts are concerned young people’s sex education varies from region to region.
Isabel Ferrer, a gynaecologist from the State Federation of Family Planning, said: “The attention paid to sexuality
among youngsters is uneven, varying from region to region.”
“Until a few years ago, most family planning services were supplied by the Family Orientation Centres [COF] and municipal organizations, but today almost half of
the COFs have disappeared.”
Sex education in schools is also a victim of regional variation, unlike in Sweden, for example, where the subject became a nationally regulated part of the syllabus
In Spain, whether a student receives sex education depends on the management of his or her school, the personal
inclination of a teacher, or pure luck as to whether discussions and campaigns sponsored by external agencies are encouraged in their school.
It puts more pressure on family doctors to make up for this lack of information, say medical groups.
Use of the morning after pill has trebled in the last five years, with a third of those women who take it aged between 16 and 19.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news