DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The facts don’t lie. Texas has a problem with teen birth rates Last year, we were fourth highest in the nation. And, in Dallas County, sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise among teenagers.
Teenagers are constantly being bombarded with sexually explicit messages, drowning out the message of abstinence says Dallas County Health Director Zachary Thompson.
“The issue is, we’re seeing an increase in the number of teen pregnancies statewide as well as STD’s and HIV among 13-18 age group,” he said.
His solution? More detailed and explicit sex education. But that’s not all.
“We need to start passing out condoms even in our churches, our schools, wherever young people are,” he said.
Marilyn Morris is the president of AIM for Success an abstinence program taught in schools. She and her husband founded the organization 20 years ago.
“Because I got pregnant as a teen and I had a dream of being a professional tennis player,” she said.
She became pregnant her senior year in high school. She married the father of her child. They’ve been married 44 years now.
She’s the public speaker for the organization. He runs the business.
Their philosophy on abstinence for teenagers is based on freedom.
“It is totally a freedom message. You’re free to go on with your dreams and goals. Go have fun. Enjoy life. But don’t worry about pregnancy. Don’t worry about paying child support. Don’t worry about sexually transmitted diseases. You’re totally free to have an exciting life to avoid this,” she said.
She thinks providing condoms for teens sends the wrong message.
“We need to help young people control their sexual desires instead of giving them free reign,” she said.
Morris says the abstinence message works.
“Abstinence came on the scene in the early 90’s and since then birth and pregnancy rates and abortion rates have dropped,” she said.
That’s true according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services statistics for pregnancy rates across the nation. But as a state, Texas still ranks fourth in the country for teen pregnancies. STD rates among teenagers in Dallas County are also on the rise. In 2010, a fourth of the 5,000 Gonorrhea cases and 16,000 Chlamydia cases were diagnosed in teenagers.
Morris says the numbers are higher in states with higher percentages of minority populations.
Some parents at Tasby Middle School, with high enrollment of black and Hispanic students, think condoms should be made available to their children.
“Because at the age of 14 my daughter has a baby. So, they let you know they’re being sexually active,” Marzay Robinson said.
At the age of 28, Robinson is a grandfather.
Dallas County Health and Human Services Director, Zachary Thompson wants the legislature to look into the matter and consider funding the purchase of condoms for Dallas county schools.Also Check Out:
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