Teen Pregnancy Prevention & Sexual Health
Teen pregnancy is closely linked to a number of critical social issues such as poverty, educational attainment, and increased health care costs.1 Moreover, teen births affect the entire community (not just the teen parents); therefore, community-wide solutions are needed.
- Four in ten (43%) public high school students have had sex at least once.2
- 49% of students did not use a condom during last sexual intercourse.2
- One in six births (16.7%) are to teen mothers who had one or more previous live births.2
Although Oklahoma is seeing a steady decrease in teen births, the state’s rate of 27.4 births per 1,000 females aged 15-10 is still significantly higher than the national average at 16.7 in 2019.3 Compared to other states in the nation, including the District of Columbia, Oklahoma ranked 4th highest for teen birth rates for teens ages 15-19 year in 2019.3
Teens need to have access to medically accurate, comprehensive information in order to make responsible decisions for their future. The Maternal and Child Health Service (MCH) provides oversight to the following teen pregnancy prevention programs across the state: Oklahoma Healthy Youth, Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), and Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF). With the support of local county health departments, these programs offer evidence-based sexual health curricula to public schools in Oklahoma, Tulsa, and 34 other counties with high teen birth rates.
Making a Difference! is an evidence-based program designed to provide youth with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to reduce their risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and pregnancy. Making a Difference! uses an abstinence-based approach and is intended for youth ages 12-14.
Love Notes is an evidence-based, comprehensive healthy relationship education program that places heavy focus on healthy communication, decision-making, setting and respecting boundaries, planning and pacing relationships, and the impact of family formation on children. The program aims to teach youth how to build healthy relationships, as well as reduce their risk for dating violence, unplanned pregnancy, and STIs. Love Notes is intended for youth and young adults ages 17-24.
Positive Prevention PLUS is an evidence-based, comprehensive sexual health education program designed to build young peoples’ skills for reducing their risk for STIs and unplanned pregnancy, developing healthy relationships, and goal-setting. There is both a middle-school and high-school version of the program.
Resources & Cited Sources
- Oklahoma Adolescent Sexual Health Report 2021
- Adolescent Health Specialists by County - OHY Project
- Oklahoma Teen Birth Rates by County 2017-2019
- Teen Pregnancy in Oklahoma Fact Sheet 2019
- Tips for Trusted Adults - Early Adolescence
- Tips for Trusted Adults of Youth aged 13-17
- Tips for Trusted Adults of Youth aged 18+
- Tips for Talking with Your Youth
- Let's Talk Month - Party Packet
- 10 Things Teens Wished Adults Knew About Teen Pregnancy
- Resources for Parents - Fact Forward
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (May 2017). Reproductive Health: Teen Pregnancy.
- Oklahoma State Department of Health, Maternal and Child Health Service. (2021). Oklahoma Adolescent Sexual Health Report 2021.
- Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Osterman MJK, Driscoll AK. (2021). Births: Final data for 2019. National Vital Statistics Report; vol 70, no 2. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.
Brittany Mathenia, MPH CHES®
Healthy Youth Consultant
Phone: (405) 426-8102
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Child and Adolescent Health
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave., Suite 1702
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-6406
Oklahoma State Department of Health
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK