OSDH Encourages Teens to Think About
For Release: May 4, 2015 – Office of Communications – 405/271-5601
OSDH Encourages Teens to Think About Preventing Pregnancy by Taking National Quiz
May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month and teens nationwide are expected to participate in the 14th annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. With Oklahoma ranked third in the nation for teen birth rates, age 15-19, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is encouraging teens to participate in a quiz to create dialogue about the issue.
The purpose is to focus the attention of teens on the importance of avoiding teen pregnancy and teen parenthood through an interactive online quiz. The OSDH invites Oklahoma teens to use this interactive quiz to think carefully about what they would do in risky situations. The scenario-based quiz, available in English and Spanish, is accessible by visiting StayTeen.org throughout the month of May.
The quiz asks teens about the choices they would make in different relationship scenarios involving peer pressure, decision-making, and communication. After taking the quiz, teens and their parents are encouraged to go through the additional discussion guide. For teens, it provides extra follow-up questions to the scenarios and a fact and fiction section. For parents, it provides general questions to think about when it comes to teen pregnancy as well as questions about the quiz scenarios. Parents can use the quiz to begin conversations with their children about values and relationships.
Although Oklahoma’s rates are improving, a report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that the 2013 birth rate for Oklahoma teens age 15-19 years was 42.9 births per 1,000, significantly higher than the national average of 26.5. Compared to other states in the nation, including the District of Columbia, Oklahoma ranked third highest for teen birth rates for those age15-19, the fourth highest for teen birth rates for age15-17, and the second highest for age 18-19.
“It is important for teens to realize that sex has consequences, both physical and emotional,” said Ayesha Lampkins, Adolescent Health Consultant. “The quiz and discussion guide are helpful tools for both teens and their parents to think about that and hopefully begin to talk about it.”
The discussion guide also points out that there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about sex and pregnancy, so knowing the facts is critical for teen pregnancy prevention. Teens need to have access to medically accurate information in order to make responsible decisions for their future. Evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention curricula are offered to schools in Oklahoma, Tulsa and 24 other counties with high teen birth rates.
For more information on the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, visit http://thenationalcampaign.org/event/national-day-2015. For information about teen pregnancy prevention efforts in Oklahoma, contact the OSDH Child and Adolescent Division at (405) 271-4471.