Pregnancy-Prevention Project Studied

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Inner-city girls who participated in an experimental pregnancy-prevention program at two Baltimore schools were far less likely to become pregnant than girls at two city schools without such a program, a study has found.

After 28 months, the number of pregnancies among girls in the program declined by 30.1 percent from what it had been at the program' onset, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University who designed the project.

In contrast, a 57.6 percent increase in the number of pregnancies was reported among girls in the control group.

In addition, the researchers said, a comparison with the control group showed that girls who were virgins at the beginning of the program generally waited longer to first sexual intercourse--the median delay was seven months--and were more likely to obtain contraceptive before or soon after becoming sexually active.

The three-year program Involved 1,700 male and female students at a junior high school and a senior high school.

It combined in-school sex education and counseling with after-school health and family-planning services provided by clinics located nearby.

The students in the control group followed the existing sex-education curriculum required by the state of Maryland.

The findings were published in the July issue of Family Planning Perspectives, a journal of Alan Guttmacher Institute, based in New York City.

Vol. 06, Issue 04, Page 4

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