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Sex Education

"Efficacy of Infant Simulator Programs to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy: A School-Based Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial in Western Australia"

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Robotic "infant simulators" marketed to schools as a way to help prevent teen pregnancy may have the opposite effect, according to a study published in August in the British health journal The Lancet.

Australian researchers randomly assigned nearly 3,000 teenage girls to one of two groups: Some received an automated doll (programmed to cry, sleep, eat, and spoil its diapers on a realistic schedule, and equipped with sensors to track whether students are properly caring for it), while others received just standard health education. Then the researchers tracked the girls until they turned 20, using records from hospitals and abortion clinics.

Their findings: 8 percent of the girls who received an infant simulator ended up giving birth, compared to just 4 percent of those who received standard health education. And 9 percent of the girls who received an infant simulator had an abortion, compared to 6 percent who received standard health education.

Vol. 36, Issue 18, Page 5

Published in Print: January 18, 2017, as Sex Education
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