Public Perception and Teen Pregnancy

Research shows that most people throughout the US are supportive of comprehensive sex education in schools. It is fair to say that the "jury is in" in South Carolina as well.  Over the past 15 years, multiple surveys have been conducted with parents of school-aged children, registered voters and other adults across the state.  Research shows that the vast majority of South Carolinians support comprehensive sex education.

  •  95% of South Carolinians rate teen pregnancy as an important issue and think that more prevention efforts are needed.
  • 84% of South Carolinians believe that sexuality education, which emphasizes abstinence as the first and best option for young people, but also teaches youth about the benefits and importance of using contraception to prevent pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections, should be taught in school.
  • People tend to underestimate support for sex education in schools. While almost 85% support sex education in schools, only 60% think others support it.
  • 9 out of 10 South Carolina registered voters think time spent on sex education in public schools should remain the same or increase. Half of those surveyed want more time spent covering the topic.
  • 93% of South Carolinians agree that health education teachers should be certified. Nearly 3 in 4 indicate that certification is very important.

Recommendations

Get Talking.  South Carolinians are encouraged to be vocal in their support of comprehensive sexuality education for youth. Remind neighbors, school administrators, and politicians that research shows the vast majority of South Carolinians believe teen pregnancy is an important problem and support sex education in schools.

Have a Voice.  Work with your local school district's Comprehensive Health Education Committee to ensure age-appropriate, science-based teen pregnancy prevention programs are available for middle and high school students. Also, encourage your school district to utilize experienced, knowledgeable, and well-trained sex educators.