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Government policies stressing abstinence-only sex education were a large reason for that initial decline. Programs noted the threat of sexually transmitted diseases but not how to use birth control. Those policies were still in place when the CDC study was done, Santelli said.
But in the last two years, most of federal funding for sex education has been redirected to programs that discuss birth control as well as the importance of delaying sex, said Bill Albert, chief program officer for the Washington, D.C.-based National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
Another CDC study, released earlier this year, found that teenage use of birth control and teen attitudes toward pregnancy have remained about the same since 2002.
Previous CDC research found that that about 85 percent of high schools and 72 percent of middle schools teach human sexuality and sex education.
CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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