Two research questions are examined in this study. First, is there a relationship between the type of sexuality education policy (comprehensive vs. abstinence only) and adolescent outcomes (teen births, STDs, HIV in Florida)? The study compared two periods each with different approaches to sexuality education: 1990-1999 when a comprehensive sexuality education policy including abstinence-only was in place, and 2000-2007 during which federal requirements limited sexuality education to the abstinence-only-until-marriage program. Specifically, did sexuality education in Florida reduce the outcomes of teen births during the period 1990-2007, gonorrhea and syphilis during 1990-2007, chlamydia during 1994-2007 and HIV during1998-2007? The second research question examined which risk factors, such as age, race, health, drugs, and violence, explain the sub-population differences, if any, in adolescent pregnancy during the years 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007.
Trend analysis was used to evaluate the first research question. Under a comprehensive sexuality education policy, there was a greater reduction of the teen birth rate than during the period of federal support for only abstinence-only-until- marriage programs. The rate of chlamydia increased across both periods and did not appear to be affected by the policy shift. The rate of gonorrhea and syphilis showed a greater decrease during the first period of analysis than the second period, a time of federal support for only abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. There were insufficient data to test the HIV rates for differences between the two time periods.
Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to answer the second research question. Non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics overall showed significantly increased odds of becoming pregnant or causing a pregnancy than non-Hispanic whites. Students who reported depression, did not use condoms the last time they had sex, and who were not taught about HIV/AIDS were more likely to be involved in a pregnancy than students who were not depressed, who used condoms, or who were taught about HIV/AIDS. Students who had violent encounters, smoked, used drugs, had multiple partners, or initiated sex before age 13 were more likely to become pregnant or cause a pregnancy than students who did not. These findings were consistent across race, ethnicity, and age.