60S : Science & Life – Ep #46 : Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Actually Promotes It
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this is Scientific American 60-second science I'm Christopher and I gotta used to be teenage kids had to carry around a bag of flour wrapped in a blanket to learn their responsibilities of parenthood but these days the same lessons taught with high-tech dolls that cry and record every interaction they get grumpy you have to rock them to come down they have to be fed Sally Brinkman an epidemiologist at the telethon kid's Institute in Australia it's supposed to be so tiring and try difficult that it puts them off and I say oh no I don't want to be a teenage mom and then I think that contraception and all of those sorts of things problem is that theory that the dolls will discourage teenage Parenthood doesn't seem to be true according to a new study by Brinkman and her colleagues the team recruited nearly three thousand thirteen to fifteen year old girls for the trial from 57 schools in Western Australia all the girls got the standard Australian Curriculum on contraception and sexual health but half had to care for the infant dolls and got extra education sessions with the school nurse the team's hypothesis we thought either it's gonna make a difference or it'll make no difference whatsoever we haven't expected that it would do the opposite and in fact the girls who cared for the dolls were nearly one and a half times more likely to get pregnant before age 20 then teens in the control group the findings are in The Lancet the company that makes the dolls has criticised the trial and says the researchers didn't properly implement the educational portion of the program but Brinkman disagrees maybe she says the program itself is flawed if we inadvertently increasing teenage pregnancy rates you know this per time needs to stop we shouldn't be delivering it in school thanks for listening for scientific American's 60 second science I'm Christopher and Donna