New sex education programme 'no better'

A new sex education technique has been shown to be no more effective than traditional methods, according to researchers.

The enhanced theoretically-based programme, known as Share, produced similar results to conventional, fact-based learning methods, researchers at Glasgow University have revealed.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, the authors described the results of a study into the progress of young women who had been through one or other of the programmes between the ages of 13 and 15.

Lead researcher Dr Marion Henderson said that pregnancy and abortion rates among girls who had been taught using the enhanced programme "were no different from rates in the control group who were given conventional school sex education".

"It is clear that economic circumstances still largely determine the likelihood of teenage pregnancy," she commented.

"To have a stronger impact on the sexual health of young people, alternative interventions should be considered."

A separate study, published in the most recent edition of the Lancet, found that as many as one in three Scottish pregnancies are unplanned, confirming the need for a stronger sex education message.

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