Medicine And The Media

Sex sells, and under age sex sells even more

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 01 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:686
  1. Ann Furedi
  1. director of the Birth Control Trust

    Sometimes you read an academic paper and then you read a newspaper report of it and so great is the gap between your interpretation and that of the journalist that you wonder if you share a common language. When, earlier this month, the authors of an NHS Centre for Review and Dissemination report on teenage pregnancy read reports of their work, they must have wondered if the journalists responsible came from the same planet.

    The report carefully reviews educational approaches to the prevention of teenage pregnancy, along with the effectiveness of different contraceptive delivery systems. It drew sensible conclusions that were no surprise to anyone familiar with current discussions of the subject. School based sex education, especially when linked to confidential contraceptive services, the report said, can be effective in reducing teenage pregnancy. It observed that “young people who are already sexually active …

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