Teens’ Sexual Behavior, Short- & Long-Term Consequences

Child Trends recently published a study, “Risky Adolescent Sexual Behaviors and Reproductive Health in Young Adulthood” in the journal, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. The study, which analyzes data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, assesses whether individuals who engage in risky sexual behaviors during adolescence have increased risk of negative reproductive health outcomes in young adults.

Child Trends found:

  • Forty percent of youth reported at least three sexual risk factors during adolescence. The most common were having multiple sex partners during adolescence and using contraceptive inconsistently with at least one partner.
  • Young adults who were exposed to an increasing number of risks during their teen years were more likely to have had multiple sex partners in the last year.
  • Adolescents who used contraceptives inconsistently and had multiple partners or more casual relationships during adolescence were more likely, as young adults, to have multiple sex partners in the last year.
  • Young adults who used contraceptives inconsistently and who didn’t discuss contraception with a partner during adolescence were more likely to have an unintended birth.

These finding suggest that teens’ sexual behaviors have both short- and long-term consequences, and interventions that focus on multiple domains of risk may be the most effective in helping to promote the broad reproductive health among young adults.

Our Lending Library is open for members to review program curriculum before buying, and includes programs such as: Be Proud! Be Responsible!; ¡Cuídate!; Reducing the Risk; and Teen Health Project – all which have been identified by the Department of Health and Human Services for replication that are supported by evidence and are proven to reduce teen pregnancy and related risky sexual behaviors.

Visit our website www.teennowcalifornia.org or email us at tnca@teennowcalifornia.org to get more details on our Lending Library.


First Ever National Prevention Strategy

The first ever National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy (a.k.a. National Prevention Strategy) has been released by the US Surgeon General and Chair of the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council (National Prevention Council) as a component of the Affordable Care Act.

We know that the key to maintaining health is preventing disease and injury. The National Prevention Strategy is encouraging partnerships and identifying strategic directions through which to provide services to address seven health priorities, one of which is Reproductive and Sexual Health.

“Healthy reproductive and sexual health practices can play a critical role in enabling people to remain healthy and actively contribute to their community. Planning and having a healthy pregnancy is vital to the health of women, infants, and families and is especially important in preventing teen pregnancy and childbearing, which will help raise educational attainment, increase employment opportunities, and enhance financial stability. Access to quality health services and support for safe practices and improves physical and emotional well-being and reduces teen and unintended pregnancies, HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).” – National Prevention Strategy


  • Infant mortality rates are higher among women of color, adolescents, unmarried mothers, people who smoke, those with lower educational attainment, and those who did not obtain adequate prenatal care.
  • Unintended pregnancies account for nearly half of all pregnancies and are accompanied with severe risks.
  • Almost half of the 19 million new cases of STIs in the US annually happen in young people ages 15 to 24.
  • One in four females and one in 12 males have experienced sexual violence at some time in their lives.
  • Binge drinking and illicit drug use are associated with intimate partner violence and risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex and multiple sex partners. These activities increase the risk of unintended pregnancy and acquiring HIV and other STIs.

The following recommendations are made in order to improve reproductive and sexual health:

  • Increase use of preconception and prenatal care;
  • Support reproductive and sexual health services and support services for pregnant and parenting women;
  • Provide effective sexual health education, especially for adolescents; and
  • Enhance early detection of HIV, viral hepatitis, and other STIs and improve linkage to care.

No matter who you are – State, Tribal, Local or Territorial Government; Business or Employer; Community, Non-Profit or Faith-Based Organization; Individual or Family – we can all do our part in improving the reproductive and sexual health of Americans.

To learn more about the priorities and what you can do, view the entire National Prevention Strategy.

The National Prevention Council is comprised of 17 heads of departments, agencies and offices across the Federal Government, all of who are committed to promoting prevention and wellness.

Human Sex Trafficking

Lately it seems that more and more attention is being placed on human trafficking, but does it really exist here in California and are our adolescents at risk? The US Department of Justice’s Characteristics of Suspected Incidents of Human Trafficking, 2008-2010, reported alarming statistics – ones that reach very close to home. More than 2,500 cases were opened during this period, and 82% of them were classified as sex trafficking. Nearly half (49.2%) of the sex trafficking cases involved prostitution or sexual exploitation of a child… that’s right… a child. And children in California may face a larger risk.

California is not just a top destination for vacationers, but it’s also a top destination for human traffickers. Our prime real estate offers an extensive international border, major harbors and airports, a historically powerful economy, an increasing population, and large industries. Although state statistics on sex trafficking are vague, the Dream Center reports that five Task forces identified 559 potential victims between December 2005 and March 2007. While this number might seem low, it will be used as a baseline as the attention to human sex trafficking is increasing – statewide and country-wide.

In the US, the Department of Justice estimates that nearly 300,000 children are at risk for trafficking into the sex industry, with girls as young as five and six that are forced to do sexual acts for economic gain by their pimps.

Some Red Flag Indicators:

  • Living with employer
  • Poor living conditions
  • Multiple people in cramped spaces
  • Inability to speak to an individual alone
  • Signs of physical abuse
  • Under 18 and in prostitution
  • Heavy security (barred windows, locked doors, isolated location, etc.)

More resources:


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Exciting News About the TeenNow California Conference

Every year, the TeenNow California conference includes our Institutes (previously called the Pre-Conference) plus a main conference. The Institutes are in-depth full- or half-day sessions that focus on areas of immediate need or interest, and the conference gives you several shorter workshops on things you need in your work every day. This year, we have a really exciting line-up for the TNCA Institutes that I want to share with you.

As in past years, we’ll be offering three TNCA Institutes. These will be either half- or full-day sessions that provide an intense look at topics we feel are really important right now. The first one is an issue we all face in these rough times: funding your mission. Budget cuts, reduction in donations, the economy in general–all of these have hurt our ability to carry out our mission. As we face the loss of yet another excellent teen pregnancy prevention program and a major support for young families, we need to look beyond the traditional methods of funding programs. Non-profits will have to rely less on public money (government contracts) and foundations, and find new ways to generate revenue. We’ve brought in a pair of fund development experts for both the Oakland and Los Angeles conferences who will teach you new ways to generate funds in out-of-the-box ways. Best of all, these methods will be ones that we, as non-professional fund developers, can actually implement.

Next, there has been a lot of work done recently around racial and ethnic disparities in prevention and treatment of STDs and HIV. There are clear differences in the rates of transmission, access to care, and outcomes in racial minorities, and now there are efforts afoot to do something about it. Another of our Institutes will focus on reducing disparities in STD/HIV prevention and treatment, and will be led by public health leaders from around California. The Institute will define the issue and present data, and then launch into a discussion about ways we as clinicians, health educators, social workers and teachers can work to overcome barriers to information and care that cause such disparities.

And last but not least, we are again partnering with the California Department of Education to present training for Cal-SAFE program staff and administrators. The Cal-SAFE Institute will focus on programmatic information such as evaluation, monitoring, and safety issues, as well as how teachers and staff in the program can most effectively work with the teen parents they serve, and their children.

All three Institutes will be held in both Oakland and Los Angeles. In Oakland the TNCA Institutes will take place on Monday, September 26th, and in Los Angeles, they will be on Wednesday, October 12th. TNCA Institutes will cost $65 (early bird rate–register by September 2nd) for a full day of sessions, and if you buy the conference package, you get the Institute and the main conference for only $135 (early bird). Don’t miss these great workshops, at a great price! You can find registration materials on our web site, including a printable registration form and an online registration form. Hope to see you there!

2011 TeenNow California Conference Approaches

As we move into summer, the planning for the 2011 TeenNow California conference, “Pushing Forward: Using What We’ve Learned to Maintain Momentum,” is heating up. This year we’re focusing on creative ways to continue to provide excellent services despite budget cuts and fiscal hardships. We’ve reduced the cost of the conference drastically to help you attend; this does mean that certain things will be different this year.

First, we’ve once again decided to break the conference into two parts, Northern and Southern. Most of you felt that our decision to do this last year helped you attend. Our Northern conference will be held at the California Endowment’s Oakland Conference Center, and the Southern conference will be held at the California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities, in Los Angeles. The main conference will be on September 27th and October 11th, respectively, and the TNCA Institutes (previously called the Pre-Conference) will be on September 26th and October 12th.

Second, to reduce our costs—so we can reduce registration fees—we’re not printing brochures to market the conference this year. Instead, we’re doing all our marketing electronically. This means you won’t get a brochure and registration form in the mail this year, but we’ve created a handy and information-filled web site that allows you to either print out the registration form or register right there online! We’re also re-thinking other costs such as conference programs and bags. Despite our cost-cutting efforts, we guarantee that the conference will provide the same useful information as ever, and great opportunities to network with your colleagues!