Implicit (and sometimes explicit) in these approaches has been an assumption that access to family planning will reduce pregnancy rates amongst those teenagers who were already having sex but will not cause an increase in the proportion of all teenagers who engage in sexual activity.

Standard economic models, however, suggest that the two factors are irretrievably interlinked. Easier access to family planning reduces the effective cost of sexual activity and will make it more likely (at least for some teenagers) that they will engage in underage sexual activity….

In conclusion, despite recent decreases in the overall underage conception rate, unwanted pregnancy amongst minors in England and Wales has proved remarkedly resilient to policy initiatives implemented by different Governments over the past 40 years.

Looking forward, the time appears ripe for a shift in focus from policies aimed at reducing the risks associated with underage sexual activity to those which are aimed more directly at reducing the level of underage sexual activity.

~ Professor David Paton, chair of industrial economics at Nottingham University, discussing the fact that UK school sex education has resulted in little to no statistical change in the teen pregnancy rate over the last 40 years, as quoted by The Daily Mail, August 24

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