According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Indiana was ranked 17 out of 51 states (including the District of Columbia) on final 2015 teen birth rates among females aged 15- to 19-years-old. According to Power to Decide, there were 5,813 teen births in our state that year.
Sexual health education, teen pregnancies and contraception are often considered hot topics in today’s society. Personal beliefs aside, it is important that caring, informed adults teach youth about healthy decision-making processes and that young mothers and fathers are able to access resources to help them and their children.
Yasmin Cline is the director of Parent Life at Central Indiana Youth for Christ. Her program works with pregnant and parenting teens, both mothers and fathers, between the ages of 12 and 19 to provide support and mentorship. The groups she works with proactively discuss healthy relationships, healthy parenting, honesty, integrity and sex.
“All of those topics play a role in sexual health,” said Cline. “We approach each topic holistically, considering the emotional, physical, societal, generational and spiritual components of health.”
Open dialogue is often a good first step for adults to take with young people, as data suggests that many youth are already sexually active in high school. According to Power to Decide, 41.7 percent of Indiana high school students in 2015 had already had sex.