MOAPPP June 2003 E-Monthly

MOAPPP E-Monthly Index

Abstinence-until-marriage Mandate Dropped

The Minnesota legislature adopted an omnibus E-12 education bill on day three of the special session. The bill, HF 51 does not include any language changes to the state’s K-12 HIV/STI curriculum requirement. Current law requiring a comprehensive, technically accurate and current curriculum remains unchanged. The abstinence-until-marriage proposal would require every school district to offer two curricula to address HIV/STI prevention; one based in comprehensive sexual health education and the other using abstinence-until-marriage curricula. Education conference committee members were overwhelmed by the challenge of cutting school financing to fit within the Governor’s “no new tax” budget guideline. The committee focused on the budget, and chose to drop virtually all policy provisions that were different in the House and Senate bills.

Kaiser Family Foundation Study ‘Paints Portrait’ of Teen Sexual Behaviors, Attitudes

Most teenagers say that although abstinence is “a nice idea, nobody really does it,” according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study that “paints a portrait” of teenagers’ sexual activity and attitudes. The “National Survey of Adolescents and Young Adults: Sexual Health Knowledge and Experiences” is a nationally representative survey of more than 1,800 young people ages 13 to 24. According to the 136-page report, about one in 10 respondents said that sex without a condom occasionally is “not a big deal,” reports USA Today. In addition, one in five respondents said that they thought that birth control pills protect against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and one in 10 said that condom use is not necessary unless “you have a lot of sexual partners”. Julia Davis of the Kaiser Family Foundation said the study shows that young people have “a lack of knowledge about core sexual issues and how sexual health issues impact their generation.” She added that the report shows many young people subscribe to a lot of “myths and misinformation.” (For more information, go to

One in Five Teenagers Have Sex by Age 15

One in five teenagers has had sex by the age of 15, according to “14 and Younger: The Sexual Behavior of Young Adolescents”, a report released by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (NCPTP). NCPTP researchers analyzed findings from seven previous studies conducted in the late 1990s to provide a “comprehensive look” at sexual activity among teens between the ages of 12 and 14. Researchers found that 4% of 12-year-olds, 10% of 13-year-olds and 19% of 14-year-olds have had sexual intercourse. In addition, six out of 10 sexually experienced young teenagers said that they had engaged in sexual activity within the last 18 months, although there was evidence that several young teens had sex “infrequently and/or had one sexual partner.”

Sarah Brown, director of NCPTP, said, “This is a wake-up call that the efforts that we make toward young people have to start early, that teachers looking at a class of 13-year-olds can’t assume they’re in a state of latent innocence”. According to NCPTP, “Parents, program leaders, school officials, community leaders and others need to recognize that sex and dating are important issues for middle school age youth that cannot be ignored”. (For more information, go to

Public Radio Highlights Teen Pregnancy and Sexuality

In a three part series, airing May 20 through May 22, 2003, National Public Radio highlighted pregnancy and sexuality issues facing American teens. The stories outlined the study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. On May 27, MOAPPP’s Executive Director, Nancy Nelson was the featured guest on MPR’s Mid-Morning to discuss the National Campaign’s study and affirmed that the most recent Minnesota Student Survey indicates that one in five Minnesota ninth graders have experienced sexual intercourse. For a copy of the study, go to

New Education/Training Requirement for TANF Teen Parents Outlined

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has developed a six-page fact sheet that describes the education/training requirement for unmarried, custodial minor parents in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, summarizes relevant research, and offers recommendations for reauthorization. To download “Reauthorization Issues: The Education/Training Requirement for TANF Teen Parents,” go to

MFIP Longitudinal Study and Special Projects

The most recent publication from the MFIP Longitudinal Study is the eighth report in the series titled “Special Report on Teen Mothers”. Key findings for the report indicate that 30 months after participants originally applied for MFIP, 60 percent of the teen mothers were working and 55 percent were off MFIP. Other findings reflect the life problems that some of these teen mothers face, including lack of support from the babies’ fathers, low income, subsequent pregnancies, health problems, chemical dependency issues, mental health issues, low education, violence, and other barriers to employment, such as transportation, child care and housing problems.

The executive summary discusses areas of concern about teen parents’ life situations raised by the findings and summarizes data about their history and circumstances. The executive summary and the full report can be found on the DHS Web site at

Central Touring Theater’s “Let’s Talk About It” Performance Available

“Let’s Talk About It” explores the voices of youth on social issues related to sexuality, decision making, sexual identity and abuse. Central Touring Theater is a unique youth company composed of high school students who create original theater dealing with issues facing youth today. This youth theater company has been creating and touring original plays for over twenty-three years. “Let’s Talk About It” was funded by the St. Paul-Ramsey County Department of Public Health and the St. Paul Public Schools. Central Touring Theater’s performance piece. Central Touring Theater charges a negotiable fee between $300 and $500 per performance. If you are interested in Central Touring Theater coming to your school or organization, please contact MOAPPP at 651-644-1447.