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August 1981

Should the Media Advertise Contraceptives?

Author Affiliations

Division of Biosocial Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Department of Pediatrics University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester, NY 14642

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(8):687-688. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130320001001

The main tenet of this article is that all forms of communication and education should be used to inform our youth about the potential consequences of coital activity. First, it should be clearly recognized that there has been a documented increase in sexual activity by teenagers during the past ten to 20 years, and it is currently estimated that over half of all American adolescents are coitally active or experienced by the age of 19 years.1 Today the United States has literally millions of sexually active youths, resulting in a million adolescent pregnancies annually and also several million cases of sexually transmitted diseases (or venereal disease).2

Studies have revealed that many youths are not aware of specific means to prevent or reduce their risk for pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Many use no contraceptives at all, use effective methods poorly, or even rely on techniques that have a

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