Poll shows Latinos support comprehensive sex ed

May 10, 2013

A new poll shows strong support among Latinos for sex education, including birth control.

The poll, from Planned Parenthood and the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health, shows a majority of Latinos say preventing teen pregnancy is a major issue. And it shows support for high school sex-ed classes, that include the topics of birth control, sexually transmitted diseases and abstinence.

The inner-city Creighton School District in Phoenix has just adopted a comprehensive sex-ed program and School Board Member Tiffany Arenas says it’s critical to jump-start discussions between teens and their parents,

“The advantage of having the school involved is getting that basic information out to students, giving them medically accurate information and getting them thinking about broader life topics like healthy relationships," Arenas said.

A federal program known as Title X provides free or low-cost reproductive health services for low-income teens. Bre Thomas of Arizona Family Health Partnership says there are several ways teens can get help.

"They are able to either go online and look for a clinic near their zip code on our website. They can talk to providers in the area, and word-of-mouth. I think with teens, word-of-mouth is pretty important for services that we provide," Thomas said.

Eight out of 10 Creighton District students are Latino, with nine of 10 coming from low-income households. Arizona has the sixth-highest rate of teen pregnancy in the country, though rates have been on the decline in recent years.

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