Research Reveals Disparities
What The Research Shows
In 2012, the chlamydia rate for Douglas County was 617.6 per 100,000 population. This is significantly higher than the state rate of 366.2 and the national rate of 456.7 per 100,000.
There are significant racial and ethnic disparities in chlamydia and gonorrhea in Douglas County. Chlamydia rates are nearly 10 times higher for African Americans than for Caucasians.
- Adolescents and young adults in Douglas County have substantially higher gonorrhea and chlamydia rates compared to other age groups.
- Despite the fact that the prevalence of sexual intercourse among high school students has remained fairly stable over the past 20 years, the teen pregnancy rate has consistently declined nationally. The decrease is attributed to delayed sexual debut and increased use of contraceptives.
- Over the past decade, the proportion of babies born to teen mothers in Douglas County has decreased.
- Racial and ethnic disparities in teen birth rates are more pronounced in Douglas County than nationally. Rates are five times higher for Hispanics/Latinos than for Caucasians.
What Youth Interviews Revealed
- Perceptions of how many other adolescents were having sex were higher than what has been reported in local and national data.
- Overall knowledge about teen pregnancy and STDs was low, with about half of the interviewees having a very rudimentary knowledge base.
- The majority of participants indicated a need for more comprehensive sex education in the schools because the current curricula are not thorough or are ineffective.
- When asked about the consequences of pregnancy for teens, the overwhelming focus was on consequences for the mother, including challenges with their education, social life and costs of having a child.
- Teen pregnancy is seen as less isolating than STDs.
- Almost half of the focus group participants were unsure if STDs were curable.
- Most students get their information on STDs from the Internet.