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Interviews: Sex and the American Teen

What can we do to help teens develop healthy attitudes toward their sexuality, avoid pregnancy and remain disease-free? Find out what these researchers, policymakers and educators have to say about teens, sex education and the approaches that are working.

Dr. Douglas Kirby Dr. Douglas Kirby,
Former Director of Research
National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy

"It's not easy to change adolescent behavior, and we've certainly made a lot of mistakes over the years." | Read more »


 Dr. Joseph McIlhaneyDr. Joseph McIlhaney,
Medical Institute of Sexual Health

"Despite extensive academic studies, multiple reports for years have shown almost no impact [from comprehensive programs]. Clearly, it's time to try something new — abstinence education." | Read more »


Dr. Peter BearmanDr. Peter Bearman,
Director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy and the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences at Columbia University

"Many kids have sex whether they pledge [to remain abstinent] or not, [but] pledgers, when they have sex as adolescents, were much less likely than non-pledgers to use contraceptives at first sex. " | Read more »


Rebecca Maynard Dr. Rebecca Maynard,
Professor, Education and Social Policy
University of Pennsylvania

"The first thing to note is that very few kids in this country take the virginity pledge. It's gotten lot of publicity, but nationwide it's under 10 percent." | Read more »


Ashlee Reed & Al Ferreira Ashlee Reed & Al Ferreira,
Executive Director, Project 10 East and Former Teacher, Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School

In 1987, Mr. Ferreira, a photography teacher at Cambridge Rindge & Latin, started the first Gay Straight Alliance program in a northeastern high school. Today, Ashlee Reed heads up Project 10 East. | Read more »

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What an intelligent, articulate, dedicated kid! Congratulations to her for working so hard & speaking out so forcefully on her issue, especially when so many people were trying to squelch her. I can't wait to see what she tackles next - it's people like her who make a difference in this world.”

— Jeanette, Milwaukee, WI

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