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Worldview 7.26.12

A woman in the audience holds a sign during the final public hearing before the Texas State Board of Education adopted new health textbooks for Texas school students in 2004. (AP/Harry Cabluck)

Thursday on Worldview:

The U.S. teen birth rate is at a historic low. It has dropped by about 44 percent in the last 20 years. But we’re still off the charts when compared to other developed countries: Teenagers is the U.S. are almost ten times as likely as teens in Switzerland to get pregnant and have a baby. Philip Levine, author of the study “Why is the Teen Birth Rate in the United States so High and Why Does It Matter?” tells us what’s behind the staggering differences.

Then, parents in the Netherlands — both conservatives and liberals — let their teenagers have sleepovers with members of the opposite sex, as long as it’s a boyfriend or girlfriend. Sex is talked about openly at home and at school. But despite the permissiveness, American teenage girls are four times likely to become pregnant as Dutch girls and twice as likely to have an abortion. Sociologist Amy Shalet, author of Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex tells us why parents in the Netherlands have such a different approach to teenage sexuality.

And on our Global Activism series, we talk with a Chicagoan who teaches sex-ed in Kenya as part of a program to help prevent HIV/AIDS.

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