The US versus Europe
The United States’ teen pregnancy rate is over four times that of the Netherlands and over three times that of Germany and France. The percentage of the United States’ adolescent and adult population that has been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS is six times greater than in Germany, three times greater than in the Netherlands, and one and a half times greater than in France. Meanwhile, young people in the United States are significantly less likely to use contraception than youth in these European nations.
While no single strategy accounts for the successful health outcomes in Europe, contributing factors include:
- A pragmatic approach to adolescent sexual health where science, not religious ideology, dictates public health policies and programs, and education is valued, not feared;
- The effective use of mass media public education campaigns;
- A public acceptance of adolescent sexual development as normal and healthy; and
- A societal investment in youth as valued members of the community.
Learn more about European approaches to adolescent reproductive and sexual health:
Adolescent Sexual Health in Europe and the US: The Case for a Rights. Respect. Responsibility.® Approach (Advocates for Youth)
European Approaches to Adolescent Sexual Behavior & Responsibility Lessons learned about adolescent reproductive and sexual health from study tours of the Netherlands, Germany, and France (Advocates for Youth)
Executive Summary & Call to Action (Advocates for Youth)