Texas has an appalling record on adolescent sexual health. The Markham, et al. analysis of three data sets comparing Texas with the United States suggests what can be done to remedy the state's negative trends: (1) acknowledge that teens are having sex; (2) provide earlier, medically-accurate sex education; and, (3) provide reproductive health services in school-based health centers.

Key Take Away Points

  • Adolescents in Texas are at high risk for teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
  • Adolescents' sexual health in Texas could be improved by providing medically-accurate sex education before teens begin having sex, and by increasing access to reproductive health services.

Author Biography

Dr. Jane D. Brown is the James L. Knight Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), and a fellow in the Carolina Population Center. She has more than 30 years experience conducting research on how the media are used by and influence adolescents’ sexual behavior. Dr. Brown is the co-editor or co-author of five books on adolescents’ health and the media, including: Sexual Teens, Sexual Media: Investigating Media’s Influence on Adolescent Sexuality (2002), and Media, Sex and the Adolescent (1992), author of more than 60 book chapters and articles, and on the editorial boards of journals in communication research, sexuality research, and adolescent health. She currently serves on the Research Advisory Board of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.



A Response To:

Adolescent Sexual Behavior: Examining Data from Texas and the US by Christine Markham, Melissa Peskin, Belinda F. Hernandez, Kimberly Johnson, Robert C. Addy, Paula Cuccaro, Ross Shegog, and Susan Tortolero.