high unnplaned teen birth rates in el paso county
El Paso County has one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation. According to the Texas Department of
State Health Services, Texas has the third highest teen birth rate, and the teen birth rate in El Paso County is even higher. In El Paso County, there are 5.1 teen births per 100 teen girls compared to 2.7 births per 100 teen girls nationally (see Chart 1).
CHART 1: BIRTH PER 100 TEEN GIRLS AGED 15-19 YEARS, 2013
EL PASO 5.1
Effective school-based sexual health education
Research shows that school-based sexual health education contributes to reducing the risk of unprotected sexual intercourse that may lead to teen pregnancy.
sexual health education policy
School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs) can develop and recommend policies that include age appropriate, culturally appropriate, and medically accurate sexual health education into curriculum standards. An integrated sexual health education policy could contribute to effective sexual health education, thus contributing to lower rates of teen pregnancy.
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role of shacs in adopting a sexual health educationpolicy
SHACs are uniquely positioned to develop and recommend sexual health education policies in their districts. There are four key steps that SHACs can to take to accomplish this. The graphic below highlights these key steps.
shac assesses sex ed landscape
shac drafts policy proposal
shac presents final proposal to board of trustee
board of trustees approves proposal
1 Texas Department of State Health Services, Center for Health Statistics, "El Paso and Hudspeth County Birth Data 2002-2013", Austin, TX 2016
2 Vuvacnos, R., Abubakar, P. Phillips-Howard, P. Hunter, P.R. (2013). "School-based sex education is associated with reduced risky sexual behavior and sexually transmitted infections in young adults."Public Health. 127;1; 53-57.
3 Future of Sex Education Initiative. (2012). National Sexuality Education Standards: Core Content and Skills, K-12 [a special publication of the Journal of School Health]. Retrieved from
4 Suleiman A.B., Brindis CD, "Adolescent School Based-Sex-Education: Using Developmental Neuroscience to Guide New Direction for Policy and Practice." Sexuality Research and Social Policy (2014) 11:137-152