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There goes the phone again.“Why do guys think it’s cool to sleep with a girl and tell their friends?”James Martin, the staff member who has text-line duty this week, is 31, married and the father of a toddling son. How to offer comfort, clarity and hope in just a few sentences? “Mostly it’s because they believe that having sex makes them cool,” he types, adding, “Most guys outgrow that phase.”The Birds and Bees Text Line, which the center started Feb.That lack of oversight is what galls Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council.“If I couldn’t control access to this information, I’d turn off the texting service,” he said.Since 2003, when the state’s pregnancy rate declined to a low of 61 per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19, the rates have slowly been climbing.In 2007, that rate rose to 63 per 1,000 girls 19,615 pregnancies.Last month, California started Hook Up 365247, a statewide text-messaging service.The texter can type a ZIP code and get a local clinic referral, as well as weekly health tips.“Technology reduces the shame and embarrassment,” said Deb Levine, executive director of ISIS, a nonprofit organization that began many technology-based reproductive health programs.
North Carolina where schools must teach an abstinence-only curriculum has the country’s ninth-highest teenage pregnancy rate.In the last 15 years, school officials and politicians in many states rancorously debated whether sex-ed curriculums should mention contraception.Meanwhile, public health officials became alarmed about the fallout of risky adolescent sexual behavior and grappled with how to educate teenagers beyond the classroom.A few universities and hospitals set up blunt Web sites for young people, like Columbia’s Go Ask Alice!and Atlantic Health’s Teen Health FX.com, allowing them to post questions online.
“When it comes to the Internet, parents are advised to put blockers on their computer and keep it in a central place in the home.