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Stanford sociologists gathering info on contraception use

In light of statistics showing that nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, a team of Stanford sociologists is gathering more information on trends in contraception use among young women. Paula England, PhD, and colleagues have been inteviewing students at Bay Area community colleges to determine whether inconsistent use of birth control comes from a lack of information, services or self-control. "We're trying to figure out where the system is breaking down," England comments in a Stanford Report article.

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The data they're collecting will likely be used to inform policymakers, education planners, doctors and advocates who are trying to curb unintended pregnancies by better understanding the women who are most at risk of having them.

"This kind of research is extremely important," said Jennifer Frost, a senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute, a New York-based organization that promotes sexual and reproductive health. "Getting the real scoop about why women aren't using contraception is needed to address the problems and create better education, better counseling and better services."

Photo by Jenny Lee Silver

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