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Myth-conceptions in the U.K.

Britain's soaring teen-pregnancy rate tied to old wives' tales

Teen pregnancy rates are soaring in the United Kingdom. And the reason why, according to this BBC report, can be summed up in one word: Ignorance.

The problem is that many teens believe myths and old wives' tales about how to avoid getting pregnant. The myths include: pregnancy can't happen on a boat, keeping your eyes closed is a good contraceptive, and standing on a phone book is effective birth control.

The myths, gathered in a magazine survey of doctors, point up one of the reasons that 8,000 girls under the age of 16 get pregnant in Britain each year, the story says. Additionally, 10 percent of teens carry a sexually transmitted disease, according to the story.

Janine Jolly, senior development officer with the National Children's Bureau, told the BBC that the government is seeing signs that education programs are starting to dispel the myths.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information about teen pregnancy in the United States, which has the highest rate of any industrialized country. And the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy has tips for parents and teens to help avoid the problem.

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