Empowering youth: the impact of comprehensive sex education on teenage pregnancy in Ecuador

Case Studies & Research
17 p.

This paper analyses the impact of comprehensive sex education on teenage pregnancy rates in Ecuador, specifically examining its implementation in schools. The inclusion of sex education as a mandatory cross-cutting theme in the updated and strengthened educational curriculum of 2010 provides a potential source of exogenous variation in access to comprehensive sex education. Using a difference-in-differences model, the study finds that the provision of comprehensive sex education in schools contributed to a reduction in teenage pregnancy rates in Ecuador. This research addresses a notable gap in the literature, as there is a scarcity of causal research studies conducted in Latin American countries focusing on this topic. The findings underscore the importance of the ongoing debate regarding the reintroduction of comprehensive sex education into the educational curriculum, and emphasize the need for coordinated efforts with parents to maximize the benefits of its implementation.

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