Social Marketing – Evaluating Programs

A British Medical Journal article on Interventions to reduce unintended pregnancies among adolescents: systematic review of randomised controlled trials concluded that “Primary prevention strategies evaluated (1970 to 2000) do not delay the initiation of sexual intercourse, improve use of birth control among young men and women, or reduce the number of pregnancies in young women.” The study reviewed the “effectiveness of primary prevention strategies aimed at delaying sexual intercourse, improving use of birth control, and reducing incidence of unintended pregnancy in adolescents.”

I found particularly interesting a study finding that “four abstinence programmes and one school based sex education programme were associated with an increase in number of pregnancies among partners of young male participants. There were significantly fewer pregnancies in young women who received a multifaceted programme , though baseline differences in this study favoured the intervention.”

In short this study from June 2002, points to the challenges of developing effective and long-term strategies to affect behavioural changes in the intended direction.