Baby simulators are given to school girls around the world to teach teenagers just how difficult a newborn can be but instead of deterring teen pregnancies, they're encouraging them.
Students who took the baby simulator course in a Western Australian study of more than 2000 girls were twice as likely to have a baby in their teenage years.
The world-first study followed participants of baby simulator programs from 57 schools to the age of 20 and also showed they were more likely to become pregnant and less likely to have an abortion.
University of Western Australia Telethon Kids Institute study author Dr Sally Brinkman said the results were "surprising".
"The main aim of the program was to try and reduce teen pregnancies. The program was supposed to put students off and then they would take extra steps to not get pregnant," Brinkman said.
"Unfortunately and surprisingly for us, the intervention definitely didn't work and it's actually increased the pregnancy rate."
Brinkman said "we don't know why the program failed" but said it could have been due tot he fact that students only had the babies for one weekend as opposed to one week.
"Because you get a higher dose essentially then you're more likely to put the students off but we don't know that that's the circumstance. It might be the opposite. They might actually become even more confident in looking after the baby and then be less concerned if they do actually become pregnant."
Among 21 OECD countries Australia has the sixth highest adolescent pregnancy rate.Suggest a correction