Teens Delaying Sexual Activity; Using Contraception More Effectively

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Teenagers and Sexual Activity

Sexual activity declined significantly for younger teenage girls and for teenage boys between 1995 and 2002, and teen contraceptive use improved in significant ways, according to a new study released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The study compares new findings from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth with the previous survey conducted in 1995.

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The proportion of never-married females 15-17 years of age who had ever had sexual intercourse dropped significantly from 38 percent in 1995 to 30 percent in 2002. At age 18-19, 68 percent had had intercourse in 1995, compared with 69 percent in 2002. For male teens, the percent of those who were sexually experienced dropped significantly in both age groups: from 43 percent to 31 percent at age 15-17, and from 75 percent to 64 percent at age 18-19. These and other data suggest that teenagers are delaying sex until somewhat older ages.

"There is much good news in these results," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "More teenagers are avoiding or postponing sexual activity, which can lead to sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy or emotional and societal responsibilities for which they are not prepared."

At their first premarital intercourse, teens were most likely to choose condoms for birth control

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