The number of teenagers having sex during their high school years has dropped over the last two years and been in decline for a decade, according to a report.
According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2015, 41.2 percent of students in high school admitted to having sex, while just two years prior the number was 46.8 percent.
48.5 percent of black students also claimed to have had sex in 2015, “a steep drop from 60.6 percent just two years earlier, and 67.6 percent in 2005,” while, “Over the same two years, sexual activity among Hispanic high-schoolers fell from 49.2 percent to 42.5 percent. Among whites, there was a smaller decrease, from 43.7 percent to 39.9 percent,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
In 2015, 27.3 percent of boys in the ninth grade admitted to having had sex, which was significantly less than 32 percent in 2013 and 39.3 percent in 2005, while, “For ninth grade girls, 20.7 percent had begun having sex in the 2015 survey, a sharp decrease from 28.1 percent in 2013 and 29.3 percent in 2005.”
“The survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed especially steep declines in the past two years,” reported the Chicago Tribune. “It adds to evidence about ongoing progress in reducing risky behavior by teenagers, who are becoming pregnant, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using marijuana at lower rates than younger people before them, according to public health surveys.”
“Early initiation of sexual activity is associated with having more sexual partners, not using condoms, sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy during adolescence,” the CDC claimed, calling the statistics “especially encouraging.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, the researchers behind the survey “said they could not attribute the trend ‘directly to any specific intervention,’ but experts have previously cited a number of factors, most importantly access in school and online to straightforward information about sex and contraception.”
“So we need to see if this is a short term blip or this is something that is going to continue,” declared Guttmacher Institute principal research scientist, Laura Lindberg. “The drops are very large in 2015, and that raises questions of survey value.”
“The big takeaway for me here is that even with the observed delay in sex, by the time they graduate high school, it’s still the case that more than half of student have had sex,” she continued. “So we need to do what we can to encourage delay and support healthy choices.”