Teens today are having less sex than teenagers were in 1988.
According to information collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their National Survey of Family Growth. The survey looked at data for 1988, 1995, 2002 and 2006-2010.
It found that 51.1 percent of teens (meaning ages 15-19, in this study) were having sex in 1988; that percentage steadily declined to 42.6 during the period of 2006-2010.
It also revealed that in 2006-2010, 4.5 percent of male teens had had four or more sexual partners in the past year and 16.7 percent of female teens had had six or more partners in their entire life.
With teen sex comes the question of birth control. The survey found that since 1995 and thorough 2010, nearly 99 percent of all sexually-experienced teens have used some form of contraception. From 2006-2010, the most commonly-used method was the condom (reported by 95.9 percent of females), followed by withdrawal (57.3 percent) and the Pill (55.6 percent).
Still, that use isn't consistent: Nearly 40 percent of teens reported not using a condom in a given four-week period during sex, and 12 percent reported only using it some of the time. Over a three-month period, 14.4 percent reported not using any method at all.
The survey also asked teens how they would feel if they got pregnant or got a girl a pregnant now. Not surprisingly, between 2006 and 2010, 57.5 percent of respondents said they'd be "very upset" if that happened, down from 60.2 percent in 2002. About 29 percent said they'd be "a little upset," and 8.2 percent said they'd be "a little pleased."
Intriguingly, 4.8 percent said they would be "very pleased" if they got pregnant or got a girl pregnant while a teenager.
Despite that, it stands that less teens are having sex today than 10 years ago, and the reasons behind that are several. For the 2006-2010 time period, 41 percent of virgins surveyed said it was against their religion or morals; the next-biggest reason (18.7 percent) was that they didn't want to get pregnant or cause a pregnancy.
About seven percent abstained because of the risk of sexually-transmitted diseases. Nearly 17 percent said they hadn't found the right person yet, and 6.6 percent were "waiting for the right time" in their current relationships.
In 2009, nearly 74 births out of every 1,000 on the southside were to a teenage girl.
Photo by Sarah-Wynne Taylor via Flickr Creative Commons.