An official government report reveals that teens within the US have a significantly more careful approach to having sex. The National Center of Health Statistics claims that within the last years less than half of teenagers have become sexually active.
The study was based on health records and survey data spanning over 25 years up until 2013. Over this period, less and less teenagers were engaging in sexual relationships. The percentage of those that did has dropped by approximately 16% since 1988.
The beginning of the 1990’s marked an all-time high for teens having some form of sexual experience. Around 55% of those who were younger than 20 were sexually active in that period. But ever since then a steady decrease has been noticed.
It is difficult to say what factors contributed to this decline, as they could range from more careful parents to sexual awareness programs or even religion. But it is clear that teens nowadays are not that eager to have sex.
The statistical chance of sexual activity does increase with age, with 19-year olds being significantly more likely to do it than those who are 15. The rate is also higher overall in boys than in girls, though not by a significant margin.
This trend coincides with a steep decrease in teen birth rates, which have reached an all-time lowest in 2013, when there was only 3% out of all the young girls who became mothers. However, this 3% rate is one of the highest in the developed world.
The rate of contraception use has remained largely the same along the years. Most teens prefer using the condom. The second most used method is, worryingly enough, withdrawal, followed by emergency contraceptives.
The emergency contraceptive pill is the method that has seen the most increase in use, with nearly a quarter of teenage girls making use of it. Overall, almost 80% of young people who have sex do so using some form of protection, which is very good news.
The study was carried out on over 2,000 individuals, and it shows that sexual awareness in teens is more developed than ever. Bill Albert, a leader of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy believes this report has validated nationwide efforts to increase safe sexual habits. However, he claims that these efforts need to be maintained in order for the situation to improve or even remain stable.
Image Source: www.herald.co.zw