Young women and teen girls trying to figure out the right age to have sex frequently want to know the answer to a related question: "When do most teens have sex? The truth? The majority of teens ages 15 to 19 are not having sex. Worried parents and anxious teens can calm their anxiety by understanding that the media's obsession with teen sex is more a result of hype than a reflection of reality. Unlike some of the characters of "Riverdale," who are having sex at 15, real-life teens who are actually sexually active tend to be older. The Guttmacher Institute's September report titled " Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in the United States " debunks this and other myths about teen's sexual behavior. According to the Guttmacher study, "On average, young people in the United States have sex for the first time at about age The news gets better. Teens who engage in sex are taking more responsibility for avoiding pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.
For Immediate Release: June 22, 2017
Parents, relax. Fewer high school-aged teens are having sex, and when they do, they're most likely using contraception, a new government report found. Sexual intercourse among teens has declined again after rates stabilized between , according to the National Center for Health Statistics report on teen sexual activity and contraceptive use released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new study shows that just over 40 percent of boys and girls reported having had sexual intercourse by age 18 — a huge decline from the peak of when 57 percent of teens between the ages of 15 and 19 reported having had sex. The new report was conducted year round between , included 4, male and female teens, ages Participation was voluntary and required parental permission, but responses were anonymous. These results are in line with a CDC report that showed a leveling off of teen sex in recent decades. The new survey also found that nearly all teens reported using some method of contraception the first time they had sex, an increase from 98 percent to 99 percent since There is no one reason for the decline in teen sexual activity, but previous studies have credited sex education and popular shows like "Teen Mom" and "16 and Pregnant.
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How many teens are choosing not to have sex?
The percentage of teens in the U. The latest estimates — which are based on data gathered from to — are that 42 percent of girls and women ages 15 to 19 who have never been married have had sex, down from 51 percent in , according to the report. For guys who have never been married, 44 percent have had sex, down from 60 percent in These trends follow another pattern that researchers have observed in previous studies: Teen birth rates are also on the decline, according to the report published today June 22 by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Indeed, the researchers found that the surveyed teens' views on pregnancy played a large role in their decisions about whether to have sex and their likelihood of using contraception. In the report, the researchers analyzed data on more than 4, teens ages 15 to 19 who were interviewed for the National Survey of Family Growth NSFG from to
Adolescent sexuality is a stage of human development in which adolescents experience and explore sexual feelings. Interest in sexuality intensifies during the onset of puberty , and sexuality is often a vital aspect of teenagers' lives. Sexual interest among adolescents, as among adults, can vary greatly, and is influenced by cultural norms and mores , sex education , as well as comprehensive sexuality education provided, sexual orientation , and social controls such as age of consent laws. Sexual activity in general is associated with various risks. Contraceptives specifically reduce the chance of pregnancy. The risks are higher for young adolescents because their brains are not neurally mature. Several brain regions in the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex and in the hypothalamus that are deemed important for self-control, delayed gratification, risk analysis, and appreciation are not fully mature.