Teens are having less sex today than teens in previous generations, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Health Statistics Reports. The report also found teens who do have sex use contraceptives more frequently than did teens in previous generations.
According to the CDC, teen pregnancy rates have fallen over the past decade. Births to teens dropped by 8% between 2014 and 2015. In 2015, there were 22.3 births per 1,000 teens ages 15-19. In 2007, the figure was 41.5, and in 1991 it was 61.8.
Changes in Teen Sexual Behavior
The study used 2011-2015 data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). Researchers compared this data to previous NSFG data from 1988, 1995, 2002, and 2006-2010, as well as to the 1988 and 1995 National Survey of Adolescent Males.
The 2011-2015 data included a nationally representative sample of 4,134 teenagers. Researchers conducted the interviews in person.
More Teens Practicing Safe Sex
Contraceptive use increased among teens who reported sexual experience. In 2002, 74.5% of girls used contraceptives the first time they had sex, compared to 81% in 2011-2015. The rate for boys increased from 70.9% in 2002 to 76.8% in 2011-2015.
Condoms were the most popular contraceptives among teens. A minority of girls (5.8%) reported using a long-acting reversible contraceptive such as an intrauterine device (IUD).
Most girls (88.5%) reported they would be “a little” or “very” upset if they got pregnant. This desire not to become pregnant increased their likelihood of using contraceptives.
- Abma, J. C., PhD, & Martinez, G. M., PhD. (2017). Sexual activity and contraceptive use among teenagers in the United States, 2011-2015. National Health Statistics Reports,104.
- Birth rates (live births) per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years, by race and Hispanic ethnicity, select years. (2015, April 13). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/birth-rates-chart-2000-2011-text.htm
- Reproductive health: Teen pregnancy. (2017, May 9). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/index.htm
© Copyright 2017 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.