Study: Fewer Teens Engaging in Sex

NEW YORK

According to Reuters Health, the percentage of teens having sex in the U.S. has decreased between 1992 and 2002. At the same time, the use of contraceptives by sexually active teens has risen.

Per the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, which investigates the role of family environment, individual characteristics and relationships in teen sex behavior, in 1992, 56 percent of girls and 61 percent of boys between the ages of 15-19 reported having had sex. However, in 2002, the results showed that 47 percent of girls and 46 percent of boys participated in sexual activity. Researchers attribute the decline to increased levels of education among parents.

Studies show in 1992, 62 percent of girls and 65 percent of boys reported using contraceptives the first time they had sex, compared to 72 percent for girls and 78 percent for boys in 2002.

However, there has been an increase in teen pregnancy, after a decline lasting more than 10 years, according to Reuters Health. Researches said it is not clear why teen pregnancy has increased although the media attention given to celebrity teen moms such as Bristol Palin and Jamie Lynn Spears could be a factor.

Additionally, researchers said studies have shown that teens who are planning for college an/or anticipating a career are less likely to start having sex at an early age and become teen parents.

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