New Study Shows Teen Sex Rates Declining, Teen Birth Rate Decline Slows

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 8, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Study Shows Teen Sex Rates Declining, Teen Birth Rate Decline Slows Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 8, 2006

Washington, DC ( — A new study released by the National Center for Health Statistics reveals that the percentage of teenagers have sex is on the decline across all age groups. The data suggests abstinence education campaigns are having a positive effect in lowering the rates, despite criticism from abortion advocates.

The NCHS stats show the decline is most noticeable among male teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19, as 23 percent fewer teen guys that age had sexual relations.

The new data covers the period between 1988 and 2002 and is drawn from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth the NCHS conducted.

Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, of Concerned Women for America, applauded the new statistics showing the teen sex rate decline.

“This official data should silence those critics who have been denying the positive trends in teen abstinence and questioning the effectiveness of abstinence programs," she said.

The NCHS reported the latest teen sex rates in the June issue of Child Trends’ “Research Brief." The new figures show that teen pregnancy rates have been on the decline but that the decline has been slowing in recent years.

The decline includes all racial and/or ethnic groups, older and younger teenagers, and teenagers in every state. However, the research indicates a slowing of the decline of U.S. teen birth rates, which has resulted in an increase in the total number of births to teenagers.

The slowing of the decline could be contributed in part by more pregnancy centers reaching more teenagers who become pregnant and presenting them with abortion alternatives and encouraging to keep their baby or pursue adoption rather than have an abortion.

The NCHS study also found that adolescents who delay their first sexual experience are less likely to regret the timing of their first sexual experience, have fewer sexual partners and are less likely to be coerced into having sex.

“Teens who engage in promiscuous sexual relations are at a greater risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies," Dr. Crouse said.

"We must keep sending the simple message: what works in delaying teen sexual activity and preventing promiscuity is parental involvement, good friends, strong faith, and participation in church activities," Crouse concluded.

Related web sites:
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