June 2nd, 2010
02:55 PM ET

Teens having sex: Numbers staying steady

By Saundra Young
CNN Medical Senior Producer

The number of teenagers having sex hasn't changed much over the last eight years, according to a new report looking at sexual behavior in adolescents ages 15-19. The report, from the National Survey of Family Growth (NFSG), was released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. It looked at trends in sexual activity, contraceptive use and attitudes towards pregnancy in unmarried teenagers, and found there have been not significant changes since the last NFSG report in 2002.

Based on data from a two year period between 2006 and 2008, it found more than 42 percent - or 4.3 million - teenage girls have had sex at least once. That number was 43 percent - or 4.5 million - for teenage boys. Nearly 30 percent of boys and girls surveyed have had 2 or more partners. Teenage girls who were younger when they had their first sexual encounter were more likely to have more partners. And teens whose mothers had their first child as a teenager and, at 14, did not have both parents in the home were more likely to be sexually active.

Joyce Abma, Ph.D., a Demographer at the National Center for Health Statistics and coauthor of the study, says the message is mixed. "It's a bit concerning that the data suggest a loss of momentum compared to the study improvements of the 90s. But there are still some positive signs and things going in the right direction so it seems as though efforts still need to be focused on motivating teens to prevent pregnancy and that's especially true since the US teen birth rate is so much higher than in comparable countries."

According to Abma, the country with the next highest teen birth rate is the United Kingdom–and our rate is 1 1/2 times higher, and the gap keeps growing after that. In Canada the teen birth rate is 13 per 1,000. Here, it's 43 per 1,000."

The encouraging news is that nearly 80 percent of teenage girls and 90 percent of teen boys used some sort of contraceptive during their first sexual encounter. Condoms remain the most commonly used form of birth control. Ninety-five percent of sexually experienced girls used them at least once. Withdrawal was next, followed by the pill.

Usually, first partners were someone the teen was going steady with. Next, was someone they just met, although these encounters were more apt to occur with boys than girls. For teenagers abstaining altogether, the most common reason for doing so was that it was against their moral or religious beliefs. Pregnancy was second. Interestingly enough, pregnancy was not always a deterrent. In fact, parents might be startled to learn nearly a quarter of boys and girls who have had sex said they would be "pleased" if they got pregnant or got a partner pregnant. And a majority of teens – 64 percent of males and 71 percent of females - felt it was ok to have a child out of wedlock.

"I was a bit surprised with the level of agreement that unmarried childbearing is acceptable and the fact that it increased among males. That in combination with attitude results seem to suggest that males are less concerned about causing a pregnancy compared to the 2002 survey." Abma said.

Unfortunately, the survey found teenage girls in the 15-19 age group still have higher Chlamydia and gonorrhea rates than any other age group and teen boys. Almost half of all new sexually transmitted diseases are in teens and young adults ages 15 to 24 years old.

The study was based on in-person interviews of nearly 3,000 teenagers. The report can be found on-line at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs. Data from a new survey currently underway will be available next year and will add to current findings and will be broken down by race and Hispanic origin.

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soundoff (1,006 Responses)
  1. Amunaka

    Wait ..what happened to all that government funding of Abstinence only programs ..they didn't work ?...who would of thought...

    June 3, 2010 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tx

      That's because those kids parents are NOT parenting them anyway. Those poor kids are having to figure out life the hard way – on their own. Abstinence is 100% effective against pregnancy and STDs. Even when those kids have been given that information, they are not using it. They are fooling themselves in thinking that premarital sex is OK, having kids out of wedlock is OK and being on welfare is probably OK with them, too. You see that those who have a religious belief is the #1 reason they are waiting to have sex, then to avoid pregnancy. Imagine the difference in the quality of those kids' lives that refrain from having casual / multiple sex partners versus those that sleep around with everyone. One has results, the other has regrets. So you just keep believing that condoms and "safer" sex work...yeah, right!!!

      October 2, 2012 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
  2. Anth

    media exposure is more nowadays, heck, young people were having sex in the 20s 30s 40s 50s etc.. like the old people say "we just dont talk about it" .. "out of sight, out of mind" mentallity, which is actually true, the pld ways was "shh, don't talk about it" .. which was a basic rule of thumb with older people and this rule of thumb even applied to children being molested by family members, rape resulting is full term pregnancies etc .. and this kind of exposure only tells older men and women that hey there's teens out there wanting sex ..

    June 3, 2010 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Dennis

    So the teen birth rate was falling during the Clinton era, but stayed steady during the Bush years. Makes you wonder how effective the Bush program of promoting abstinence as the preferred method of birth control was!

    June 3, 2010 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. i say

    Abstinence (including no sex education that destroys the innocence of the 'kids', if I can call them that ) OR consequences !! The choice is out there ....

    Kids should be kids and not animals. Wrong ideas about life in a screwed up society is destroying their innocence and discretion when they should really be "children". This will only generate a moral less adult citizens and such a society can sutain only for a short time.
    Too bad, peer pressure and 'everything is OK and there is nothing wrong in it' attitude is pushing this world closer to the utlimate destruction.(did I just say that!)....or have we already created demons of moral less societies whose citizens are so far gone in their thinking that they only understand that self gratification is what we are made for and have lost the time given to us to correct ourselves?

    June 3, 2010 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Anth

    Media exposure is more nowadays, heck, young people were having sex in the 20s 30s 40s 50s etc.. like the old quote the old people say "we just dont talk about it" .. "out of sight, out of mind" mentality, which is actually true, and the old ways was "shh, don't talk about it" .. which is a basic rule of thumb with older people and this rule of thumb even applied to children being molested by family members, rape resulting is full term pregnancies etc .. and this kind of exposure only tells older men and women that hey there's teens out there wanting sex ..

    June 3, 2010 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. David

    @ Joe
    You're mistaken. The article says the FIRST partners for girls was someone they were in a relationship with. The second most likely partner was someone they just met. So this is saying that for the boys whose first partner was a girl they had just met, this girl, more than likely has already had at least one partner.
    Making up numbers here for FIRST sex partners...60% of girls who have had sex were in a relationship. 40% were with someone they just met. 60% of boys who have had sex were with someone they had just met. Given the populations are equal, this states that of the 60% of boys, a handful of them were having sex with the 60% girls who have already had sex, but with a partner in a previous relationship. Again...these results are ONLY for the teens' FIRST time.

    June 3, 2010 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. David

    @ Jomas
    Like other people have mentioned, you're wrong. What you might be seeing is based on your inconsequential experiences, just like mine are. My experience shows that the majority of pregnant teens are White...then again, I moved to a predominately White neighborhood when I got to high school. Skewed maybe?

    June 3, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Leon

    We need to teach our children about being sexually responsible and, as parents, not stick our heads in the sand when it come to their sexuality. Are they any different than when we were young? Absolutely not. And we were just as sexually active as they are.

    June 3, 2010 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. scott

    Surveys are so bogus. Has anyone have the Facts on where and what population was tested? Common people wake up or is everyone that blind?
    As far as we know these random people could consist of 50 % illeal immigrants...and sad to say a lot of these communities that have high immigration, half their thinking is if they have a baby by a naturalized citizen gives them the right to stay in country. And you really wonder why this is happening. Its a standard of two major factors, parents dont care to supervise their children and if this "survry" was tested what and what factors were taken when they looked at their subject groups.

    June 3, 2010 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Robrob

    Why is the wingnut solution to teen pregnancy "ignore it and maybe it will go away?" Also known as the "Palin Principle."

    June 3, 2010 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Dr. Campbell

    Simple economics states that people will do what you pay them to do. If you have a child out of wedlock the government will step in and pay your rent, food and health care. The more kids you have the more you get. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO CHANGE BAD BEHAVIOR STOP TAXING HARD WORKING AMERICANS TO PAY FOR THE STUPID MISTAKES OF OTHERS. If you have a child out of wedlock you AND the sperm donor are responsible and will pay. If you are found to be an unfit parent you lose the child but you are still required to pay for your decision. Every welfare recipient should immediately be given a drug test and if they fail all aid is cut off until they complete a drug treatment program and pass drug tests. PEOPLE NEED TO ENJOY THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR OWN DECISIONS, GOOD OR BAD.

    June 3, 2010 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • angie

      @ dr campbell--like i've already said, not every teen lives off the government to support themselves or their children. i am 19 with a one yr old and my boyfriend and i do everything...and i really do not appreciate you saying things about stupid mistakes....my daughter was not a stupid mistake and i am the one who pays for her food, daycare, clothes, shelter, medicals needs and again, like ive already said, i am a damn good parent...so you should get off your high horse because you wouldn't like somebody looking down on you for having a child young.

      October 21, 2010 at 22:12 | Report abuse |
  12. Ben

    "Almost half of all new sexually transmitted diseases are in teens and young adults ages 15 to 24 years old." yea, dude, of course... its because by the time we're 24, we all got it already.... come on, who here doesn't have the clap??

    June 3, 2010 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Amy

    Okay, I've been seeing a lot of different studies that show information like this (showing so many teens have sex). What I want to know is, where are they getting these teenagers? I can't say that I know whether or not any of my friends aren't virgins but I doubt most of my friend have had sex. I'm 17 and I'm apparently some over sexual teenage girl that can't get enough of it. But that can be farther from the truth. I don't care what you say, I have no interest in having sex at this time and I'm not interested in becoming a teen mom. So this information just doesn't seem accurate for me.

    June 3, 2010 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nicole

      You'd be surprised at the number of your friends that aren't virgins. Most just don't talk about it until they lose their virginity. I'm currently 19 and I lost mine at age 17. I was shocked to find out that some of my friends weren't virgins. They just don't like to talk to the virgins about it.

      March 30, 2013 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
  14. Salley

    The simplest way to control the birth rate, scientifically speaking, is to raise the standard of living. People with a higher standard of living, tend to have fewer children. It is not a matter of weather the teen pregnancies occur in black, white, hispanic couples, or otherwise. Peolpe without a sense of a hopeful future, tend to get pregnant more often.

    I am 28 and I have had one partner, my husband of 7 years. Parents, talk to you kids about what you expect, stay involved in their lives, and let them know what their options are with birth control....I mean, nobody should be having sex unless they are prepared to be a parent. Be real! No birth control is 100%. ...And I am surprised how few people mentioned the fact that sex is emotional! This is more true for girls, but also for boys as well. Talk to your kids about how to know when they are ready and how to avoid regrets in life (not just sex). Do you know how many people REGRET their "first time"!?

    Abstinence only is BEST. I am so glad that I waited! However, when I have kids, I will tell them that I expect abstinence, but I will accept it if that is not their choice so long as our communication remains open and their choices are relatively "safe".

    Finally, we cannot ignore the fact that legalizing abortion, while it has increased the number SAFE abortions that occur, has also perpetuated the false notion that sex is without consequences. Did you know that, as a 16 year old with a chest cold, I could not legally go to the doctor to get an antibiotic without a parent, but I could legally get an abortion without a parent or adult present!

    We have a lot of harsh realities to face on a complicated topic!

    June 3, 2010 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Salley

    Dr. Campbell, you may want to consider the fact that it is not the poor leaching off the system, but rather, the weather, if we stick to facts and data. A little research into this will blow your mind! The top 50% in the US hold almost 90% of the wealth! Yes, in the land of opportunity, the bottom 50% have the opportunity to fight, argue, and kill for the remaining 2.5%.
    (The numbers change depending on your sources and whether "wealth" is defined as money in the bank or as net worth").

    June 3, 2010 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Laura

    Saltwithpep: Do you know any teenagers who have been pregnant? I highly doubt any of them are thinking they don't have to worry about having a baby because the government will pay for them.

    When I was a teenager, no person I knew who got pregnant flippantly thought about the possibility of welfare. I find it hard to believe that's a consideration. In my experience, everyone in that situation knew they'd have to get a job.

    Not everything has to do with taking your tax dollars.

    June 3, 2010 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Kelly Quinn

    It is interesting that when I heard about this report on NPR the reporter said the "vast majority" of teens reported they were sexually active. Last time I took statistics (or even basic math) 42% was not a majority.

    June 3, 2010 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. _d_funk_

    Scotty: "The problem will only continue and worsen if contraceptive use is provided, encouraged, and considered acceptable in our society"

    Wake up! Contraceptives are acceptable in our society because people do not only have sex to procreate. Not all religions even assert that contraceptives are bad. Most only say that sex belongs in loving, married relationships and that it is ok to have sex for pleaseure if you are comitted. The idea that your religious beliefs are the only acceptable way to live and should be enforced upon all undermines the constution of this country. THE US IS NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION! Its a land of the FREE with the right to adhere to any religion...or no religion.

    As for teenage sex...well the Governemnt policy for sexual education has been absrtinence only now for decades. All we have seen is a steady increase in teenage sex since the 60's to the present. Yes it is ENCOURAGING that the numbers are becoming steady rather than steadily increasing. The real point behind this study is that we will continue to be the country with the highest teen pregnancy rate (one where girls make a pact to all get pregnant if one does) and a huge epidemic of STI's in our younger generation. Wake up! Abistinence Only doesn't work...it just leaves our countries teenagers believeing that withdrawing is a form of contraceptive and they don't have to be worried about catching sexually transmitted viruses and diseases.

    Teenagers will continue to have early and premarital sex. Its completely natural. The very act of going through puberty...which begins before 15...is your body becoming sexually active. Parents can ignore sexuality in children and blame society and corruption for sexual promiscuity, but the reality is that they are really ignoring the natural process and hormone changes of teh human body. You can't deny nature.

    June 3, 2010 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Mike

    Just a question, why is pre-marital sex wrong? I know there are plenty of unintended consequences that we as a society would like to avoid; however, barring any religious rules, I can't think of any reason that pre-marital sex is wrong.

    Important to consider, the biology of a human teenager tells them to seek out sex. I'd say we have a better chance of stopping it from getting dark tonight than we do stopping teens from having sex. With that in mind, why not encourage safer behaviour rather then telling them not to have sex, which flys in the face of their natural instincts.

    People should wear condoms and make sure to ask if the woman is on the pill (specifically, "you take this pill daily at the same time right?") before they have sex because they shouldn't want to get a sore the size of a quarter on themselves and they shouldn't want to get a girl pregnant. What reinforces this is, "other women won't want to sleep with you if you have an STD or a baby."

    June 3, 2010 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Chrissy

    If we teach abstinence ONLY, this will make teen pregnancy RISE- because some teens will still have sex no matter what- so the least we can do is to teach abstinence, as well as safe sex practices to lower teen pregnancy-

    June 3, 2010 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Kathy

    "parents might be startled to learn nearly a quarter of boys and girls who have had sex said they would be "pleased" if they got pregnant or got a partner pregnant. And a majority of teens – 64 percent of males and 71 percent of females – felt it was ok to have a child out of wedlock."

    Hmmm, I am willing to bet everything that if these same teens who feel this way were made to financially support these babies, they would not feel the same way. Perhaps parents should stop aiding their irresponsible children and make them take responsibilty, or give the babies up for adoption, they might NOT have these problems.

    June 3, 2010 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • angie

      @Kathy- i wasnt "pleased" to be pregnant but i was pregnant. i dont believe in abortion and my child was my responsibility. that being said, i didnt expect my parents to take care of my child and i still don't. i don't live with them and i don't get financial supoprt from them..heck, they don't even babysit my daughter. and no i am not married. i am going to get married someday, but for now, i am happy with the way my life is. and there is nothing wrong with having a baby out of wedlock. supporting my child hasnt changed my "view" on being a teen parent. i am a capable woman who can do anything i set my mind to. so stop saying teenagers think everything is all about fun.if you sat down and talked to some of them, they'd probably surprise you.

      October 21, 2010 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
  22. Are We Watching the same thing?

    @ FT: You write: "In response to the statistics about unwed parents, I wouldn't be surprised if it's somehow linked to the movie Juno or Sixteen and Pregnant. I think the movie and show have made teen pregnancy look acceptable when it is not."

    Why would you link the two things? The movie Juno...Juno was mortified when she became pregnant, and just wanted to give the baby away, she knew she wasn't ready so she did the responsible thing and gave the baby up for adoption, it wasn't a choice for her to keep the baby. Sixteen and Pregnant...have you seen it? EVERY single mother on that show at the end says that she wished she hadn't had sex that she wasn't ready and that while they love their babies they now know that it was a mistake to have sex at such a young age.

    If anything these shows are showing a) to realize you're too young to have a baby and give the baby to someone who can care for the baby and give them what they need and b) how hard it is to be a teen single mother who's baby daddy in a lot of the cases run the other way. Now do you say these shows promote that it's okay for unwed mothers?

    June 3, 2010 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. LL

    One of the problems in American socity is the way we have infantilized young adults recent years. They are NOT children although some are technically legally minors. (Note that the survey is from ages 15 [which is the age which most adolescent psychologists state is when individuals fully able to make consensual sexual decisions] to 19 which overlaps the usual age of majority in the US:18). Throughout human history (and still in many parts of the world today) young adults have routinely been workers, soldiers, hunters, warriors, spouses, and parents, etc. In advanced industrial nations young adults have the great advantage of not having to be married or working full time. Also the technical society in which we live requires education and training for many years and therefore many young adults are not yet economically viable individuals. It is great that young adults have these opportunities that their age group didn't have for most of human history. However, this is no excuse to infantilize them and treat them as though they are a seperate species from older adults or to treat them as small children incapable of making any decisions.

    As other posters have pointed out it, it is completely normal, natural, healthy and wholesome for young adults to be sexually active. There is absolutely nothing intrinsically wrong with young adults being sexually active. We should encourage them to explore, enjoy and celebrate their sexuality at whichever point in their young adult lives they feel comfortable doing so. It is society's duty to make sure that young adults have received adequate education so that their decisions are informed and completely consensual. Additionally the education must provide enough information so that safe sexual practices and effective birth control are utilized as well as enough information so that sexual relations are without fear, anxiety, shame and discomfort.

    It is no wonder that America has, when compared to other advanced industrial nations, higher rates of unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions. We need to do better by accepting the reality of young adult sexuality and basing all policies, laws and practices on science, reason, empirical evidence, and facts, etc., and NOT on ignorance, fear, tradition or religion.

    June 3, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. MsScience


    I think you're absolutely right. I am 20 years old. My parents impressed on me how important safe sex is when I was in high school. If I were to become sexually active, they said they would help me get birth control. I didn't become sexually active until I was 19 and in college. For the people who commented about how shameful sex before marriage is, I don't feel any shame. Sex is a natural thing. Teenagers are going to have sex and as long as schools and parents teach safe sex, there won't be bad consequences.

    June 3, 2010 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Ashley

    For those who believe in abstinence til marriage...you do presume that these children will eventually marry and have sex right? Given this info- don't you think it's best to TEACH kids about birth control options- including but not limited to condoms, the pill, natural family planning etc.

    Even if I was to believe that sex before marriage was wrong- I would still want my kids to learn the facts for the future as happy well adjusted married adults.

    Also- the stats stop at age 19...that's all fine well and good, but if we take it a step further- the reality is that by age 22, only 15% of people in the US are virgins. These days, most don't marry at 21...so doing the math here-teaching abstinence only means that we have 85% of people at age 22 and not married with little to no education in all aspects of reproductive health.

    I am a college grad and every single one of my college friends is also a college grad, many with advanced degrees (I'm 30). I can tell you of ONE person I know that waited beyond age 22. ONE. She waited til 23. EVERYONE I know was having sex by age 22, and NONE of us were married. 90% of us were born and raised Catholic and I'd say that about 75% of us went to Catholic high schools/grade schools and the college we graduated from together was a Jesuit Catholic college.

    I only know what I know based on my friends but I think it says something when traditionally religious, church going, college educated people are ALL having sex by age 22. We aren't talking about uneducated high school drop outs here- we are talking about people who eventually went on to become professors, doctors, lawyers...

    To our credit- I don't know a single college friend of mine that became pregnant before being at least engaged to be married- BUT that was not because of anything our schools taught us as most of us were not taught anything about birth control. I spose we just got lucky (no pun intended 🙂

    June 3, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. nushatka

    Why would teens care about having children after a marriage, if half of them live either with a single parent or with a step dad or a step mom? Legal marriage means so little nowdays, that I am not surprised about this attitude at all. What they should worry about is to be able to provide for that baby that they consider ok to have.

    June 3, 2010 at 16:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Devin

    @ chancie
    I'm pretty sure Withdrawl isn't taught at all. Many people just see it as a logical way to prevent pregnancy. After all, how can someone get pregnant if the sperm doesn't come in contact at all. I'm not supporting the idea of withdrawl as a form of contraceptive, just shedding light on what teenagers probably think.

    And it isn't the schools being naive in the slightest. It's the political leaders and parents keeping contraceptives from being made available in schools. I don't necessarily support having contraceptives being freely available to teens, however.

    If you really think it's completely the single mother's fault for all this, you're an ignorant moron. What about the dads that left? A single mom can't become a single mom unless a father participates in the creation of a child...

    Dude, are you trying to sound intelligent by throwing your big words around? Inhumane and uncharitable? Really? Do you even know what those words mean?...

    Not necessarily. The statistics gathering was from many random locations. If a guy just met a girl from a school that was not surveyed, then the numbers would not be equal.

    June 3, 2010 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. D. Bunker

    That's some pretty bizarre "logic" there, Scotty. The "problem" will only get "worse" if kids use contraception? Guess again, bubba. No contraception means more kids will get pregnant and/or VD.

    June 3, 2010 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Anita

    It is absolutely ridiculous to claim that birth control is at all a negative thing for teenagers to use. It is proven that abstinince-only campaigns DO NOT WORK.

    You can have your own views on pre-marital sex, whether they be positive or nor, but don't prevent knowledge that can prevent teen pregnancy. It's better for teens to have safe sex then unsafe sex. And let'sbe honest. As Leon said, teens will always have sex. No amount of abstinince education will prevent that. Instead, inform them of all available options, including abstinince, and allow teens to decide for themselves.

    June 3, 2010 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. ekr

    You know, what kills me is the availability of all these so called "safe sex" products, as well as shots developed to prevent serious illness in the future.
    What happened to just plain old fashioned values? Where are the parents to talk to their children (at a young age) to instill those values? The excuse of "that's the way it is today" is just plain wrong......

    June 3, 2010 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. sherri

    Be realistic – we will never stop teens from having sex. Get your head out of the sand. Teens WILL have sex. What we need to stop is the unwanted babies. And in this day and age there is NO reason for a female to get pregnant by mistake. No excuse. Anyone can go to a local Planned Parenthood and get birth control pills for a very reasonable amount. We need to find out why teens think that it won't happen to them. Let's prevent unwanted pregnancies.
    To ekr, values has nothing to do with it. It is hormones. Abstinence does not work statistics show. PREVENT PREVENT PREVENT

    June 3, 2010 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. B

    People who think their kids this day and age that are virgins are so duped its sad. Unless you are watching your kid 24 hours a day, depriving them of a life. More than likely they have done the Jolly..and that's not a bad thing.

    June 3, 2010 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. philippe

    And thus this shows how our moral society has declined.

    Somehow we have come to believe that sex is just as natural as eating. Who told you this?

    Eating is necessary for you as an individual to survive. Sex is not. If sex was as natural as eating, then there would be nothing morally wrong with rapeing, afterall its just guys acting on their "natural" drive.

    Humans are not just another animal. We have an inner moral law that drives us to do certain things. Sex is naturally guarded by a moral law, however in our lustful societies the self centered cravings of people have blinded morality.

    June 3, 2010 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Joseph

    It is true that teens will always have sex as long as there are teens, however, dont forget that our society is now basically forcing the thought down their throats. Shows such as MTV's 16 and Pregnant, encourage young teens to become sexually active and why not, if you become pregnant there is a chance MTV might pay for you to be on the show and dont forget the government will always fit the bill. Perhaps we need to get control of the mainstream in order to prevent the floods of tomorrow.

    June 3, 2010 at 18:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. will

    Sex drive is just like hunger? I think not while yes it is a drive people can live without sex but can't live without food. I'm glad that teen sex rates have stayed constant and that contraceptives are being used, but just because someone has a sex drive doesn't mean they should have/or seek sex. what if you were married and your spouse/partner were sick for a month. what becasue you have a sex drive you should go out and find someone else to satisfy your needs. I also think that most teens aren't ready for the emotional and physical tolls that a sex life brings. I'm no prude and don't think that sex only within marriage or a committed relationship is right for everyone, but it's important to have a brain in your head and not let your urges control you. It can lead to pain and regret as well as loosing faith and trust within relationships which is somethings not worth risking. But hey if you are fine with treating people like garbage and being selfish I can't stop you but just hope you find that your ignorant ways are harmful.

    June 3, 2010 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Ashley

    Phillippe- while I do see your point to some degree....let's not fool ourselves....SEX IS 100% required for US to survive. Without it- humans would literally cease to exist. We may not be 'animals' in the exact same sense as bears or sheep, but we ARE animals and the sexual drive is in all of us starting at a very young age.
    Sex IS as natural as eating whether you like it or not. It is at the VERY core of our surivival. It of course doesn't mean that rape is 'ok', any more than since eating is natural that being 300lbs overweight is 'ok'.

    June 3, 2010 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      Are you stupid? Let's not fool ourselves? Speak for your own idiotic self. The only one who's fooling themselves is you and people who think like you. While sex is natural it's not necessary for survival. While we are animals I'd like to THINK we're much smarter than say a dog. Also unlike humans other animals don't get scared of getting pregnant or worry or even think about what age they should be before having sex. For other animals as soon as their body goes into to heat they start mating.

      Lots of humans are having sex purely for pleasure only, they could care less about " survival of the human race". Besides that in this day and age that's very dumb to say and worry about. Do you think we need more humans? We very over populated as it is. It's to the point now that even if 90% of the human race was gone we still have millions left. At this point humans have a higher chance of becoming extinct due to lack of resources for everyone. Not because we didn't bang each other enough. What I'm trying say here is that humans need to be smarter and more responsible about sex. Just like eating it may be natural but as a human being you have to be smart about it.

      February 15, 2013 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
  37. Peanut Butter

    I think all people here are right. These days, being a teen-ager is easy. Weather they believe it or not, they have the good life. Food, shelter, and a plentiful supply of teachers to show them how the world works. The only problem is that half of these teens have been deprived of the knowledge of sex! Parents are reluctent of talking to their teens about sex because it scares them. Don'yt deny it, you know it frightens you a little. The only thing parents need to do it just talk to them. Not a huge conversation, but just making the point that, if you have sex, and if you have a child, then it is your responsibility. I will not help you if you have a child accidentely. The child will be your responsibility and no one elses. (besides the mother). Unless you have the baby on purpose in which time i will help but only because you had sex with the person you would trust your life with because that is primarily what you are doing when you create a child.

    June 3, 2010 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Noemi Alicea

    I was a teen mom at 15 and the fact is that with the rise of teen pregnancy and increase education about the consequences kids are growing up with an attitude of respect to the overcoming teen parent of today. The concept of teen and unwed parenthood is no longer something to shun but worthy of honor. Those brave enough to assume responsibility for their actions are respected and those afraid of the responsibility are looked upon as childish. It does not surprise me that there would be a rise in males who agree that unmarried childbearing is acceptable – Most were probably raised by a single mom or know someone in similar situations and would feel like a hypocrite to shun the concept. I think it is note worthy to reiterate the fact that the number one reason among teens to abstain is their moral and religious beliefs.

    June 3, 2010 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. jasmin

    My parents separated when i was 5, my dad used to hit my mom, therefore I was raised by a single mother. A single mother who did it all for us. Up to this day I admire my mom for being such a strong woman she worked and supported all three of us without any help!!....she taught me how to be independent and never let a guy treat you bad. She always worked!.. I was the youngest but the only girl so therefore i had to cook and clean while my mom was at work. when i woke up in the morning she was already gone to work. So from 1st grade i got my self up dressed myself and walked to school (2 blocks) and that was my routine. I still had contact with my dad at the age of 13 we had the whole sex talk. He told me about different diseases...he told me about the shot the patch the condom....at the age of 13 sex wasnt even on my mine so the fact that he told all of this scared me. My dad was pretty straight foward with this information. So from that day I decided i would wait this i was married. By the age of 15 lots of my friends weren't virgins anymore which was scary i wonder if they had the sex talk with their parents. I had a boyfriend at the time we were together since 14 and never had sex. One day at a party someone put something in my drink and raped me i was only 15 going on 16 (the guy the same age). I felt so dirty so dissapointed at god. why me?? I valued my virginity and someone just came and took it from me just like that!! so why did i wait for so long?? beacause of my values....if all you parents would just have the sex talk maybe these numbers would change!!! I was so angry at everything and everyone. I ended up having sex with my boyfriend and got pregnant at the age of 16 and had him at 17....I had my own apartment with my boyfriend at 17 we both worked and both graduated from high school. My son is now 3 i have a associate degree in business and work at a bank no more kids for me at this time and happily married with my first love. i have learned alot since then... Maybe this is exaxtly what god wanted for me


    June 4, 2010 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. David

    You're mostly wrong. It is true that sex is not a necessity for our individual survival, but we are biologically programmed for sex for the survival of our genes/lineage. Your comparison of "rapeing" fails because rape is more reasonably compared to "stealing" sex which is just as wrong as stealing food. On the other hand, there should be nothing morally wrong with consenting to sex the same way it should not be morally wrong to consent to sharing your food.

    June 4, 2010 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Anii` Mariee

    Many people have there opions as to why they think children have sex. But how many have actually asked and trusted what was being said to them? I was raped at the age of 4 by someone i trusted and loved. When i got older the nightmares seemed to haunt me. at the age of 13 i was raped again by a complete stranger. Just like that. i didnt understand why, and what i did wrong! I blaimed myself and wished that i were as ugly as i felt. Me and my mother had the sex talk PLENTY of times. I trusted what she said and wanted to save myself for marrige. My mother never told me that there are some people who just take what you want. even if its the most valuable thing to you. i was a child, a baby some may even say and just like a snap i had to become a women. Im 15 now and i still feel the pain. Because of my past i do not trust men of any age! I use them for what i want and never give them my heart.The bottome line is parents have the "sex talk" with there children. But how many tell them the truth? that it is not always your choice, there are some who take what they want with or with out your help.Im living proof of that. i dont wish to marry for the simple fact that i know i can never be whole again. and some were along the way i lost hope in love and barely holding on to my faith. i only ask that you prepare your children for the real world. I wish my mother had prepaired me!
    And for teen like me who may be reading this. Its okay to talk to your parents about some stuff.Exspecially when there willing to listen!!!

    June 4, 2010 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Scotty

    @Anii` Mariee
    You can be whole again. Praying for you.

    June 4, 2010 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Scotty

    @ Toni
    “Protection” is the biggest lie about it all. What is a condom protecting??? NOTHING! Protecting against pregnancy, a child? Really? Since when did unborn children become such a big threat. Children are the exact opposite! “But welfare and taxpayers end up paying for that baby” Understand and, in a lot of cases, agree. But the way to solve that is not giving kids a piece of rubber or a drug that never belonged in sex in the first place! Not only that, condoms fail, and people get pregnant even though condoms (or any other kind of contraception) were used.
    Protecting against the other person? So someone cares enough about another person to share in this intimate and pleasurable experience, but doesn’t care enough to share in the possible bringing forth of life. The “I want you, but just not all of you” mentality just doesn’t make sense. It just a part of life that a lot of times you can’t have the best of both worlds. Contraception is hypocritical regardless of who is having the sex. Protection against possible health issues? STDs can still happen.
    “They are just acting on their natural sex drive” People are NOT animals who live solely on instinct! Right, they do have a natural drive. Wrong in saying that it is ok for people to instinctively act upon it. People have self control and are expected to use it. People do have a natural need, desire, and attraction to food. Just because a person can eat the whole gallon of ice cream in front of them at once, doesn’t mean they should. To act upon their natural hunger drive (which is pleasing and satisfying and enjoyable), doesn’t mean they should just go and eat all the ice cream. If they do, they will not be able to escape the negative effects. The same thing goes with sex and contraception. People can control their drives and their desires. It may be hard, but they can.
    “Like many activities, it just needs to be done safely.” I agree! And the only place for sex to be done safely is with the person you are married to! (and in a heterosexual marriage, NOT a homosexual “union”)

    “LET'S FACE THE TRUTH!” Yes, let’s. The TRUTH is that our culture’s acceptance and encouragement of contraception use is a lie and is only hurting people in the end. The TRUTH is that many in our society reject and refuse to believe what sex is all about. The TRUTH is that contraception is NOT 100% effective. The TRUTH is that abstinence is ALWAYS 100% effective those not desiring the possibility of pregnancy. The TRUTH is that contraception is wrong and leads to many other issues and problems, not only for the person but for family, friends, relationships of any kind, communities, society, and our nation as a whole. That’s not to say that teenagers will be horrible human beings later on. I’m not saying that at all. Everyone can mess up and get back on track again. We all do in one way or another. But sex with contraception is ALWAYS wrong. That is just the way it is.
    “Teens with natural, healthy libidos will have sex” I agree, especially if we teach them that contraception use is ok!

    “Wake up!” Funny, I was going to say the same thing for anyone who believes that contraceptives are acceptable and right. It’s a pay me now, pay me later situation. Either society wakes up and teaches people the TRUTH about sex, the lie of contraception, the horrible effects that can lead from contraception, and get people to practice abstinence when appropriate. Or society deals with all the crap that results and helps parents fund and raise their children who cannot afford the costs of childbearing and parenting.
    I absolutely agree. Sex is more than just procreation. Bonding and babies—an act of love between and husband and wife and for procreation and welcoming any life that comes as a result of this supreme act of SELF-GIVING love. It’s about GIVING…giving of one’s self totally and completely to one’s spouse, one of many ways giving of one’s total and undivided love to a spouse, giving of a commitment to one’s spouse and to the child to come as a parent, giving of life with the procreation of a child (if God should so desire…hence “ pro-creation” and not just “creation”), giving to society some of the basic building blocks necessary for success (loving marriage between husband and wife, children, a family, love—though not the deepest form). Sex is NOT about receiving, not about fulfilling some personal drive or instinct, not about satisfying one’s desires or hopes or “goals”.
    Any religion that teaches that contraception is acceptable is wrong.
    The truth that contraception is wrong does NOT undermine the constitution. In fact, it abides by it more than contraception. Correct, the U.S. cannot officially enforce Christianity as a national religion, and it doesn’t.
    You mistake what freedom is. Freedom is NOT doing whatever you want to do. Freedom is doing what you ought to do. If someone feels like stealing a car, they do not have the freedom to do so. If someone feels like breaking any law, they do not have the freedom to. Just because one can do something doesn’t mean one should, especially when hurting another. And in the long run, sex with contraception hurts people.
    “All we have seen is a steady increase in teenage sex since the 60's to the present.” EXACTLY…right about the same time when contraception use was starting to become acceptable and sex being misunderstood. There is a connection! And since then, as a result (some directly and indirectly), many other immoral and destructive tendencies have steadily grown and increased.
    Wake up. Abstinence is the only way that does work. The only way not to worry is to not put yourself in the situation for it to happen. Proactive vs reactive. Prevention vs consequences. In so many other areas of life self-control and patience and fighting temptation is considered noble, praiseworthy, and the example to live by. Why is it not that way with sex? In various other areas, culture and society encourages people to practice self-discipline and sacrificing individual desires for the good of others, and then with sex those same principles are said to be the way not to act. That makes no sense. Life has shown time and time again that victory comes with all of those acts, practices, and mentalities.
    “It’s completely natural” To have a sexual drive, yes. To have sex before marriage and/or with contraception, no! “The very act of going through puberty...which begins before 15...is your body becoming sexually active” Wrong. “Parents can ignore sexuality in children and blame society and corruption for sexual promiscuity” You’re right. Parents should not ignore the issue and should not blame others. THEY are the ones in the primary role to teach and bring up their child to know right and wrong concerning sex. Yet, eventually there comes a time when children/teenagers cannot claim ignorance and have to take responsibility for their own actions and controlling their own desires. “You can't deny nature.” I agree. So again, why do people still consider contraception considered acceptable? Why do people continue to reject the truth about sex and what sex was created for? Why do people refuse to have sex in the way that will provide them with true happiness and love? What is natural is that people have intelligence and the ability to control their own actions.
    The crazy thing is that I said nothing about religion, yet you already knew that the issue of contraception goes beyond the secular only. Well done. So why are you fighting the truth that you already know to be right and that comes from a “Higher Source” which is that contraception is always wrong.
    I said NOTHING about Christ or Christianity, yet you already innately knew the Truth that Christ teaches. What Christianity teaches is for the good of ALL people and the truth authentic moral teachings of Christianity includes a lot of what everyone already knows when they are born concerning what is right and what is wrong. So just accept it. You’ll be happier you did.

    Doesn’t matter…first time having sex or five hundredth time having sex, sex with contraception and sex with someone other than one’s spouse is damaging, destructive, hazardous to health, inhumane, immature, imprudent, uncharitable(?) and deceptive. Not only for the people having sex, but potentially and likely for the family, friends, neighbors, community, and society in which those people live.

    Yes I do. Do you understand why I used them?

    @ D. Bunker
    Not bizarre at all, but the reality and truth. History has proven it. As contraception has become more and more acceptable in our culture and country, a number of negative effects has resulted, each of which had further negative effects: *cheating/unfaithfulness/divorce has increased greatly causing the break up in families and many other unfortunate effects on family, friends, and society *loss of respect for women and men towards each other and treating the other as objects to fulfill some need for pleasure *an increase in abortions *a decline in understanding between what is right and what is wrong *lack of respect for life *selfishness—the reality is that it’s not about me-me-me, it’s about helping others and doing what is best for the common good *increase in STDs *abuse of power as governments have withheld much needed aid for the basic necessities of life to nations in need solely based upon the fact that they won’t implement programs that encourage contraception.
    So are you saying pregnancies and children are problems? Guess again.

    June 4, 2010 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GoDemocrats

      i agree with u thanks for writing

      July 27, 2010 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
  44. GoDemocrats

    i'm 18 years old and i never had sex. mainly because i'm religious but also to mention that our school had good sex educational programs, exaggerating fears and all stuffs

    July 27, 2010 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Lollipop10

    First, teens of today have not been taught respect for ANY authority. Second, why shouldn't the US be #1 in teen pregnancies? Taxpayer money ...(you and I) pays for WIC feeds mother and child for 6 yrs...free medical, free housing, schooling, cell phone, etc. Why aren't the parents of the teens paying for the expense of illigitimate babies? Americans should see what is actually happening here.

    September 4, 2010 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. truelyappalled

    Wow, a lot of the attitudes and comments on here are truly ignorant. The whole "its mostly blacks and Mexicans that are the problem" first off its not just blacks and latinos I have seen white teen mothers just as plentiful. That's such an ignorant generalization.

    Second, the whole "single mothers are to blame for spreading their legs" even more so ignorant. My mom left my dad because he ended up being immature and emotionally abusive. My mothers raised me the past 17 years and shes hardworking, and one damn good mom not a "leg spreader"

    Third, being sexually active and being stupid are two different things. In this day an age people of my generation KNOW about contraceptives and condoms to avoided pregnancy and STIs.

    The problem is a lot of people are too afraid to go buy them for fear or being judged, or their parents finding them. Birthcontrol you cannot get without a parent knowing since it requires a perscription and obgyn.

    Maturity doesn't start at a certain age. It happens individually. I'm not saying be an enabler, I'm saying PARENTS NEED TO TELL THEIR KIDS THEY ARE WILLING TO TALK AND LISTEN TO THEIR KIDS, WITHOUT PUNISHING AND YELLING AND JUDGING. talk to your kids about why they should wait, don't force them to ask them to. Because like it or not kids will find a way to do what they want regardless of what you say. If you have an open relationship it means you KNOW how your child is feeling and thinking! And for the most part what they're doing or thinking of doing! THAT IS A PREVENTIVE MEASURE.

    If you don't have an open channel with your child, you don't know what they're doing.

    September 29, 2010 at 04:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sadistwitch

      You and I should travel the US and start smacking sense into parents. It is a parental responsibility to educate our kids about sex, and safer sex without bias. Abstinence education is no education at all and is so 1950's and quite stupid. This article and another one I read today PROVE that we are sadly failing the teens in America, we are cheating them out of valuable information, but screaming when they screw it all up. Everyone is 100% responsible for their own sexuality and it is parents' responsibility in this day and age to educate and prepare our kids for the world.

      November 9, 2010 at 16:39 | Report abuse |
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  50. NATHAN

    im 18 im almost done with my 12 grade year of high school. i will be the 1st to say that i have had sex with 3 diffrent female's since i was 17 an a half. an the high school i go to there is about 200-235 students at an given time no more then 250. an at the end of the 2011-2012 school year there was 216 students attending all in high school (no freshman) an the percentage was out of the 216 student 186 of them were female an out of thoes 186 female 158 of them have had sex at least 4 time with 3 diffrent partners, an have at least 1 son or daughter that is there kid. or have been pregnant or have had an abortion. VERY VERY SAD. I AM ONESTLY SAD TO SAY THAT I AM APART OF THEH % WOULD HAVE HAD A KID. (my girlfriend of 3 years at the time (we are still together to this day) got pregnant an we were exsited an scared. but we didnt wat to have an abortion or adaption so we were going to keep the baby no madder what. an we got 7 months in to the pregnancy an she wasnt felling well we left school in the middle of the day an i drove her to the hospitol. an a very long 2 almost 3 hours latter the doc came in to the room were we were put an walked in an said I AM VERY VERY SORRY. n turned around an walked out my GF looked at me like what does he mean. i chased him down an asked him what is up .he said im sorry to say your girlfriend is going to have a misscarage an with in the next hour she will start to go in to labor. an i fellt like i was going to puke. i went back iin to the room were my GF is an told her an she started to cry an cuz she was crying i started to cry also.) WE ARE STILL TOGETHER TO THIS DAY AN HOPE TO GET MARRIED SOME TIME SOON. AN EVERY DAY WE WAKE UP KISS EACHOHER AN LOOK AT THE ULTRASOUND PICTURES THAT WE HAVE. OF OU BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER. THAT WE WILL NEVER GET TO SEE. UNTILL WE ARE IN HEAVEN WERE WE WILL GET TO MEET THE CREATOR OF EVERYTHING AN THE MAN WHO DIED FOR EVERY BODY. THE PAIN DOES NOT GO AWAY IT MAKE GET EASIER TO DEAL WITH BUT IT WILL NERVER GO AWAY FOR GOOD. TILL THAT DAY WE ARE IN HEAVEN. TO MY BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER YOUR MOMMY AN DADDY LOVE YOU SO MUCH AN CANT WAIT TO SEE YOU.

    December 20, 2012 at 05:25 | Report abuse | Reply
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